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Health & Safety
Re-allocating space on streets to accommodate new uses – particularly for walking, biking, and being – is not new. COVID-era needs have accelerated the process that many communities use to make such street transitions, however. Many communities quickly understood that the street is actually a public place and a public good that serves broader public needs more urgent than the free flow or the storage of private vehicles. This book captures some of these quick changes to city streets in response to societal needs during COVID, with two open questions: 1) what changes will endure post-COVID?; and 2) will communities be more open to street reconfigurations, including quick and inexpensive trials, going forward?
Before the pandemic, Urbanism Next developed a framework organizing the disruptions to cities caused by emerging transportation technologies on land use, urban design, building design, transportation, and real estate. COVID-19 has disrupted the trajectory of these emerging technologies and will, in turn, change some our original assumptions. This paper revisits the original Urbanism Next framework, taking into account the cascading impacts of the pandemic. This report is one of two reports completed by Urbanism Next on the impacts of Covid-19.
Urbano has been developed by Cornell University and other organizations. This software has some special features like download geospatial data, import and aggregate data, lookup and modify metadata, routing in different modes, analyze amenities and streets, integrated cad workflow, etc. Also, is useful to quantify urban parameters like amenity demand, streetscore, amenityscore and walkscore. It has a friendly interface to visualize different urban planning parameters.
Make pedestrian ways, particularly sidewalks, first class members of an open data transportation network. The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project has made available extensive, user-contributed open data on transportation networks, providing the basis for many use cases and downstream activities, including rich analytics, travel route optimization, city planning, and disaster relief. Sidewalks in the built environment have generally been treated an addendum to streets, failing to serve people with limited mobility.
"This report aims to identify policy issues related to the use of AVs that will have a bearing on public health and to identify research topics that will support informed decisionmaking related to AVs and public health."
The purpose of this study is to go beyond cataloging pilot projects to determine the lessons learned, emerging trends and considerations, and examples of promising practices from pilot projects in the United States and Canada. Researchers assessed 220 pilot projects and 11 case studies. Based on that assessment, they recommend 10 actions for pilot projects generally. The study resulted in 31 lessons learned organized by pilot goals, evaluation, implementation, outcomes, and policy and infrastructure implications.
"NACTO research in seven cities shows that pairing bike share with protected bike lanes encourages riding, increases the visibility of people on bikes, and reduces overall biking risk."
Emerging delivery drone technology raises questions and concerns about privacy, liability, and noise levels. There are few legal precedents or existing laws based specifically on drones.
Increasing automation of vehicles presents may unknowns and concerns, the most important being safety, both in terms of road safety and cyber security. This report examines how these safety concerns will need to be addressed with emerging autonomous technologies by applying the principles of the "Safe System."
Zipline, the drone-delivery startup that sends medical supplies to hospitals in Rwanda, has expanded into Ghana and has plans to continue into India and North Carolina.
Zipline is a drone-delivery startup that delivers medical supplies, including blood, rabies vaccines and antivenom, to thousands of hard-to-reach health clinics in Rwanda and Ghana.
This article examines the potential effects of driving on health and well-being.
Recent research on autonomous vehicles (AV) has shown a substantive dive into the technical aspects of AVs, but our understanding of the secondary effects of AVs is minimal in comparison (Glancy, 2015; Mitteregger, Soteropoulos, Bröthaler, & Dorner, 2019; Terry & Bachmann, 2019). This article offers a look at how automation of one of the cornerstones of many municipal government—solid waste collection—could be altered with the advent of AVs.
Amazon’s shipping network has been increasing rapidly over the past decade which has led to severe working conditions for their thousands of employees around the world, especially during events like “Prime Day.”
Two fatalities involving autonomous vehicles (AVs) have raised the prominence of safety concerns within AV testing. Many states have considered or enacted regulations on AV testing, while availability of data collected on testing remains difficult to access.
This report develops a framework for measuring safety in automated vehicles. It ranges in considerations from measuring safety in artificial development phases to deployment phases.
This report discusses the statistical findings on fatal crashes due to distracted driving in 2017. The report relays data on different age groups and discusses types of distraction, such as cell phone usage.
Sustainable, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient cities depend on transportation that facilitates the safe, efficient, and pollution-free flow of people and goods, while also providing affordable, healthy, and integrated mobility for all people. The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles, and networks is rapid, accelerating, and filled with opportunity. At the same time, city streets are a finite and scarce resource.These principles, produced by a working group of international NGOs, are designed to guide urban decision-makers and stakeholders toward the best outcomes for all.
The purpose of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide (part of the Cities for Cycling initiative) is to provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.
Metro data enables deep analysis of cyclist and pedestrian activity including popular or avoided routes, peak commute times, intersection wait times, and origin/destination zones. Metro processes this data for compatibility with geographic information system (GIS) environments.
Open-access scenario planning package that allows users to analyze how their community's current growth pattern and future decisions impacting growth will impact a range of measures from public health, fiscal resiliency and environmental sustainability.
EcoLogistics Self-monitoring tool is a calculation tool developed for cities to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions from urban freight transport. It allows the assessment of baseline and target scenarios wherein specific technologies or strategies are hypothetically implemented. The tool also acts as a monitoring tool for cities to make meaningful comparisons over time and with other cities in terms of urban freight emissions.
BikeAble can use mapping technology to model the low-stress bike route options available from any origin to any destination. Doing this for a large number of origins and destinations allows us to aggregate the results to show not just how connected one household is to key destinations, but how well connected an entire community is.
Lime has joined rival Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.
Motion sickness is a serious consideration on any car trip where you’re not driving. So what are we supposed to do in self-driving vehicles? Researchers are finally looking into this question with an experiment designed to see just what makes people like us so sick.
With the potential to save nearly 30,000 lives per year in the United States, autonomous vehicles portend the most significant advance in auto safety history by shifting the focus from minimization of post-crash injury to collision prevention. I have delineated the important public health implications of autonomous vehicles and provided a brief analysis of a critically important ethical issue inherent in autonomous vehicle design. The broad expertise, ethical principles, and values of public health should be brought to bear on a wide range of issues pertaining to autonomous vehicles.
"This report represents an important contribution to the emerging understanding of the connections between transportation and public health. It contains 8 chapters entitled: Health effects of transportation policy; Transportation authorization 101: a backgrounder; Public transportation and health; Walking, bicycling, and health; Roadways and health: making the case for collaboration; Breaking down silos: transportation, economic development and health; Sustainable food systems: perspectives on transportation policy; Traffic injury prevention: A 21st-century approach. This report was written for community leaders, policymakers, funders, practitioners, and advocates interested in an overarching strategy to promote active living and to build healthy communities of opportunity."
"A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities."
One of the public policy goals for livable and sustainable communities is to minimize the use of automobiles. This paper focuses on introducing and justifying an important new policy principle. Even when car travel is minimized with smart growth land development policies, transportation demand management, and increased public transit, a significant level of automobile use will remain. As a result, reducing the environmental, economic and safety impacts of those remaining automobiles should be an essential element of a livable, sustainable community. Fortunately, fundamental and disruptive technological advances in new vehicles—automation, connectivity, and electrification as described in this paper are fast emerging to make this new priority feasible.
After 17 cyclists die after being hit on the roads in the first half of the year, the city decides to take major steps to improve bicycle safety.
"The following key findings are based on the World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights, which presents the latest round of global population estimates and projections by the United Nations."
This is a review of what research is saying about the negative impacts of autonomous vehicles are on public health issues specifically.
"Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces."
In 2012 UN-Habitat presented to the world the notion of city prosperity, which implies success, wealth, thriving conditions, and wellbeing, as well as opportunity for all. Cities that foster infrastructure development, environmental sustainability, high productivity, quality of life, and equity and social inclusions are considered prosperous cities, Building on the notion of prosperity, UN-Habitat emphasizes that for a city to be prosperous, it must have a generous and well-designed street pattern. In this report, UN-Habitat advocates for a holistic approach to streets as public spaces that embraces the concept of livability and completeness. A good street pattern boosts infrastructure development, enhances environmental sustainability, supports higher productivity, enriches quality of life, and promotes equity and social inclusion.
This report examines how urban living affects residents’ mental health and happiness, and ways to use this information to create saner and happier cities. Some often-cited studies suggest that urban living increases mental illness and unhappiness, but a critical review indicates that much of this research is incomplete and biased, and the issues are complex, often involving trade-offs between risk factors. City living may increase some forms of psychosis and mood disorders, drug addiction, and some people’s unhappiness, but tends reduce dementia, alcohol abuse and suicide rates, and many people are happier in cities than they would be in smaller communities. This report examines specific mechanisms by which urban living can affect mental health and happiness, and identities practical strategies that communities and individuals can use to increase urban mental health and happiness. This analysis suggests that it is possible to create sane and happy cities.
Many big-name insurers have stopped offering any form of sexual-assault coverage to ridesharing companies because large claims they’ve paid have made it too risky, experts say.
In the 1960s, countercultural icon Timothy Leary popularized the phrase, "turn on, tune in, drop out," to describe the idea of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs to detach from society and achieve a higher level of thinking. Later in his life, he argued that the personal computer was the "LSD of the 1990s"—at that time having no inkling how much automation and augmented reality would play in our society, or how autonomous vehicles might change the way we connect with others. Might automated vehicles (AVs) be one of the ways that humans "tune in, turn on" and disconnect for the next few decades?
One of the big promises of self-driving vehicles is the idea that autonomous vehicles will liberate people from driving. In this vision of the future, passengers will scan news reports on phones and tablets, pour-over notes and briefings for important meetings, and view videos on their handheld devices. They will reclaim the hours once wasted clinging to a steering wheel. Unless they end up developing a headache or becoming dizzy, drowsy, or nauseated.
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