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This article examines the relationship between urban form and vehicle miles travelled, especially as it relates to last mile goods delivery and greenhouse gas emissions.
This report discusses 761 walkable urban places in the United States' 30 largest metropolitan areas and their impact on social equity and educational attainment, and their economic impact on office, retail, and housing land uses.
The article describes five of Portland, Oregon's neighborhoods and their respective histories, along with the native restaurants and shops that characterize each neighborhood.
U.S. Census estimates through 2017 indicate a revival of suburbanization and migration towards metro areas in the middle of the country.
In this book, Donald Shoup reports on the progress cities have made on the principles outlined in book The High Cost of Parking. Remove off-street parking requirements, charge the right prices for on-street parking and use that revenue towards improving public services.
In Seattle, a suburban shopping center’s parking lot is being transformed into a new walkable neighborhood.
An increasing number of architects, developers, and engineers are designing new parking garages that can be converted into other uses in the future if needed.
San Francisco’s emerging trend of transforming parking spots into “parklets” has sparked residents, businesses and nonprofits from around the city to come up with creative ways to turn parking into public space.
San Francisco’s “parklet” trend of transforming parking spots into small public spaces has mixed reviews among residents. Some people think that they are provide spaces for neighborhoods to come together, while some believe they exacerbate gentrification.
With the rise of e-commerce, Americans are demanding more deliveries. However, with declining warehouse availability, congested streets and limited curb access, the U.S.’s infrastructure may not be able to handle the increasing demand.
This article is a literature review of the definition and effects of urban sprawl for the purpose of implementing planning policies that discourage sprawl.
“Parking is expensive. We can break these costs down into two categories. One is the explicit fiscal costs of parking, to the provider and to the public. The other is the implicit opportunity cost of parking, which occupies land that could have been put to another beneficial use, and/or is often built at the expense of another beneficial activity.”
“This study investigates neighborhood scale net migration of young adults in the top 20 urbanized areas (UAs) in the United States between 1980 and 2010.”
This is a survey of 3,000 adults in the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. about the quality of life in their communities.
“While most big cities are still gaining population, the rates of that gain are falling off for many of them as the nation’s population shows signs of broad dispersal.”
The goal of this white paper is to consider the impact of AVs on municipal budgets. AVs create a “potential rat’s nest of a budgeting challenge.” This paper seeks to begin the process of untangling that rat’s nest, and provide the foundation for future phases of the project that will consider potential additional revenue sources to fund the infrastructure changes that may come from the integration of AVs as well as land use planning implications.
Residential Preference: the social, environmental, and physical preferences that affect a person or family’s choice of residential location (for our purposes, in relation to the urban core and other amenities offered as a part of living in density) The introduction of autonomous vehicles and the comprehensive integration of E-commerce into the urban and suburban fabric will have a widespread effect on the factors the influence a resident’s location preference.
The invention of the internet introduced a new typology to the marketplace, the online retailer. Omnichannel retail strategies - where a retailer operates through both physical locations and online sales - have become a necessity in today’s market.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
Today, warehouses are transforming into massive “mega-distribution centers” located in increasingly suburban areas. However, the rapid delivery expectations of E-commerce will also perpetuate the need for a network of local, smaller-scale supply points.
In order to ease congestion downtown and relieve pressure on parking during the holiday season, the city of Boulder, Colorado engaged in a partnership with Lyft, Uber, and a taxi company zTrip. The pilot project, which ran for 11 weeks, involved the city subsidizing rides for residents of Boulder who travelled downtown using one of the partnership companies. This report presents the motivation, design, operation, and results of the pilot.
This report categorizes and summarizes efforts that are already underway in cities across the world to rethink curb management, to outline the key takeaways from the one-day workshop that involved city staff from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and to identify major research gaps.
This is an exercise that deconstructs an urban and a suburban streetscape using the Restreet.com participatory design tool. Restreet was created by William Riggs, Mike Boswell and Ryder Ross in 2016 as a code fork from the Code for America project Streetmix. The idea was to democratize the way we plan streets and synthesize that data for policy and decision-making. The streets depicted show right-of-way needs eroding due to the prevalence of autonomous vehicles creating efficiency or the policy decision to do so in advance of their adoption. The final two slides show the submissions from the over 6,000 users since September and the related summary statistics. All suggest that policy that supports traffic calming and lane reductions to support multimodal transportation might be appropriate in the immediate future.
Riggs, Boswell and Ross describe their pilot street design project deploying Streetplan, a version of the opensource tool Streetmix. As part of the City of San Luis Obispo downtown revisioning project, their efforts inform the process, currently underway, of revising the Downtown Vision Concept Plan.
This policy paper focuses on the primary concept of the street as space that can be repurposed – real estate that can be allocated in similar or different ways than done currently. Cities generally refer to this publicly owned and regulated space from one side of the street to the other as the right of way (ROW). Our focus is on the centrality of the ROW in dictating many other community functions and values – transportation and otherwise. And our particular bias is to focus on the opportunities that AV technology is likely to create to rethink how the ROW is allocated, so that our communities can meet their substantial and unique environmental, social, and economic challenges.
The Mobility Hub Reader’s Guide is meant to provide guidance and inspiration for city staff, property owners, developers, designers, transit agencies, and community members for enhancing project developments and public right-of-way improvements in proximity to existing or new transit stations with amenities, activities, and programs to support multi-modal connectivity and access.
Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people’s experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs.
This article describes the changing driving landscape in New York City. The city is making efforts to return the streets to the people and also optimize public transportation options. The pushback is steep again the community where the traffic is being pushed as well as with the business owners.
Urban innovations company Sidewalk Labs and the Canadian government announced a partnership Tuesday to develop 750 acres along Toronto’s waterfront into what they envision as a high-tech living laboratory for solving urban problems. It would be the largest urban redevelopment project in North America.
"A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities."
This white paper discusses the forces affecting U.S. passenger travel, the permanence of which is often unclear. We explore travel demand’s relationship with explanatory factors such as economic activity, gas prices, urban form, socio-demographic traits and generational effects, the expanding availability of travel options (including electronic alternatives to travel) and technological innovations in the transportation sector (including the advent of emerging transportation and shared mobility services). We discuss how these factors modify the alternatives available to travelers, the characteristics of each alternative, and the way travelers perceive and evaluate these characteristics.
This chapter estimates how minimum parking requirements increase the cost of constructing housing, office buildings, and shopping centers. It also explains proposed legislation to limit how much parking cities can require in transit-rich districts.
This blog talks about how the autonomous vehicles will change the built environment such as street design, parking infrastructure, public space, etc. It also mentions how different modes can be integrated with the change of built environment.
Although recent studies of Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs) have explored the economic costs and environmental impacts of this technology, little is known about how SAVs can change urban forms, especially by reducing the demand for parking. This study estimates the potential impact of SAV system on urban parking demand under different system operation scenarios with the help of an agent-based simulation model. The simulation results indicate that we may be able to eliminate up to 90% of parking demand for clients who adopt the system, at a low market penetration rate of 2%. The results also suggest that different SAV operation strategies and client's preferences may lead to different spatial distribution of urban parking demand.
In working with Waterfront Toronto, the public entity that owns the land, to develop Quayside, Sidewalk Labs would reimagine urban life in five dimensions—housing, energy, mobility, social services, and shared public spaces—with an aim to “serve as a model for sustainable neighborhoods” around the world.
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.
"This paper builds on the growing scholarship on neighbourhood-level GHG production by combining emissions calculations from embodied energy, building-operating energy, and transportation energy, examining four variations of residential density."
The storm clouds of sprawl addiction had been gathering for years, but it took the Meltdown and the ensuing Great Recession to make it clear just how damaging that addiction had been to the health of cities across the US and abroad. Sprawl has two really big things going for it, but three even bigger things now going against it which are poised to turn the tide against the pattern of sprawl.
Currently, little planning is being done to prepare for driverless technology. Actors at multiple levels, however, have tools at their disposal to help ensure that new technology does not come at the expense of the nation’s remaining natural habitats. This Article advocates for a shift in paradigm from policies that are merely anti-car to those that are pro-density, and provides suggestions for both cities and suburban areas for how harness the positive aspects of driverless cars while trying to stem the negative. Planning for density regardless of technology will help to ensure that, for the world of the future, there is actually a world.
This Blueprint outlines a vision for cities in a future where automated transportation is both accepted and widespread as part of the built environment. It is a human oriented vision for the potential of city streets, intersections, and networks-one in which automation can serve the goals of safety, equity, public health, and sustainability.
"Mobility Plan 2035 (Plan) provides the policy foundation for achieving a transportation system that balances the needs of all road users. As an update to the City’s General Plan Transportation Element (last adopted in 1999), Mobility Plan 2035 incorporates “complete streets” principles and lays the policy foundation for how future generations of Angelenos interact with their streets."
Seattle City Council passes in a 7 to 1 vote a plan for large parking reforms including separating parking costs from rent and increasing bike parking requirements.
This report describes a shoppers trip and what the planner may be most interested in about it as well as street design and it's accommodation for all activities that may need to happen throughout the day.
The main objective of this research project is to provide FDOT with information and guidance on how best to begin to prepare for a future in which AV technology first takes root and then takes over the market. The FSU Research Team is investigating the potential impacts of widespread adoption of AV technology on the transportation network and urban form for four key land use and transportation nodes that are vital to the welfare of the State of Florida: Downtown, Office/Medical/University Center, Urban Arterial, and Transit Neighborhood. To accomplish this, the FSU Research Team engaged one-hundred planners, engineers, industry professionals, and public officials in a facilitated visioning session at the 2015 Florida Automated Vehicle Summit (FAV Summit). During this session the research team gathered input on how AVs will impact our communities and how the built environment will need to adapt to accommodate AVs in the coming decades.
We quantify the importance of early action to tackle urban sprawl. We focus on the long-term nature of infrastructure decisions, specifically local roadways, which can lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. The location and interconnectedness of local roadways form a near permanent backbone for the future layout of land parcels, buildings, and transportation options. We provide new estimates of the environmental impact of low-connectivity roads, characterized by cul-de-sacs and T-intersections, which we dub street-network sprawl. We find an elasticity of vehicle ownership with respect to street connectivity of –0.15—larger than suggested by previous research. We then apply this estimate to quantify the long-term emissions implications of alternative scenarios for street-network sprawl. On current trends alone, we project vehicle travel and emissions to fall by ∼3.2% over the 2015–2050 period, compared to a scenario where sprawl plateaus at its 1994 peak. Concerted policy efforts to increase street connectivity could more than triple these reductions to ∼8.8% by 2050. Longer-term reductions over the 2050–2100 period are more speculative, but could be more than 50% greater than those achieved by 2050. The longer the timescale over which mitigation efforts are considered, the more important it becomes to address the physical form of the built environment.
"In this paper we propose a new method to study how replacing privately owned conventional vehicles with automated ones affects traffic delays and parking demand in a city. The model solves what we designate as the User Optimum Privately Owned Automated Vehicles Assignment Problem (UO-POAVAP), which dynamically assigns family trips in their automated vehicles in an urban road network from a user equilibrium perspective where, in equilibrium, households with similar trips should have similar transport costs.
"This paper provides a review of scenarios on these issues to date. Although some scenario studies provide useful insights about urban growth and change, very few consider detailed impacts of AVs on urban form, such as the density and mix of functions, the layout of urban development and the accessibility of locations, including the distance to transit."
This paper introduces Metrolinx’s recently released Mobility Hub Guidelines and highlights two key aspects of the document: the importance of classifying the current and planned urban context and transportation function at a mobility hub, and methods to overcome challenges in achieving both transport and placemaking roles.
This book is designed to communicate how communities of all kinds are making these changes all the time. It is our hope that this will make it easier for new projects to get built and that the examples will make it possible for a “new normal” to take hold, where all streets are revisited and assessed to see whether they can be doing more. This is similar to a post-occupancy analysis–do our streets perform the way we want given all of the needs and uses we have of them? If not, then this book provides many examples on how to move forward and ‘remodel’ our streets.
Concerns over rising fuel prices and greenhouse-gas emissions have prompted research into the influences of built environments on travel, notably vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Accessibility to basic employment has comparatively modest effects, as do size of urbanized area, and rail-transit supplies and usage. Nevertheless, urban planning and city design should be part of any strategic effort to shrink the environmental footprint of the urban transportation sector.
The continued use of minimum parking requirements is likely to encourage automobile use at a time when metropolitan areas are actively seeking to manage congestion and increase transit use, biking, and walking. Widely discussed ways to reform parking policies may be less than effective if planners do not consider the remaining incentives to auto use created by the existing parking infrastructure. Planners should encourage the conversion of existing parking facilities to alternative uses.
Cycling advocates have proposed a network of bicycle paths connecting the suburbs and city center, comparing their plan to the region’s rapid transit system.
Autonomous vehicles will have a major impact on parking facility designs in the future. Compared to regular car-parks that have only two rows of vehicles in each island, future car-parks (for autonomous vehicles) can have multiple rows of vehicles stacked behind each other. Although this multi-row layout reduces parking space, it can cause blockage if a certain vehicle is barricaded by other vehicles and cannot leave the facility. To release barricaded vehicles, the car-park operator has to relocate some of the vehicles to create a clear pathway for the blocked vehicle to exit. The extent of vehicle relocation depends on the layout design of the car-park. To find the optimal car-park layout with minimum relocations, we present a mixed-integer non-linear program that treats each island in the car-park as a queuing system. We solve the problem using Benders decomposition for an exact answer and we present a heuristic algorithm to find a reasonable upper-bound of the mathematical model. We show that autonomous vehicle car-parks can decrease the need for parking space by an average of 62% and a maximum of 87%. This revitalization of space that was previously used for parking can be socially beneficial if car-parks are converted into commercial and residential land-uses.
This edition of the Blueprint is organized into three parts, taking the reader through the principles and political structures that underscore and shape our vision of the future, key policy choices around transit, pricing, freight, and data that can reshape our cities, and finally, exploring the sweeping vision for city streets of the future: Shaping the Autonomous Future Today, Policies to Shape the Autonomous Age, and Design for the Autonomous Age
With this paper, RMI hopes to (1) offer cities and other mobility and built environment stakeholders an experimentation toolkit that puts them in a position to more quickly unlock the full potential of new mobility in cities designed to shape and enable it, and (2) engage stakeholders in further codeveloping and exploring a concept for living, flexible, and collaborative experimentation sites we’re calling MOD Cities.
Urban Mobility in a Digital Age is a transportation technology strategy designed to build on the success and innovation of the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Transportation (LADOT) as regulator and transportation service provider in a complex and evolving ecosystem of public and private services.
On May 10, 2017, Mayor William Peduto charged 120 National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility delegates with the following challenge: “we must develop and carry-out a new social compact for mobility in cities. Now is the time to address mobility to ensure that we serve and support core community values of equity, inclusiveness, sustainability, and collective advancement. A social compact with shared and autonomous mobility providers ensures that these services do good for communities while these businesses do well in cities.
"This Mobility Hub Features Catalog is a resource for regional agencies, local jurisdictions, transit operators, and private service providers as they collaborate to design and implement mobility hubs around the region. It describes the kinds of services, amenities, and technologies that can work together to make it easier for people to connect to transit, while also providing them with more transportation options overall. These mobility hub features may include various transit station improvements such as enhanced waiting areas with landscaping and lighting, complimentary WiFi and real-time travel information; wider sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and trees for shade; bike paths, designated bike lanes, and bike parking options; dedicated bus lanes and supporting signal improvements; service facilities for shared cars, scooters, and electric vehicles; smart parking technology; and more. Each feature can be tailored to the unique needs of an individual community."
"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."
The full story of autonomous vehicles is yet to be written. We created four scenario planning stories that explain how cities could shape the driverless future: tap taxi to tackle isolation, weaving a microtransit mesh, a human touch on robot delivery, reprogramming bus, bikes and barriers.
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.
The Global Street Design Guide sets a new global baseline for designing urban streets. Recognizing that cities are places for people, the guide shifts the parameters of designing urban streets from the typical point of view of automobile movement and safety, to include access, safety, and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, enhancement of place, public health, and overall quality of life.
This chapter is intended for the reader who wants to understand what vehicle automation is, its main research questions, and what are its main implications. We also provide guidance on the methods that have been used or could be used to assess its impacts, hence allowing future research on this topic.
As private mobility services such as car-sharing, ridehailing, and micromobility have rapidly expanded in cities, the public sector has historically had limited access to data on how these vehicles are changing travel patterns and the movement of people. Populus has launched a platform to change that.
With its 1950s aesthetic intact, Knightley’s Garage is more than a kitschy throwback to the past. Wichita’s repurposed parking facility may actually be an indication of things to come. As personal auto ownership declines in urban downtowns, car-related urban infrastructure is increasingly underused. Some garages, like Knightley’s, are ripe for adaptive reuse. Others are being constructed from scratch in ways that will allow them to be repurposed down the road.
This report indicates that metros found to have high walkable urbanism are models for the future development patterns of many—and possibly most— of the largest 30 U.S. metros. These trends suggest future demand for tens of millions square feet of walkable urban development and hundreds of new WalkUPs. This demand would provide an economic foundation for the U.S. economy, similar to the building of drivable suburbs in the mid to late 20th century.
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.
With Mayo Clinic defining its landscape, Rochester has always been a place where health is front-and-center. But a primary goal for the Destination Medical Center is to transform Rochester into America’s City for Health where residents and visitors will, literally, walk the walk when it comes to wellness. The Design Guidelines that the Design Center at the University of Minnesota has developed with the staff of the City of Rochester and the Destination Medical Center show, in very specific and concrete terms, how to achieve that goal.
This University of Washington (UW) study focuses on a strategy to manage TNC driver stops when picking up and dropping off passengers with the aim of improving traffic flow in the South Lake Union (SLU) area. SLU is the site of the main campus for Amazon, the online retail company. The site is known to generate a large number of TNC trips, and Amazon reports high rates of ride-hailing use for employee commutes. This study also found that vehicle picking-up/dropping-off passengers make up a significant share of total vehicle activity in SLU. The center city neighborhood is characterized by multiple construction sites, slow speed limits (25 mph) and heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
This paper provides examples of how cities have successfully changed curb use to support transit. It is focused on the types of busy, store-lined streets where high-ridership transit lines often struggle with reliability. These key curbside management strategies support reliable transit and safer streets in one of two ways: either by directly making room for transit, or supporting transit projects by better managing the many demands on the urban curb.
In many cities, distinguishing between parking spaces, loading zones, and passenger drop-off sites is headache-inducing (and complicated for AI to understand). This new digital tool that maps curb use in real time will help.
"While recent policies directed toward multimodal or complete streets have encouraged increased funding for bicycle- and pedestrian oriented projects, many streets are still plagued by unsafe conditions. This is especially true for one-way streets, which studies show often create unsafe crossing conditions. This study evaluates changes to street dynamics after a two-way street conversion in Louisville, Kentucky. We find that traffic flow increased after implementation of two-way flow, but traffic accidents decreased. We also note other ancillary benefits, such as increase in property values and reduced crime. These results provide evidence that conversions can promote mobility, safety, and livability."
This study looks at the potential for a shift away from curb use focused on street parking to more flexible allocation that includes pick-up and drop-off zones for passengers and freight. It presents the results of quantitative modelling of alternative curb-use scenarios and discusses their relative efficiency, contribution to wider policy objectives and implications on city revenues. The work builds on a workshop held in September 2017, and outreach to numerous experts. It also provides insights from a modeling exercise to quantify the impact of re-allocating curb space from parking to pick up and drop off zones.
With AVs on the brink of roll-out, what is next? How do our streets evolve and where does our capital begin to go? This article discusses some possibilities on the ways we may be able to better our streets without widening the roads to fit more cars.
This report analyzes traffic impacts from the 2015 implementation of a pilot “road diet” on Lincoln Avenue, in the City of San Jose, California, comparing data on traffic volumes and speeds from before and after the road diet was implemented. The analysis looks at impacts on both the road diet location itself and on surrounding streets likely to have been impacted by traffic diverted off the road diet segment. The results within the road diet zone were as expected, with falling volumes and numbers of speeders. The all-day data aggregated by street type (e.g., neighborhood streets, major streets) showed limited overall negative impacts outside the road diet segment. These summary results do not tell the entire story, however. Individual locations, particularly among the neighborhood streets, saw more noticeable negative impacts. The report ends with recommendations for best practices in designing and conducting road diet evaluation studies.
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