Emerging Technologies and Cities: Assessing the Impacts of New Mobility on Cities

Emerging Technologies and Cities: Assessing the Impacts of New Mobility on Cities

The purpose of this report is to analyze potential impacts and offer recommendations for the cities of Gresham and Eugene, OR, to understand the potential impacts of new mobility technologies – with an emphasis on autonomous vehicles (AVs) – and prepare a policy and programmatic response. While Gresham and Eugene are case studies, it provides mid-sized communities information on how new mobility services could impact their communities and what they can do about it, from broad strategies to specific policy responses. While this work focuses on the various new mobility and goods delivery services that currently exist, the framework that is discussed here is also applicable to emerging technologies that haven’t yet been introduced, such as autonomous vehicles (AVs).

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. In addition, there are other fundamentally disruptive technological forces undergoing simultaneous rapid development and deployment, including the introduction of new mobility technologies and the associated paradigm shift to thinking of mobility as a service, as well as the continued growth of e-commerce and the related rise in goods delivery. The purpose of this report is to examine how these forces of change are impacting, or will likely impact transportation, land use, urban design, and real estate, and what the implications may be for equity, health, the economy,the environment, and governance. Our aim was to identify key research areas that will assist in evidence-based decision making for planners, urban designers, and developers to address this critical paradigm shift. We identified key research questions in land use, urban design, transportation, and real estate that will rely on the expertise of these disciplines and lay the foundation for a research agenda examining how AVsand new mobility may impact the built environment. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by the forces of change identified above.

Key findings

A new mobility strategy should:

• Start with community values and goals.
• Coordinate with regional partners.
• Develop a data privacy, management, and analysis plan.
• Continue to learn from new mobility and e-commerce research, policies, and programs in larger cities and regions across the U.S.
• Inform decision makers and residents about how emerging technologies are impacting cities.

In addition, a new mobility strategy should ensure that cities can:

• Improve safety
• Improve social equity
• Promote active transportation
• Decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality
• Reduce vehicle miles traveled and congestion
• Adapt right-of-way design and management for new mobility services
• Consider and manage changes in land use and metropolitan footprint
• Make informed decisions by requiring information
• Manage innovation
• Consider fiscal impacts and opportunities

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