Urbanism Next
University of OregonUniversity of Oregon
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Emerging Technologies are changing how we live, move, and spend time in cities. Explore each of these innovations and learn about their current state of development, deployment considerations, and how we are using them now, as well as how we may be using them in the future.


Potential impacts

There are five main categories of urban, suburban, and rural life which are being affected by new technologies. Explore these categories to discover how considerations within each category might be impacted.

Person on train platform

Broad implications

In addition to physical impacts, emerging technologies are likely to have far-reaching social and environmental implications for our communities. Learn how emerging technologies may impact the topics listed below.

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What to do

How can we maximize the benefits and reduce the risks that come with new technologies? How can we leverage emerging technologies to achieve community goals? Investigate how our policies, programs, investments and designs need to change, and what various communities have done to date.



Communication and sharing of knowledge is key for sound decision-making around these emerging topics. The Resources section brings you the latest developments, materials for continuing the conversation with others, plus an in-depth bank of research on these topics.


Report – Academic
Nico Larco
Urbanism Next

This report looks at the potential impacts autonomous vehicle deployment could have on parking demand and how that might impact urban development. The study focused on three distinct areas of San Francisco. The research found that, contrary to headlines about AV impacts on parking, achieving large reductions in parking demand based on AV deployment will not be easy. To achieve significant parking reductions, AVs would need to be shared (not privately owned), pooled (riders willing to pick up other passengers along the way), have widespread geographic deployment (across entire metropolitan areas), and would need to complement high-capacity transit. Without all or most of these factors, parking demand may only by marginally impacted by AV deployment. The study also found that if parking demand could be reduced, different areas of the city would see quite different results. While many areas in San Francisco would see minimal development impacts as parking is not currently a significant driver or limiter of development, more auto-dominated areas could see substantial impacts if parking demand could be reduced by more than 40%. This raises interesting questions of how these levels of parking demand reduction might impact more auto-dominated and suburban areas throughout the country. This research was funded by Waymo.

Report – Academic
Kelly Clifton
Portland State University

When the COVID-19 pandemic first swept across North America and led to emergency shutdowns during the Spring of 2020, the way people acquired food and household necessities was dramatically impacted. As stay-at-home orders minimized personal travel, transit services were reduced and many stores and restaurants either closed or modified their operations. Some of the gaps were able to be filled by online retailers and delivery services. However, access to goods and services varied substantially depending on people’s age, income level, and physical ability. A new multi-university study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the U.S. DOT- funded university transportation headquartered at Portland State University, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) captured how households responded as local, state, and federal governments imposed and lifted restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments closed and reopened, and e-commerce and delivery services adjusted to the changing conditions.

Report – Academic
Amanda Howell
Urbanism Next

The Knight Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative is a multi-year collaborative effort between the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon, Cityfi, the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San José, and Miami-Dade County (the “cohort”) to pilot and learn about automated mobility technologies today to shape the future of deployment tomorrow. This cohort partnered with Kiwibot to learn more about a new technology—sidewalk delivery robots. Through this partnership, Kiwibot tested different use cases and collaborated on community engagement opportunities in each locale. Given the proliferation of bills being passed by state legislatures legalizing deployment of personal delivery devices (PDDs) or sidewalk robots, and the increased delivery demand due to the pandemic, the pilots were well timed to able to meaningfully inform the cohort cities about the potential benefits and challenges of sidewalk delivery robots.

Report – Academic
Becky Steckler
Urbanism Next

This policy brief summarizes some of the key findings from a comprehensive literature review (submitted for publication) on the impact of shared mobility services and GHG emissions.

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