Urban Planning

Louis Hyman's recent piece in The New York Times Sunday Review, "The Myth of Main Street," presents a bleak choice for rural and rust-belt America: persist in hopeless efforts to rebuild your downtown or graciously accept a future of telecommuting for a distant corporation. The former he decries as nostalgia; the latter as the only economically viable option.

The internet and rise of e-commerce, where apps can facilitate anything from rides to laundry or meal delivery, has transformed consumer expectations to an on-demand economy. Now the digital infrastructure is in place to support this economy, the physical infrastructure must catch up.

The deployment of highly autonomous vehicles (HAVs) is expected to deliver substantial benefits: reduced traffic congestion, decreased emissions, lower-cost of mobility and safer travel. It is crucial for public officials to proactively plan for autonomous vehicles using a data-driven approach aimed at tackling specific urban area needs.

Four geographic corridors in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are set to undergo an urban redesign for resilience, courtesy of the winners of the Fourth Regional Plan Design Competition.

Meeting of 15 agencies is initial step in developing proposals No decisions have been made on funding or financing options President Donald Trump's administration will convene a meeting of at least 15 federal agencies Thursday as a first government-wide step toward crafting the president's $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, a senior White House official said.

Calling all those who have something to say about smart city development: The National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development is asking for public comment on its smart city model policy.

Shirley Gonzales made no secret of her views on transportation when she ran for the San Antonio City Council in 2013. She laid them out in her answer to a questionnaire: "pedestrians first, followed by cycling, public transportation and private automobiles, in that order."

The expectations over driverless cars are stratospherically high. For one, there's the fascination with the technology and the presumption of an easier commute: The self-driving car will take us to work while we surf the Internet, read files and review emails.

The new center, called Connected Cities for Smart Mobility toward Accessible and Resilient Transportation (C2SMART), aims to accelerate transportation opportunities arising from unprecedented recent advances in communication and smart technologies. In addition to research aimed at finding solutions to transportation issues through the use of data and technology, C2SMART will focus on education, workforce development, and accelerating technology from the research phase to the real world.

The smart city concept is not a new one. The main attraction at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair was the General Motors Pavilion’s Futurama ride that ferried visitors past incredibly detailed models, accompanied by the narrator’s welcome “and now, we have arrived at this wonder world of 1960.” Of course, because GM was the sponsor, the focus was on transportation. But if the entries to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2016 Smart Cities Challenge are any indication, modernizing our cities’ transportation infrastructures will be the primary focus of urban planners in 2017.

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