New Report: Rethinking Streets in an Era of Driverless Cars

"Rethinking Streets in an Era of Driverless Cars" presents ideas about how city planners, policy makers and community residents can begin thinking about street transformation in an AV era.

February 1, 2018, 7:00 AM PST

By schlossb


Road

Melpomene / Shutterstock

The next wave of transportation technology is coming quickly—the autonomous vehicle (AV) or driverless car. As a new transportation technology, AVs are likely to disrupt long-established patterns of urban development, transportation choices and the use of streets. This is the moment for all levels of government to revisit the fundamental purposes of transportation, to take stock of our transportation systems and policies, and attempt to do transportation better. In particular, autonomous vehicles present new and unique opportunities for fresh thinking about how streets are used—by whom, how, and to what ends.

This newly released, and highly accessible, paper shows how planners and policymakers can seize the potential of autonomous vehicles to rethink streets and accelerate a transformation of the public right of way to better public use. Autonomous vehicles offer an entry point into society-wide conversations about transportation, the functions of cities, the use of streets, and how all this impacts equity, environment, social cohesion, happiness, economic health, resiliency, and more.

Cities wield the power—most critically, by regulating one of their largest assets, the street—to channel this disruption in support of wider social, environmental and economic goals. The choices that cities make over the coming years will set the terms of the sustainable transportation debate and establish priorities and practices of society for generations to come.

This new report is available as a free download as a part of the Urbanism Next research series. Urbanism Next is an initiative of the University of Oregon's Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) that focuses on how autonomous vehicles, e-commerce, and the sharing economy will influence the form and function of cities, or the "secondary effects" of these technologies on how and where we live.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in Sustainable Cities Initiative

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Rendering of St. John redevelopment site

Austin 'Right to Return' Policy Implemented for the First Time

A North Austin development will be the first approved under the city's new Right to Stay and Right to Return policies, aimed at preventing displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.

September 16, 2021 - Next City

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.