Ten Steps Toward Autonomous Urbanism (1 & 2)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Steps 1 & 2: Define success & Prepare for rapid flux in urban planning and jobs

In this series of blogs we’ll look at the Ten Steps Toward Autonomous Urbanism as defined by Lisa Nisenson and Brad Davis in their article published by CNU in December 2017.

Step 1 – define success

This step is an easy one, and it is likely that you already have an adopted policy or plan to work with. Do we want to be more walkable? Build safer streets? Create more affordable places to live? Expand economic opportunity? A great place to start is to revisit your community’s comprehensive plan or whatever you are using to define your long-term vision for the community. New technology and services should be used to accomplish your community’s goals related to mobility and quality of life. If you are in the middle of a planning process or about to embark on one in the next year, incorporating policy that specifically addresses mobility and technology is a great starting point to guide future decision-making related to smart cities.

Step 2 – Prepare for rapid flux in urban planning and jobs

Planning is often presented in three questions: What do we have? What do we want? How do we get there? However, in times of rapid change, it is difficult to know exactly what a community has – or wants. Planning is entering a new stage, shifting from a process to eliminate unknowns to one that integrates unknowns. For planners, this invokes a new host of skills and a new era of continuous training.

Scenario planning is replacing older forecasting models of projecting growth or decline from a baseline, which, thanks to technology, is in constant flux. Skills in data science and analytics are needed to process massive amounts of data and turn them into usable information for real-time service adjustments and predictive analytics.

Source: Alta Planning + Design

To keep up with the rapid changes, a new era of fast action and agile planning is needed. Make no mistake, effective civic outreach, thorough research and deliberate process are still important; however, the pace of change requires an equally-paced (or even faster) process to stay ahead of both positive and negative impacts. As examples, Los Angeles reduced community planning cycles from 10 years to six and Nashville created a rapid goal setting plan to fast-track decisions.

Click here for the full article.