Ten Steps Toward Autonomous Urbanism (3 & 4)

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Steps 3 & 4: Engage communities, constituents, clients, and new allies & Adopt a new mobility resolution

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 3 – Engage communities, constituents, clients, and new allies

Communities need to have a conversation now because autonomous technology is not coming—it’s here. As with any complex topic, civic engagement will need to hit the most impactful aspects of new technology and, in particular, negative impacts. This is where information (and even field trips) from early-adopter cities is important. Technology companies need to sponsor demonstrations where the test drive becomes the test ride.

Convening stakeholders around AVs provides the chance for civic leaders, professionals, universities, mobility entrepreneurs, and the business community to see “who is doing what” at the local and state levels. From these meetings, a community can establish “next steps” and early priorities for action.

Step 4Adopt a new mobility resolution

One of the most effective ways to formalize priorities is through a resolution. Resolutions, passed by local elected officials, establish expectations so when technology companies do come to town, there is clarity on what is—and is not—negotiable. For example, Beverly Hills, CA, passed a resolution listing top goals for autonomous vehicles such as connections to future Metro Purple Line stations and creating options for transporting senior citizens.

Cities and towns should also include transportation technology in planning updates underway. This is important because cities often require any new initiative or budget allocation be tied to language in a Comprehensive (or General) Plan. Even a single paragraph describing the need to plan for coming technology gives staff “permission” to initiate and budget for action.

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