Though driverless vehicles are expected to be commercially available in the next few years, the shift to their use is likely to occur gradually and in phases over several decades, panelists said at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Detroit. That long process will allow vehicles to be tested and improved. It also will enable the development of urban infrastructure—such as smart roads and traffic management systems that communicate continuously with many vehicles at once—that would make them work better, said panelists.
Detroit’s metropolitan area is slowly growing again, which means it’s time to focus on planning to accommodate more people in an area already light on transit infrastructure. For a place long known as Motor City, it has been an uphill battle to become a transit-oriented community, but what can the region do with its existing infrastructure in the short term?
Autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and how Arizona is poised on the leading edge of what Timothy Burr, director of public policy for Lyft, dubbed “the third transportation evolution” were the recurring themes of ULI Arizona’s latest Trends Day.
Urban planners and technology experts are hard at work bringing “smart city” technology—autonomous transportation, digital sensors, smart grids, and, yes, artificial intelligence—to a city near you. These were among the takeaways from a panel discussion at the 2018 ULI Carolinas Meeting in Greenville, South Carolina.
While the $1.5 trillion tax-cut bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives is widely seen as beneficial for commercial real estate, one provision would eliminate a municipal financing tool that has been essential for housing, infrastructure, and industrial development investment for decades.
Ten facilities—all completed during the past five years—raise public transit’s profile with architectural flair while smoothing the way for commuters and travelers.
NBA champion and dedicated urban developer Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is targeting a new prize—infrastructure. “If you look at infrastructure in America, it’s old,” he told the audience at the 2017 ULI Fall Meeting.
As Nashville prepares to turn its vision for a $6 billion regional transit plan into reality, the public and private sectors are exploring how transit can address other economic issues. ULI Nasvhille hosted a panel discussion on the opportunity for developers.
The evolution of “smart” cities is about solving specific problems more than sweeping urban transformation, panelists emphasized during the 2017 ULI Spring Meeting. Targeted programs with clear benefits are defining smart cities, not the widespread embrace of new technology, they said. In Seattle, “smart” means expanding the network of low-cost sensors, which is allowing for adaptive traffic signals and detailed weather mapping that can track microclimates and rain surges.
Amid speculation about the ways autonomous vehicles may upend current ways of living—and require fundamental changes to the way real estate and critical transportation-related infrastructure are
developed—voters in Washington state’s Puget Sound region approved tax increases in November to fund a $53.8 billion, 25-year program for expanding light rail, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit.