Regional and Urban Design Committee


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The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

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Impacts of New Mobility (Uber, Scooters, etc) on Building Design

  • 1.  Impacts of New Mobility (Uber, Scooters, etc) on Building Design

    Posted 10-25-2019 17:32

    I run the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon (Urbanism Next) where we look at the impacts of emerging technology --- Autonomous vehicles, new mobility, e-commerce --- on cities and communities.

    In the work we have been doing, we see a lot of engagement from planners and developers, but much less from designers.  Wanted to reach out to this network to hear people who are doing projects and/or research on this topic.  Some examples of what I am thinking of are:

    - How is reduced parking needs (due to Uber/Lyft and eventually AVs) impacting building and site design? Are you incorporating this into phased projects?
    - How is e-commerce impacting building design - particularly organization of ground floors?
    - How is e-commerce impacting amount of retail that is going into projects?
    - How is pick-up and drop-off (for Uber/Lyft) impacting project design?

    Would love to hear from members of this community.


    Nicolas Larco AIA
    Director - Urbanism Next Center
    University of Oregon
    Portland OR

  • 2.  RE: Impacts of New Mobility (Uber, Scooters, etc) on Building Design

    Posted 10-29-2019 07:20

    Agreed. Architects are woefully absent in designing the new staging facilities that autonomous TNCs would need, transit centers for autonomous buses, or in suggesting designs for pick up and delivery spots on city blocks or figuring out what could go on first floors of buildings once it won't be retail anymore. But then, we have to work for clients whose banks don't seem to care for those future trends. That leaves design competitions and idea challenges, things that thrive in a recession. 

    Meanwhile, couldn't your Institute include studying design aspects beyond the vehicle technology? 

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD

  • 3.  RE: Impacts of New Mobility (Uber, Scooters, etc) on Building Design

    Posted 10-29-2019 10:40

    Good points – but I will say that there are opportunities here for designers to help guide and inform clients (once we are informed ourselves). 

    Take a look at Zachary Smith's reply in this same thread – Great description of some of the things designers can be doing. 


    And as for the focus of Urbanism Next – we actually don't look at vehicle technology much at all, only enough to know what we can be expecting to be seeing, and when.  Our main focus is on the impacts of emerging tech on cities --- specifically on land use, urban design, building design, transportation patterns, and real estate --- and how these things impact equity, health, environment and economic concerns. 


    Will send out another post shortly about the Urbanism Next Conference happening May 13-15 were these very issues are all discussed in depth.  Call for sessions is out now with proposals due Dec 5th.





    Save the date! 

    National Urbanism Next Conference - May 13-15, 2020



    Urbanism Next Center



    Urbanism Next – How technology is shaping our cities



    Nico Larco, AIA
    Professor – Department of Architecture 

    Director – Urbanism Next Center
    Co-Director – Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI)
    University of Oregon


    @nicolarco /@urbanismnext