Boston Mobility Summit

June 20, 2017

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

On June 20, 2017, 129 invited mobility leaders convened in Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss the future of mobility in the Boston region.

While the Boston region continues to remain globally competitive, the region sits at an altogether unique moment in the history of mobility and transportation. This summit aimed to harness the ingenuity and innovation already underway in the Commonwealth as well as tap into the expertise of invited global thought leaders with best practices directly applicable to Boston’s challenges.

This day-long leadership summit brought together C-suite executives and entrepreneurs, public sector and non-profit leaders, and academics to share local and global best practices applicable to the Boston region. The focus was on transformative new technologies, policies, financing mechanisms, design and collaboration models with a particular focus on low-carbon and equitable solutions.

This was an invitation-only summit, and the application process was extremely competitive. The 129 attendees were selected from over 250 applicants. Registration was free.

Prior to the summit, Meeting of the Minds worked with registrants and the other invited leaders to identify the Boston region’s key mobility pain points and challenges. These were addressed at the summit through a mix of formats: talks, workshops and collaborative work sessions. This summit did not dwell on only the challenges, but rather, focused on the global and regional solutions to the Boston region’s mobility, climate and equity challenges.

This summit was made possible by the generous support of the Barr Foundation.

Many thanks to our host for this event, Microsoft.

Who attended?

Delegates

  • Public Sector 25%
  • Private Sector 41%
  • Non-profit Sector 19%
  • Philanthropic 6%
  • Academic 9%

Registered Attendees

Chief of Streets
City of Boston Mayor’s Office

CEO
Siemens, Intelligent Traffic Systems

Co-Founder
Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston

Executive Director
MIT DesignX Accelerator

General Manager, Lyft Boston
Lyft

Sustainability & Advanced Technology Manager
Ford Motor Company

Chief Technology Officer
MBTA

Director
Transportation For Massachusetts

Vice President
Barr Foundation

Executive Director
Seaport TMA

Vice President, Strategy
Cubic Transportation Systems

Director, Technology & Civic Engagement
Microsoft New England

Speakers

Director of Technology & Civic Engagement

Microsoft New England

Secretary & CEO

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

President & Trustee

The Barr Foundation

Co-Founder & CEO

nuTonomy

VP for Policy and Planning

Boston Harbor Now

Director, Urban Risk Lab

MIT

CEO & Co-Founder

TransitScreen

Chief of the Streets, Transportation, and Sanitation

City of Boston

Senior Program Officer, Climate

The Barr Foundation

Agenda

June 20, 2017

8:30am

Networking Breakfast

9:00am

Welcome

Gordon Feller, Co-Founder, Meeting of the Minds

Cathy Wissink, Director of Technology and Civic EngagementMicrosoft New England

Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Program Officer, Climate, Barr Foundation

9:10am

Goals for the Day & Setting the Context: Regional, Cross-Sectoral, Innovative Solutions

Jessie Feller Hahn, Executive Director, Meeting of the Minds

9:15am

Climate Change at the Water’s Edge

Julie Wormser, Vice President for Policy, Boston Harbor Now 

9:35am

Urban Risk Reduction, Preparedness and Financing

Miho Mazereeuw, Director, MIT Urban Risk Lab 

9:45am

Go Boston 2030 & What Lies Ahead

Chris Osgood, Chief of Streets, City of Boston 

10:05am

State of the State: Key Challenges and Opportunities

Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Secretary & CEO, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

10:25am

Autonomous Vehicles in Boston: Results, Outcomes & Next Steps

Karl Iagnemma, Principal Research Scientist, MIT & CEO, nuTonomy

10:45am

IoT & Smart City Solutions for the Underserved

Matt Caywood, CEO, TransitScreen 

10:55am

Q&A with Morning Speakers & Group Discussion with Participants

11:15am

Coffee Break

11:30am

Facilitated Work Session #1

12:30pm

Lunch

1:15pm

Facilitated Work Session #2

2:15pm

Coffee Break & Transition

2:30pm

Facilitated Work Session #3

3:30pm

Coffee Break & Transition

3:45pm

Facilitated Work Session #4

4:45pm

Wrap-up and Next Steps

Jim Canales, President and Trustee, The Barr Foundation

Jessie Feller Hahn, Executive Director, Meeting of the Minds

5:00 – 7:00pm

Networking Reception

Facilitated Work Sessions

This event included six short, context-setting plenary talks in the morning. These talks were followed by four facilitated work sessions, each lasting one hour and followed by a fifteen minute coffee break.

These work sessions were small-group discussions and fact-finding workshops meant to provide solutions for the challenges set forth in the morning plenary. Participants were asked to choose a different group for each session. Groups were limited to 12 participants. Workshop themes are listed below with the facilitator.

1. Curbs, parking, equity and access

Facilitator: Chris Osgood, Chief of Streets, City of Boston
Location: Horace Mann Room

2. Planning for climate impacts on Boston economy and transportation systems

Facilitator: Julie Wormser, Vice President for Policy, Boston Harbor Now
Location: Horace Mann Room

3. Wireless technology benefits: access, sustainability, payment systems, and beyond

Facilitator: Gordon Feller, Co-founder, Meeting of the Minds
Location: Horace Mann Room

4. Shared mobility, EV, & AV strategies

Facilitator: Melanie Nutter, Principal, Nutter Consulting
Location: Horace Mann Room

5. Global and local financing solutions for transportation and climate resilient infrastructure

Facilitator: Susan Chapelle, City Councillor, Squamish (British Columbia)
Location: Horace Mann Room

6. The role of government vs entrepreneurs

Facilitator: Kris Carter, Co-Chair & Nigel Jacob, Co-Founder, Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
Location: Horace Mann Room

7. Better buses & street infrastructure

Facilitator: Kate Fichter, Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Location: Adams Room

8. Access for the disability community

Facilitators:
Michael Muehe, Executive Director/ADA Coordinator, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities
& Jennifer Lawrence, Sustainability Planner, Cambridge Community Development Department
Location: Adams Room

9. Reimagining public transportation & urban mobility in the era of TNCs & autonomous vehicles

Facilitator: James Aloisi, Strategic Consultant, Trimount Consulting
Location: Attucks Room

10. Matching transportation supply and demand: regional economic growth strategies

Facilitator: Richard Dimino, President & CEO, A Better City
Location: Attucks Room

Location

Venue

The Meeting of the Minds Boston Mobility Summit convened at the Microsoft New England Research and Development (NERD) Center.

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center
1 Memorial Drive., #1
Cambridge, MA 02141
microsoftnewengland.com

Hotel

Delegates were encouraged to stay at the Boston Marriott Cambridge. Boston Marriott Cambridge 50 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02142

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center

The Meeting of the Minds Boston Summit convened at the Microsoft New England Research and Development (NERD) Center. Microsoft New England Research & Development Center 1 Memorial Drive., #1 Cambridge, MA 02141

Boston Marriott Cambridge

Delegates were encouraged to stay at the Boston Marriott Cambridge. Boston Marriott Cambridge 50 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02142

Pre-event Publications

The Future of Mobility

The Future of Mobility is a joint media initiative between Boston-based CommonWealth Magazine and Meeting of the Minds.

This series explores the Boston region’s approach to the interrelated challenges of mobility, climate and equity, and features leaders from multiple sectors – public sector, private sector, non-profit sector, philanthropy – who are addressing these challenges with new strategies, policies, technologies, financing mechanisms, collaboration models, and design solutions.

This series was intended to engage Boston leaders and highlight important themes that were addressed at the Meeting of the Minds Boston Mobility Summit on June 20th, 2017. The series continued after the event, as well.

A Question of Access: Shifting the Transportation Conversation

Relative to most U.S. cities, Boston and the core municipalities that surround it have a rich eco-system of transit options: four subway lines, over 150 bus routes, an extensive commuter rail system, ferry service, a growing network of bike lanes and paths, and a multi-jurisdictional bike share with over 200 docking stations. Yet these resources are spread unevenly across the area with previously red-lined neighborhoods still lacking the services that other parts of the city rely on. Meanwhile, traffic on the highways that lead into the city is legendarily congested, proving not that we need more roadways but that more transit capacity and reliability is needed to provide people with transportation choices that they can rely on in lieu of their personal cars, and particularly if switching away from private vehicles leads to lower emissions.

read more

How a Non Profit Roundtable Turned into a Smart City Pilot Project

The field of transportation planning needs new blood. We need new thoughts, new approaches. The traditional methods of policymaking are not working because, as already stated, we are not engaging the public in a sufficient or sufficiently meaningful way. We are also not sufficiently engaging other industries, which means that we are not inviting our traditional ways of thinking to be challenged. We need to overcome this insularity by creating policymaking contexts that bring together elected and appointed officials, diverse members of the public, and cross-industry experts. 

read more

Bus Stops and the Future of Digital Placemaking

As two officials of a distressed public agency facing down the consequences of a long history of underinvestment, we are acutely sensitive to the need to get things done on a budget. We are also technologists, which brings us to the idea and potential of digital placemaking for mobility infrastructure: the repurposing of web, mobile and other software and hardware tools to bring new value to the places around the physical nodes and artifacts of the transit system.

Digital tools are often limited to a public engagement role in placemaking. We believe that they can play an important role in transit agency efforts to make its physical infrastructure work better for people.

read more

Transportation Communications: No One Told Me It Would Be This Hard

As the leader of a transportation agency, there is no shortage of people ready to tell me how technology is going to revolutionize the way we do business. Autonomous vehicles, on-demand sensors, drone-based package delivery, solar-powered roads, road-straddling super-buses (that one turned out to a bust); it’s a veritable cornucopia of real and not-so-real revolutions. And within that world of technophiles, there’s a subset waiting to tell me (and you) about how wireless communications will underlie and enable all of those revolutions to our transportation systems. As with so many things in life, they’re totally right, and yet it’s so much more complicated.

read more

Expanding Visual Accessibility of Mobility Information using the Physical Web

How does public information work for people who can’t read information screens? In the US there are over 1.3 million legally blind people, many of whom have difficulty reading public screens, and over 100,000 totally blind people, who often depend on assistive technology like screen readers (which read text on computers out loud). Naturally, public transportation plays a major role in many of their lives.

read more

One Payment System is Needed For All Transportation

One of the ironies of the advancements in mobility over the last decade has been the driving force of competition involved – and perhaps no development has affected the recent landscape more than the rise of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Integration is a necessity for the future of mobility, extending to every aspect of the transportation infrastructure. From using one account to pay for journeys with multiple transit agencies to collecting valuable data in one database, the mobility industry will be at its most efficient when it is built upon unified solutions. And as executives, engineers, and thought leaders work for the next developments in mobility, it is imperative to acknowledge that we will only take our largest steps by working together toward integrated solutions.

read more

Driverless car revolution is coming

This is the second in a series entitled The Future of Mobility, a joint project of CommonWealth and Meeting of the Minds. Transition will be tricky, so planning needs to start now The connection between land use and transportation has been well-established, but it’s...

read more
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