A Look Back at Meeting of the Minds Workshop Tour #3: How Future Mobility Solutions Can Co-Exist: The Complete Street of 2030

By Gordon Feller, Founder, Meeting of the Minds

Gordon Feller founded Meeting of the Minds in order to harness the power of a global leadership network to build innovation-powered sustainable city futures. Gordon has worked for more than four decades at the intersection of global sustainability, government policy, and private investment focused on emerging technologies.

Oct 20, 2014 | Announcements | 2 comments

The workshop’s welcome briefing from NextEnergy’s President – Jean Redfield – laid out a clear message for this workshop tour: the challenges facing clean/smart energy are, to a growing extent, converging with the challenges facing clean/smart mobility. During the workshop tour, more than 45 Meeting delegates moved through multiple demos and facilities, including:

  • Toyota’s zero emission hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle (which will be commercially available next summer) and the DARV vehicle: the newest generation Driver Awareness Research Vehicle – DARV 1.5 – which is part of the company’s ongoing research into the dynamics of driver distraction. The DARV 1.5 uses advanced technology, including Microsoft’s Surface and Kinect and custom biometric software and algorithms by Infosys, to help the driver, passengers and the vehicle achieve safer driving.
  • Qualcomm’s connected vehicle: A demo of Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging was provided by Chris Borroni-Bird, VP of Strategic Development at Qualcomm. He also showed the benefits of vehicle-to-pedestrian communications systems using Dedicated Short-Range Communications technologies.
  • NextEnergy’s Microgrid Demo: It showcased vehicles connected to the grid, but beneath this were a host of emerging solutions that will enable real-time dynamic interactions between devices, vehicles, the network, the driver, the power-supplier, and much more.
  • The Vehicle-to-Home Demo: Using a modified electric vehicle showed how vehicles can “talk” to their owners and connect with homes.

The workshop session focused on the future of the city street. Discussions benefited from the varied viewpoints offered by Meeting of the Minds delegates based in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. For many of the delegates, what was seen during this NextEnergy tour is making possible something much greater than cleaner energy powering more intelligent vehicles. It lays the groundwork for a new complete streets paradigm to emerge – one where a diversity of owners and a diversity of vehicles change the whole pattern of urban development. With good algorithms, none of today’s messiness (e.g, undifferentiated streets) need be tolerated. Vehicles of varied types can move much more easily on and through streets that change at different times of day to enable very different (and more sensible) kinds of traffic flows.

One key here is that streets are the interface, with the goal being a more fluid street characterized by easy lane changing. E-vehicle priority lanes are an early example. Now imagine lanes with “smart road markings”, visible on the road itself, that convey critical information to drivers and to intelligent vehicles. One moment it’s nighttime and the incentives are for parking; on Sundays two-third are set aside for bikes; etc.

The idea of “street” may become outmoded, especially as we adopt more integrated land-use strategies that encourage appropriate thoroughfares and better mobility options. One example: Minnesota now has thoroughfares that are part of the infrastructure network and these are not segregated as streets. Taking back the streets will require new tech, changing basic zoning and regulatory systems, and shifting user behaviors.

Some big choices lay ahead – and the Meeting delegates participating in this workshop agreed that we have many options that require us to carefully think through the implications, both short-range and long-range.

Photos from Workshop Discussion

blank

blank

photo 3

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

2 Comments

  1. Dear Gordon,

    Since my retirement from Luzern University I develop an ultralight electric vehicle for “Personal Urban Transport” in Chinese Megacities, in the west only for a niche market. Here is the link to the new video, showing the extraordinary capabilities of this concept.
    http://youtu.be/ci_0AnFNIbM
    Thank you for your interest and a feedback. You may receive more information and photos of the vehicle if I receive your email adress.

    Best wishes
    Walter Janach

    Reply
  2. NIDA would be glad to seek cooperation and collboration to co-hosting Infrastructure andd Urban Sustainability conference in Abuja Nigeria. tinyurl.com/aboutNIDA

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Engaging Historically Marginalized Communities During COVID-19

Engaging Historically Marginalized Communities During COVID-19

Since historically marginalized communities are already being disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am frustrated to see these communities also negatively impacted by the lack of on-the-ground public engagement. While I realize the threat of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions make conducting on-the-ground public engagement challenging, I want to encourage fellow planners to think more creatively. I will admit that I struggled to think creatively when I first heard that Clackamas Community College (CCC) would continue having mostly online classes in Spring Term 2021. CCC has had mostly online classes since the end of Winter Term 2020 when COVID-19 first started impacting Oregon. CCC’s decision about Spring Term 2021 became more stressful when Clackamas County staff told me that public outreach for their new shuttles could not be delayed until next summer.

If Companies Want a Diverse Workforce, They Need to Pay Attention to Transportation

If Companies Want a Diverse Workforce, They Need to Pay Attention to Transportation

A new toolkit has been developed to help businesses think through strategies to decrease mobility barriers to the workplace, which reduces turnover. When workers can reliably get to work regardless of their personal circumstances, it provides employment stability and the opportunity to build wealth. It’s a win-win. Developed through a partnership between Metropolitan Planning Council and a pro bono Boston Consulting Group team, the toolkit includes slide decks, an overview report, customizable templates, a cost calculator, and instructional videos walking a company through the thought process of establishing a baseline situation, evaluating and selecting a solution, and standing up a program.

Depending on the employer’s location and employees’ needs, solutions may range from helping with last-mile transportation to the transit system, to developing on-demand vanpools, to establishing in-house carpool matching systems. The ROI calculator gives employers the ability to determine the break-even cost—the subsidy amount a company can manage without hurting the bottom line.

How Affordable Green Housing Enhances Cities

How Affordable Green Housing Enhances Cities

Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.  

The Future of Cities

Mayors, planners, futurists, technologists, executives and advocates — hundreds of urban thought leaders publish on Meeting of the Minds. Sign up below to follow the future of cities.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This