What happens to the design of cities, if cars are prohibited from them? Oslo, Norway has begun to tackle that challenge, and is setting a trend for the rest of the world to follow:
Many cities, including Seattle, have invested more heavily into more eco-friendly transportation alternatives, such as bicycling. I have blogged here before about commuting on my electric bicycle, a growing trend here in Seattle as reported recently by the Seattle Times.
Issi Momem speculates about changes that will occur to the design of cities with autonomous cars here:
- Cities will greatly expand, again: Faster and more efficient transportation will convert locations that are currently too remote for most users into feasible alternatives, abundant with space. Like suburban rail in the early twentieth century and the mass consumer automobile that followed, driverless cars will generate a gradual, but dramatic expansion of cities.
- Buildings and parking will be uncoupled, freeing up valuable land: After dropping off passengers, driverless cars will independently seek parking (or their next car-share customers) and they will show up for the return ride at the tap of an app. As soon as driverless cars are common enough, the demand for adjacent parking will dwindle and parking lots in areas where land is sufficiently valuable will be ripe for conversion to other land use. As parking in high-value areas is thinned out or altogether purged, the micro-structure of cities will change – you guessed it – dramatically!