National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility Investigated Intersection of Policy, Technology, & Urban Design to Cities, Focusing on Pittsburgh

Credit: Brook Ward

WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2017) – Today the American Architectural Foundation and the City of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with CityAge, released the summary recommendations of the National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The report released today outlines a number of key principles that cities and private sector mobility providers must collaborate on to achieve desired outcomes.

“Mobility has two very important and intertwined meanings,” Mayor William Peduto said. “First it refers to physical movement – the ability to move freely from place to place. Secondly it is the ability to change one’s status in life – to move up the economic ladder.”

The report provides dozens of actionable strategies to prepare cities – and workers and builders – for the effects of autonomous vehicle technology and expanded shared mobility. And it highlights the need for proactive change management to ease the transition for drivers, workers, individuals and families and ensure all can thrive.

“Autonomous vehicle technology is advancing at a rapid clip and will arrive much sooner than the public realizes,” said Ronald E. Bogle, President & CEO of the American Architectural Foundation.“Cities – nimble enough to work across sectors to directly serve residents in a meaningful way – will need to lead on this front and leverage transportation to promote values of equity.”

The report follows the Mobility Summit held in Pittsburgh in May, which brought together leading thinkers from across the country representing industry, government, design and advocacy. Their challenge was to develop actionable strategies to prepare Pittsburgh and peer cities across North America for emerging trends in urban mobility.

The need is urgent. A 2016 study from Harvard University clearly documented that mobility and access is the leading factor in households being able to escape poverty. New options in mobility – from car sharing to autonomous vehicles – are already penetrating the Pittsburgh market but their benefits are not yet equally shared.

Mayor Peduto presented the charge to delegates on the opening day – to make new urban mobility produce equitable outcomes. “If it’s not for all, it’s not for us,” he challenged participants.

National speakers including Justin Holmes, Director of Corporate Communications for Zipcar; Gabe Klein, Co-Founder of CityFi; Karina Ricks, Director of Mobility and Infrastructure for the City of Pittsburgh; and Marilyn Taylor, FAIA, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, were engaged today in discussion by Tom Dallessio, President, CEO, & Publisher of Next City.

The Summit report is a roadmap for Pittsburgh and other cities to continue discussions with mobility providers and build support for the shared objectives of providing mobility and transportation that enhance prosperity, social cohesion, environmental performance and overall quality of life for all Pittsburghers.

“We are at a moment where we must choose,” Mayor Peduto said. “We can continue as we have over the past 100 years and allow transportation technologies to shape our city and our society. Or, we as city leaders, industrialists, advocates and investors can make a conscious and deliberate choice to harness and guide mobility technologies in pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable future.”

For more information about the event, please contact Matthew Despard, AAF’s Digital Media Manager, at