Introduction by Jennifer Hanaghan, AICP, who is the APA’s research director.
On October 6, 2017, 85 thought leaders in planning, transportation, and related fields gathered at the National League of Cities (NLC) headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to plan for the impacts of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on cities and regions. This event was convened by the American Planning Association (APA), NLC, Mobility e3, George Mason University, Mobility Lab, the Eno Center for Transportation, and the Brookings Institution. Its purpose was to identify planning, policy, and research directions and needs to prepare cities and regions for a revolutionary new technology that will transform the way we think about transportation, transit, and land use.
Planners need to think about AVs because of the significant impacts they will have on our communities. There are potential positive benefits as well as potential negative impacts, but none of these are assured. The secondary impacts are even more of an unknown. Working with other professionals, planners have an important role to play in helping communities maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts of the technology.