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Autonomous mobility: a potential opportunity to reclaim public spaces for people

Abstract: The advent of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has the potential to drastically change society and the way we understand, plan and design cities and regions, just as automobiles did a century ago. In the current context of climate change, sustainable urban environments based on active mobility (walking and cycling), urban proximity and green spaces, are increasingly in demand, leading to the emergence of new interventions and urban models. Although these trends may be affected by the arrival of AVs, most decision-makers and planners still do not address these issues in their current planning. This is because of the confusion associated with the diversity of impacts of AVs, but also by the lack of design recommendations and planning tools. To shed light on these aspects, this paper reviews the relationship between mobility and urban public space, the impacts of AVs on urban space and design proposals and strategies aimed at configuring driverless cities, with special focus on street design. The results of the review show that the implementation of AVs can be a great opportunity to liberate urban space and reclaim it for people, in line with new urban models such as the superblocks (Barcelona), the 15-minute city (Paris), or tactical urbanism interventions against COVID-19. However, it may also entail risks such as a reduction in active mobility or public transport use. The magnitude and direction of these impacts will depend on crucial decisions that need to be taken now, such as encouraging shared used over ownership, and establishing citizen-centred urban planning and design objectives and strategies to make AV deployment the most beneficial for all.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Fuente: Sustainability, 2022, 14(3), 1568

Editorial: MDPI

 Fecha de publicación: 28/01/2022

Nº de páginas: 16

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.3390/su14031568

ISSN: 2071-1050

 Proyecto español: PID2019-110355RB-I00