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2017 National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility



On September 14, 2016, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called an Uber and made history. At that moment, the mayor became the first customer to take a ride in a driverless car and changed the way we perceive the future of mobility. Given the rapid pace of autonomous and connected technological advancements in mobility, it won’t be long before rides like Mayor Peduto’s are no longer newsworthy but the norm. As advances in the deployment of autonomous vehicles increased, it was time to more deeply explore how these innovations will redefine mobility in – and the design of – cities.

In May of 2017, the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), in association with Mayor Bill Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh, convened a National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility, with a focus on the nexus of public policy, urban planning, and innovative technology. The objectives of the Summit were to create recommendations, strategies, and ideas that lead to the best outcomes for cities and citizens. Because Pittsburgh has become the epicenter for autonomous transportation, it was the natural place for this national Summit to be convened.

The National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility was an invitation-only event designed to help shape the national discussion on urban transportation, support the growing network of thought leaders around urban mobility issues, and provide actionable strategies for government officials and urban designers.

Visit the Summit website here.

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Posted in: Center for Design & the City, Infrastructure, Print, Public Spaces, Sustainability, Technology, Transportation

The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.