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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 increase, it is 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, will convene 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 are 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 is the natural place for this national Summit to be convened.

The National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility is 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.

Read our prospectus here.

Organizers have identified 120 delegates to the Summit, including:

  • City, state, and national governmental officials;
  • Design professionals with expertise in urban design, transportation planning, engineering, landscape architecture, and real estate development;
  • Representatives from technology companies engaged in creating innovation in transportation;
  • Philanthropists, corporations, and individuals interested in shaping solutions for mobility and the quality of life in cities.

The National Summit on Design & Urban Mobility is designed as a working meeting to create:

  • Recommendations for action-oriented strategies to help guide civic leaders and designers;
  • Guidelines for infrastructure investments that inform innovation in transportation and mobility;
  • The final Summit report, which will be distributed mid-June 2017.

Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
3:00pm: Opening Plenary
6:00pm: Welcome Reception

Thursday, May 11, 2017
7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am: Three Concurrent Delegate Working Sessions
11:30am: Working Lunch
4:00pm: Consensus-Building Sessions
6:00pm: Reception

Friday, May 12, 2017
7:00am: Breakfast
9:00am: Presentation of Preliminary Recommendations
10:30am: Response Panel
12:30pm: Working Lunch
2:30pm: Conclusion

For more information about this Summit and opportunities to get involved, please contact Elizabeth Okeke-Von Batten, AAF Program Director, at


The Center for Design & the City connects leaders at the intersection of innovations in design, public policy, and technology. It houses nationally recognized programs such as the City Managers’ Design Academy, Sustainable Cities Design Academy and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with AAF and the United States Conference of Mayors.