The Architecture of Transportation -- Join the Discussion, Share Your Perspective

Last Updated: May 3, 2011

The Architecture of Transportation -- Join the Discussion, Share Your Perspective

"The Architecture of Transportation" Design Symposium
Friday, June 24 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall

Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

On June 24th, as part of the annual AIA|LA Design Conference at Dwell on Design, we are coordinating a series of candid discussions about how to design transportation systems that will support and strengthen healthier, more functional and more livable neighborhoods.

In an effort to inspire advance dialogue, Will Wright reached out to Todd Osborne, AIA and asked a series of questions about the possibilities of tomorrow. As a Director of Aviation and Transportation for Gensler, Mr. Osborne painted a picture about what it means to transform one's daily life choices in effort to take maximum advantage of our regional and local transportation infrastructure investments.

From a regulatory framework, what needs to change so that we can facilitate a transportation system that supports healthier, more functional and more livable neighborhoods?

The Obama Administration has initiated collaborative leadership connectivity between the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. I'd like to see state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transportation agencies build upon this example to build comprehensive integrated solutions for mobility, community and the environment. Our goal should be building complete communities.

How can we maximize our investment in the next round of transportation improvements?

  • Focus mixed-use urban development opportunities along transportation corridors and around transit stations.
  • Compliment the expansion of the transit system with seamless solutions for the last mile of the trip, inclusive of pedestrian amenities, as well as shared bike and car programs.
  • Find a solution that allows the bus transit trip to have priority over single occupancy vehicles, even on mixed-flow streets.

From a global perspective, how far behind/ how far ahead is California?

On high speed train services, we are way behind system developments in Europe and Asia, but farther ahead than Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin!

My sense is that we are experiencing a lifestyle paradigm shift resulting from demographic changes and urged on by economic conditions and higher fuel costs. We are transitioning from a preference for suburban, single-family, auto-dependent communities to increased market demand for more urban, mixed-use development that supports an increased ability to rely on public transit options for daily trips. Measure R Projects represent a good investment that responds to the shift. However, two questions remain:

  • Will we respond quickly enough to build the infrastructure needed to support more urbanized development?
  • As our communities become more densely developed, are we taking the necessary steps to create corresponding open space and green space?

What do you most enjoy right now, when it comes to our current transportation system? What's working well? What's the 'baby' you don't want to throw out with the murky bathwater?

As a result of the METRO Red Line and private sector development over the past 15 years, my neighborhood in Hollywood has evolved into a thriving pedestrian oriented part of the City where most needs are able to be met on foot. I'm looking forward to Gensler's relocation to downtown LA later this year which means that Hollywood/Highland Station will be my daily access point to a daily mass transit commute to work.

For me this translates into an ability to make better use of time currently spent wasted in traffic:

  • 2 to 3 hours less sitting in the car each day
  • Four, 15 minute walks per day
  • A 20 minute train ride during which I can read, or just relax

As a community, we should continue to understand that transportation infrastructure provides lifelong benefits and can take many years to plan, design, and construct. We should:

  • keep our patience, persistence, and perseverance
  • maintain our hope and optimism for building a more sustainable, complete community

What is your vision for the year 2050? Share a glimpse of a day-in-your life as it relates to your personal mobility.

When thinking about transportation and the future, a quote attributed to the late LAEDC economist Jack Kaiser has always stuck with me:

"We're all in an economic race and the city or region that has the best transportation system wins."

My hope is that the actions we are taking today to build a better Los Angeles with increased mobility options and transit oriented development creates a thriving, economically sustainable community and a corresponding increase in the quality of life for all Angelenos.

Describe one of your more memorable mobility experiences, i.e., a specific bike-ride, walk, train ride, urban hike, road-trip, plain-trip or sea-faring adventure that still resonates even after all these years. What made it special? How can we create equitable opportunities for others to enjoy these types of experiences?

A few years back, I had the opportunity to work on a Star Alliance project with lead carrier Luftansa Airlines. Our kick-off meeting was in their Frankfurt, Germany offices. We arrived and found connectivity at every turn. Star Alliance's offices and our hotel were connected directly to the airport terminal by a pedestrian bridge. These commercial developments were built above a bus transit station and multi-line metro rail station. Another bridge connected all of this to Germany's high speed rail system. From this single point, we were able to conduct business, find lodging, and access the city without the need for an automobile.

For me this was a working example of the value in creating mobility by layering multiple modes and connecting them at this very important point: air transport, high speed rail, regional rail, metro rail, commuter and local buses, taxis and private vehicles.

Join the Discussion, Share Your Perspective

You're encouraged to share your own perspective with AIA|LA. Answer the following six questions: (or feel free to add your own)

  1. From a regulatory framework, what needs to change so that we can facilitate a transportation system that supports healthier, more functional and more livable neighborhoods?

  2. How can we maximize our investment in the next round of transportation improvements?

  3. From a global perspective, how far behind/ how far ahead is California?

  4. What do you most enjoy right now, when it comes to our current transportation system? What's working well? What's the 'baby' you don't want to throw out with the murky bathwater?

  5. What is your vision for the year 2050? Share a glimpse of a day-in-your life as it relates to your personal mobility.

  6. Describe one of your more memorable mobility experiences, i.e., a specific bike-ride, walk, train ride, urban hike, road-trip, plain-trip or sea-faring adventure that still resonates even after all these years. What made it special? How can we create equitable opportunities for others to enjoy these types of experiences?

The author of the most compelling response will receive a complimentary pass to the "Architecture of Transportation" Design Symposium.

Share your perspective by writing Will Wright at will@aialosangeles.org with "The Architecture of Transportation" in the subject line.

"The Architecture of Transportation" Design Symposium
Friday, June 24 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall

Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Last updated: 11-Dec-2012 09:29 AM
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