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Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, unsafe pedestrian environments, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, a failure to stem traffic congestion. Every year our current transportation paradigm generates more than 1.25 million fatalities directly through traffic collisions. Worldwide, 3.2 million people died prematurely in 2010 because of air pollution, four times as many as a decade earlier. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should focus on the safety, health, and access of the people in them.
Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces.
There are many examples of communities across the globe working to create a seamless fit between transit and surrounding land uses, retrofit car-oriented suburbs, reclaim surplus or dangerous roadways for other activities, and revitalize neglected urban spaces like abandoned railways in urban centers.
The authors draw on experiences and data from a range of cities and countries around the globe in making the case for moving beyond mobility. Throughout the book, they provide an optimistic outlook about the potential to transform places for the better. Beyond Mobility celebrates the growing demand for a shift in global thinking around place and mobility in creating better communities, environments, and economies.
"Updates the argument that planning should focus less on motorized movement and more on the 'needs and aspirations of people and the places they want to go.'"
"Including color illustrations and a few graphics to illustrate critical points, this fantastic book should be required reading."
"How do we plan our cities for people instead of cars? This book shows how urban designers, transportation engineers, and policy makers can work together to connect and create places that people want to be in while assuring that they can travel around without a fuss. The authors link theory with practice, backing up their argument with ample data and real-life case studies. This veritable tour de force will be an inspiration for anyone who cares about the future of cities."
Jan Gehl, Founder and Senior Advisor of Gehl Architects
"Robert Cervero and his colleagues have produced what may become the most influential book of this generation on land use and transportation, providing an elegant conceptual framework, excellent case studies, and cutting-edge thinking."
Reid Ewing, Chair and Professor of the City & Metropolitan Planning Program at the University of Utah
"With a grand vision, this book clearly articulates the crucial importance of transportation in creating better communities, environments, and economies. Beyond Mobility is a must-read for urban geographers, planners, designers, and engineers seeking ways to make future cities more sustainable."
Becky Loo, Professor of Geography and Director of the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Hong Kong
Chapter 1: Urban Recalibration
Challenges to Creating Sustainable and Just Cities
The Case for Moving Beyond Mobility
Contexts for Urban Recalibration
Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
Part One: Making the Case
Chapter 2: Better Communities
Increasing Social Capital and Sociability
Shared Spaces, Complete Streets, and Safety
Public Health and Walkability
Social Equity, Diversity, and Opportunity
Chapter 3: Better Environments
Defining Sustainable Cities and Transport
Reducing Oil Dependence
The Climate Challenge: Decarbonizing Cities and Transport
Environmental Mitigation and Urban Recalibration
Chapter 4: Better Economies
Lifestyle Preferences and Economics
The Big Picture
Access and Land Markets
Freeways and Motorways
Transport Infrastructure in the Global South
Road Restraints, Pedestrianization, and Economic Performance
Urban Amenities and Nature
Community Designs and Economic Performance
Part Two: Contexts and Cases
Chapter 5: Urban Transformations
Kop van Zuid, Rotterdam
Redevelopment of Warehouse Districts
Southside Charlotte, North Carolina
The High Line, New York City
The Atlanta BeltLine
The Great Allegheny Passage
Chapter 6: Suburban Transformations
Office Park Retrofits
Bishop Ranch, San Ramon, California
Hacienda, Pleasanton, California
Cottle Transit Village, San Jose, California
Edge City to Suburban TOD: Tysons, Virginia
Revamped Malls and Shopping Centers
Other Suburban Retrofits
Chapter 7: Transit-Oriented Development
The TOD Process: Planning and Typologies
Node versus Place
Nodes of Access
TODs as Places
TOD Planning and Typologies in Portland
TOD Design and Guidelines
The TOD Standard
Place Identity: Oakland’s Fruitvale Station
The Pearl District, Portland, Oregon: Streetcar-Oriented Development
The Beaverton Round, Portland, Oregon: TOD’s Market Limits
Hong Kong: Rail Development, Place-making and Profiteering
MTR and R+P
R+P and TOD
Connecting Places in Other TOD Place Types
TOD as Adaptive Re-use: Experiences from Dallas
Chapter 8: Road Contraction
Roadway Deconstruction and Reassignments
Urban Reclamation in Seoul
Land Reclamation in Seoul
Improved Transit Connectivity in Seoul
Capitalizing the Benefits of Greenways
San Francisco’s Freeway-to-Boulevard Conversions
Traffic and Safety Impacts
Part Three: Looking Forward
Chapter 9: The Global South
Designing for a Planet of Suburbs
Improving Suburban Conditions
Planning for Suburbs
Enabling Mortgage Markets
Designing for a Transit Metropolis
Transit and TOD Challenges in China
Bus Rapid Transit
The TransMilenio Experience (Bogotá, Colombia)
Experiences in Ahmedabad, India
BRT-Land Use Integration in Guangzhou
BRT in Indonesia
Suburban Transit Investments
Ciudad Azteca: a Different Kind of TOD
Chapter 10: Emerging Technologies
Ride-Hailing and Shared-Ride Services
Driverless Cars: The Elephant in the Room
The State of Driverless Cars
Expanding Transit Options
A Parking Revolution
Getting the Price of Car Travel Right
Freight Movement in Cities
The Realm of Possibility
Chapter 11: Toward Sustainable Urban Futures
Density and Design
Megatrends and Urban Futures
Shifting Lifestyle Preferences and the Millennials
Beyond Mobility Metrics
Mobility and Sustainability
Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, a failure to stem traffic congestion, and 1.25 million traffic fatalities each year. It is clear that change is needed. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should recalibrate planning and design to focus on the safety, health, and access of people in them.
Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. Authored by three experts in the field, including global transportation authority Robert Cervero, the book shows how a stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Examples range from car-free districts in Cambridge, England, to suburban transformations in Tysons, VA, to urban greenways and land reclamation in Seoul, South Korea. Jan Gehl, author of Cities for People, praised the book, saying: “This veritable tour de force will be an inspiration and resource for anyone who cares about the future of cities.”
Katharine is the Publicity & Marketing Associate at Island Press.
Robert Cervero is Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of six books in the urban transportation field, including The Transit Metropolis, Transit Villages for the 21st Century, Paratransit in America, America’s Suburban Centers, and Suburban Gridlock, as well as numerous articles and research publications.
Erick Guerra is Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses in transportation planning and quantitative planning methods. He has published a dozen articles on the relationship between transportation infrastructure, land use, urban development, and travel behavior.
Stefan Al is Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published several books, including Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook and The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream. As a practicing architect and urban designer, he has worked on renowned projects such as the Canton Tower in Guangzhou.