National League of Cities Research on Technology & Mobility

National League of Cities

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Today many transportation plans which project outcomes decades into the future focus almost entirely on the problem of automobile congestion and prescribe increased infrastructure in the form of new roads as the primary cure. Experts and trends, however, point to a future that will be increasingly multi-modal.

The topic of mobility and technology is a key consideration for cities as they plan for the future of their communities. The National League of Cities’ (NLC) City of the Future initiative explores existing trends and predicts future developments so that cities can anticipate changes in the urban landscape and prepare accordingly. This multi-year research project focuses on five different factors that affect cities: technology, economics, climate, culture and demographics.

The first report in this series focuses on the nexus between mobility and technology. Creating a transportation network – a platform for commerce and human interaction – is one of the oldest and most important functions of government. This report lays out two core scenarios focusing on the possible impacts of technology on mobility: one which centers around short-term predictions that may manifest themselves by the year 2020, and another which centers around the long-term predictions that could be seen by the year 2030 or later.

Technology is leading cities to more dynamic transportation systems where people shift seamlessly between multiple modes depending on their needs. The ultimate goal of cities must be to combine different transit modes into a coherent whole, so that moving from place to place is easy, equitable and enjoyable.

This report can be downloaded at NLC’s website at Technology under Topics tab at