New Mobility thought leaders convene in Seattle.

We’re tackling smart mobility challenges.

Last week marked the second meetup in the 4-series, Smart Cities Collaborative conference (hosted by Transportation for America), a collaborative program bringing cities together to:

  • Explore how emerging technologies and new mobility options can improve urban transportation.
  • Tackle the tough challenges associated with implementing smart mobility policies and projects.

 

Our 3 takeaways.

The  New mobility experts from 22 cities in North America (? Toronto, Austin, and Miami!) descended on Seattle last week to learn, share, and geek out about the future of transportation. As a result, the City of Seattle participants, spanning multiple departments and specialties from parking to traffic engineering, pulled together a list of the three highlights and takeaways from the Seattle session.

 

→ Data is important and should be treated as a critical asset.

Much of the first day centered around the importance of measuring, analyzing, and prioritizing data within our respective organizations. Benjamin de la Peña, SDOT’s newly appointed Chief of Strategy and Innovation, presented on the importance of prioritizing information and data throughout the planning process from original design, to post-evaluation and creating an agency culture that embraces data-driven decisions.

 

→ United we stand, divided we fall.

Over a range of different topic areas, from equity in street design to data standards for new mobility management, cities discussed the importance of aligning on a shared set of values and standards to aid in the new world of transportation service delivery. Participants talked openly about the need to align on a minimum set of data sharing standards across the country in order to present a united front to private entities, allow for easier compliance across different regions, and facilitate data sharing and comparative analysis more easily across different cities. Similarly, if many cities are united in their approach to grounding projects and pilot design for equitable and accessible outcomes, private companies can scale products and services that align with the mission and vision of these entities.

 

→ Passionate, mission-driven transportation leaders can usher in the changing transportation landscape.

While the speakers, workshops, and sessions were interesting and insightful, the highlight of this particular conference was the ability to connect in-person with colleagues scattered across North America working through similar topics and issues. Not only is the group well-rounded, smart, and dedicated to public service, but they’re passionate and interesting individuals who are fun to be around! Some of the most memorable moments were heated debates during lunch, side conversations about lessons learned from pilots, and commiserating about shared public sector challenges.

 

We’re looking forward to visiting Pittsburgh in September to focus on curb management strategies and seeing old and new friends alike!