Cities21 Co-Conspirators

Here are some other innovative professionals working somewhere within the nexus of: reduced driving, smart growth, "new mobility," conventional transit, PRT, and behavior change. These professionals all have a unique approach and perspective. This listing does NOT imply 100% agreement with the Cities21 approach.

Steve Offutt, EPA Best Workplaces for Commuters

Joel Garreau, Edge City

Peter Newman, Sustainability & Cities

Jerry Schneider, Univ. of WA

James Paxson, Hacienda Business Park

Dan Sturges, Intrago Mobility, GEM inventor

Irvin Dawid, Sierra Club

Rob Means, electric-bikes.com

Mary Bell Austin, EPA Sustainable Communities

Bill Hyman, Asset Management Expert

 

Not Quite Co-conspirators

Stuart Cohen, TransForm CA

Peter Calthorpe

Sir Peter Hall


Steve Offutt: EPA Best Workplaces for Commuters - Program Manager and principal architect for Best Workplaces for Commuters in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at EPA (http://www.bestworkplaces.org/ ). Mr. Offutt is working with scores of transportation organizations and thousands of companies to reduce the impact of commuting on the environment. Prior to his work in the transportation arena, he spent six years developing and implementing the market-based, non-regulatory Energy Star programs (www.energystar.gov). His areas of expertise include: business/government partnerships, identifying and exploiting opportunities to profitably improve the environment, climate change and energy efficiency. Prior to his current government job, Mr. Offutt was a consultant in the electric utility industry. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a Masters in Music from the University of Cincinnati. Steve has moved on from the EPA, see his linked in profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/steveoffutt.

"Our current transportation policy path in the U. S. is clearly unsustainable. Traffic, its environmental impacts and its impact on quality of life continue to get worse virtually everywhere in the country. Innovative new ideas and new approaches are badly needed. We need a portfolio of innovative approaches spread across the United States, with each one pushing the envelope towards a more sustainable future transportation system. Cities21 and its Suburban Silver Bullet should be in this portfolio. It is innovative; it is forward-looking; it addresses many key transportation challenges; and the potential benefits - if widely disseminated - are large."

Professor Peter Newman is the Professor of City Policy at Murdoch University and Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy. He is also the Chair of the Sustainability Roundtable that is responsible for implementing the Western Australia (WA) State Sustainability Strategy. Professor Newman directed this Strategy, the first in the world at state level, on his recent secondment to the WA Government. Professor Newman has been an elected councillor with the City of Fremantle and had secondments to work with the WA Premier and the Minister for Transport in the 80's. He is best known in Perth for his work in rebuilding the city's rail system. Peter also works on an international level where he studies global cities and is a Visiting Professor with the University of Pennsylvania. His book with Jeff Kenworthy Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence was launched in the White House in 1999, his 2001 co-authored book is called 'Back on Track: Rethinking Australian and New Zealand Transport' and in 2004 he co-authored a book for the UNEP called 'Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems'. In 2003 Professor Newman was awarded a Centenary Medal for Sustainability and Planning. For more info on Peter, please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Newman_(environmental_scientist)

"The Cities21 Silver Bullet begins to help car dependent cities cope with cars as these cities begin the transition to an inevitable redesign so that people can inherently leave the car at home and have easy sustainable transport options."

Joel Garreau, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. Garreau defined the edge city (http://www.garreau.com/main.cfm?action=book&id=1), the places where most new wealth creation is occurring, such as Silicon Valley and Route 128. An edge city is a recognizable major activity center with 5M square feet of office and 1M square feet of retail. Garreau's other books include The Nine Nations of North America, and the upcoming Transcendence: The Next Humans. He is a writer for The Washington Post, president of The Garreau Group, a member of the Global Business Network and senior fellow in the graduate schools of George Mason University and the University of California, Berkeley. http://www.garreau.com/main.cfm?action=bio

"I've long thought personal rapid transit would be a silver bullet for Edge City transportation woes if you could keep it as simple, customizable, scalable, affordable, and profitable as Legos. Cities21 may have cracked the code."

Jerry Schneider is Professor Emeritus, Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington in Seattle. For the last 7 years, he has been the developer and webmaster of the Innovative Transportation Technologies website which describes and monitors emerging transportation technologies from around the world. During his 30-year teaching and research career at the UW, he specialized in developing computer programs to aid the transportation planning process while also conducting extensive field work that resulted in publications such as Transit and the Polycentric City. He has had a long standing interest in Personal Rapid Transit concepts and designed and applied some interactive graphic tools to aid the PRT design process and the multicriteria evaluation of complex transportation alternatives. He holds a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His ITT website is an educational website with a broad scope and is visited by thousands of people from around the world every day. It can be seen at: http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans.

"I am especially impressed with the comprehensive approach to implementing an innovative transportation system that has been devised by Cities 21 people and think it represents a model that should be emulated by others around the country who wish to participate in our needed transportation revolution. More and more cars, however green, are not the answer we need to ward off a growing dependency on foreign oil and to help limit, perhaps reverse somewhat, the degradation that has been imposed on our cities by the automobile. We can do much better but we have to form large coalitions of like-minded people in order to overcome the tremendous vested interests that wish only to maintain the status quo. Cities21 has shown us how this can be done. One can hope it will be emulated across the land."

James Paxson, General Manager, Hacienda Business Park. Hacienda is a mixed-use office park with 5.4 million square feet of office, 1.7 million square feet of R&D/flex, 890,000 square feet of retail and 1,530 residential units. At 875 acres, Hacienda is the largest development of its kind in Northern California and has been selected as one of the world's top 10 mixed-use business parks by Site Selection magazine. The Dublin/Pleasanton BART station falls within the office park, and an ACE commuter rail station lies only two miles away. Eight different transit agencies provide service to Hacienda and the park has vigorously developed transit connections, carpooling, vanpooling, and other supplementary services into a package of commute solutions for employees and residents. The result is a nationally recognized program meeting the US EPA/DOT Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative (CCLI) national standard of excellence in commuting programs.

"A PRT-type shuttle would fit in perfectly with current planning for Hacienda's future. The park's investors recently approved land use modifications that could lead to development intensification through, among other things, the incorporation of additional residential projects in the park. Hacienda has also attracted the attention of the East Bay Community Foundation's Livable Communities Initiative who have funded a number of studies to look at how to better utilize the transit orientation of the park and how to implement smart growth planning strategies for Hacienda. Hacienda is also collaborating with the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency and others to examine additional means of better integrating jobs, housing and transit at our location. Whether taken individually or in the aggregate, a PRT shuttle is a great component with everything we see occurring over the next several years. We believe that supporting advanced transportation demand management research is vital to local, regional, state, and national interests and improving the sustainability of suburban job centers."

Marty Bell Austin, EPA Sustainable Communities Program - US Environmental Protection Agency since 1997, in the Tribal Air Quality, Sustainable Communities, and Brownfields programs. Currently on sabbatical to research, write about, and consult on transportation and land use issues. Presented "Building a CASE for a New Transportation System" at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation conference, September 2001. Explores the potential for PRT to facilitate urban ecosystems renewal/reclamation. (See Library). Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (similar to LEED certification), with particular interest in renewable energy, straw bale buildings, and design for water conservation/management (often called "Low Impact Development"). See: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mbaustin.

"The Cities21 Silver Bullet report is an excellent case study for how to approach suburban office parks and other areas that need improved commute alternatives, infill development for an improved jobs/housing balance, and better transit to meet non-commute hour needs. It combines a 'big-picture' view, taking the whole commute-shed into account, while also exploring detailed solutions to the many parts of a solution that must function together to be effective. The use of innovative technologies is well crafted to meet the practical and sociological demands of high-tech workers."

Dan Sturges, GEM inventor, Founder: http://www.intragomobility.com/. Inventions: China Car low-cost, low-impact electric vehicle, three-wheel Platform Vehicle, Trans2 NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle) - now the Daimler Chrysler GEM, the new mobility concept (with Dan Sperling, Susan Shaheen, and others at the U.C. Davis 1999 conference). With Trans2, raised $10M to develop the NEV. General Motors car designer. Expert in low-cost, low-parts-count, small-batch vehicle soft-tooling and manufacturing.

"The Cities21 Silver Bullet is a vital concept as it looks to reduce the amount of cars driven alone on the road by a significant amount. The concept realizes the power of the new information age in creating healthier and more pleasing ways for people to move about their city that are completely viable. There are many important aspects to this vision; recognizing the opportunity to convert land from parking empty cars into new housing and living environments is one for sure."

Rob Means, electric-bikes.com. After 20 years helping build the Internet as a computer communications programmer, Mr. Means left corporate America to pursue other interests. Since 1996, he has owned and operated an electric bike and scooter business (www.electric-bikes.com). Over the past 15 years, Mr. Means has been active in community affairs including a 10-year stint on the Bicycle Transportation Advisory Committee, many tree plantings, creekside trail development, transportation and housing issues, and a Midtown Area "keystone project" to create a safe crossing of the railroad tracks. After long participation in the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association, he's currently the treasurer (www.neighborhoodlink.com/milpitas/sunnyhills).

"The U.S. population, at 5% of total world population, consumes 25% of fossil fuel -- half for transportation purposes. Clearly, our 'fuelish' ways are not sustainable. What most people don't realize is how soon, and how deeply, their lives will be changed by two world forces: a peaking of world oil and gas production this decade and a growing world appetite for fuel. PRT's promise of a factor 4 less energy consumed per passenger-mile holds great promise for reversing an unsustainable trend."

Irvin Dawid, Sierra Club - serves on the Land Use Committee for the Sierra Club's Loma Prieta Chapter, the chapter that encompasses Stanford Research Park. Irvin has served on the BAAQMD Advisory Board, served as a contributing member to TransForm and BayRail Alliance, served as President of the SJSU Urban Planning Coalition, and is a vocal advocate at Palo Alto Planning Commission meetings.

"With perhaps the highest housing costs in the country, Palo Alto has one of the highest jobs/housing imbalances in the SF Bay Area. This Research Park, with its vast parking lots and ample landscaping, presents an interesting opportunity to do 'infill' housing. The PRT proposal adds a modern transportation alternative while relying on Caltrain, the almost 150-year-old commuter rail system, to support these potential new homes. The Sierra Club is committed to fighting sprawl by developing areas with appropriate transit access. Cities21's proposal clearly meets that strategy."

Bill Hyman, Nationally Recognized Expert on Asset and Environmental Management, ERES Consultants, a division of Applied Research Associates and William Hyman and Associates.

"There is simply not enough creativity being devoted to solving the problems of inefficient use of our transportation system and the resulting side effects including congestion, pollution, sprawl, adverse effects on low income groups having difficulty getting to jobs. In my experience in working with the staff of Cities21, this organization is providing fresh thinking that would result in large advances toward a sustainable transportation system. An example of this creative thinking is the Silver Bullet project. The Silver Bullet project could have large impacts on traffic and quality of life in selected office parks, technology centers and edge cities. In those instances where it cannot be deployed, the Silver Bullet concept has produced many spinoffs, which if implemented, would result in noticeable transportation benefits."

"Not Quite Co-Conspirators"

Stuart Cohen, Executive Director, TransForm (formerly Bay Area Transportation & Land Use Coalition). http://www.transformca.org/. Director, Transportation Choices Forum, a non-profit transportation policy and planning group. Previously, Stuart worked with ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) researching and promoting alternative fuel and transportation demand strategies for municipalities in the United States. Stuart also worked with NYPIRG, the New York Public Interest Research Group, organizing against incinerators proposed for the Hudson Valley, then as Statewide Canvass Director overseeing 10 summer and 3 year-round outreach offices. Stuart has authored seven reports on transportation and regional planning. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from U.C. Berkeley.

"I'm for large transit villages, locating housing near jobs, new mobility, in-fill, reducing solo commuting, and increased public transit fare box recovery. I'm watching the Cities21 Silver Bullet proposal with great interest, although it's too early for TALC to take a vote on the most current version of the proposal." In 2001, local TALC Santa Clara County members did vote mildly in favor of proposal for an open, public design process / competition for Stanford Research Park / Palo Alto (while listing conditions/concerns): http://www.cities21.org/paBATLUC.htm.

Peter Calthorpe of Calthorpe Associates & Fregonese Calthorpe: We need better transit circulator technology: personal rapid transit:

  • Urban Land Magazine, March 2008. (Circulation: 40,000 ULI members). Article: Riding on the Future: “We’ve concocted a system where local trips take an auto,” explains Peter Calthorpe, principal at Berkeley, California–based Calthorpe Associates. “That’s our biggest tragedy.”  Streetcars, such as those used in Portland’s Pearl District, and elevated people movers, like those in downtown Miami, are moving people from rail stations to their final destinations. But a new concept, personal rapid transit (PRT), may help revolutionize urban transportation, providing a cost-effective way to get people from train stations to where they need to go, notes Calthorpe. PRT involves individual cars on a track that connects light- and heavy-rail stations with dense commercial districts and office parks. Private, safe, and requiring little maintenance, PRT cuts transit time because there are no stops and no waiting. Users can push a button and the software-controlled system automatically moves cars to where they are needed. The system can fit on any existing rightof-way, produces little noise, requires no at-grade crossings, and costs one-tenth as much to build as light rail—$10 million per mile ($6.2 million per km) versus $100 million per mile ($62 million per km), according to Calthorpe. A pilot of the ULTra PRT system, developed by U.K.- based Advanced Transport Systems Ltd. (ATS), is under construction at London Heathrow Airport. The $49 million project will provide travelers transportation from the business parking lot to Terminal 5 via 18 low-energy, battery-operated, driverless PRT vehicles."
  • "We've been developing TOD without the T for far too long.  PRT is the T."
  • In a six-page paper, http://www.calthorpe.com/clippings/UrbanNet1216.pdf , Calthorpe writes: "All the advantages of New Urbanism - its compact land saving density, its walkable mix of uses, and its integrated range of housing opportunities - would be supported and amplified by a circulation system that offers fundamentally different choices in mobility and access. Smart Growth and new Urbanism have begun the work of redefining America's twenty-first century development paradigms. Now it is time to redefine the circulation armature that supports them. It is short sighted to think that significant changes in land-use and regional structure can be realized without fundamentally reordering our circulation system."
  • At the CNU '05 conference, Calthorpe said, "One of my pet peeves is that we've been dealing with 19th Century transit technology. We can do better than LRT. We can have ultra light elevated transit systems (personal rapid transit) with lightweight vehicles. Because the vehicles are lighter, the system will use less energy. I used to be a PRT skeptic, but now the technology is there. It won't be easy to develop PRT technology and get all the kinks out, but it is doable. If you think about what you'd want from the ideal transit technology, it's PRT: a) stations right where you are, within walking distance, b) no waiting."

Sir Peter Hall: "The social perception of public transportation depends on the quality of the transportation. I think we may be looking to technological advances in public transportation to create new kinds of personal rapid transit. We had a big breakthrough announced only a week ago that a British system called, literally, PRT, Personal Rapid Transit, is going to be adapted for Heathrow Airport progressively over the next ten years. And when you drive your car into Heathrow to one of the parking lots, you will get your own personal vehicle and program it to go to your terminal, or vice versa. And if this is as successful as I think it will be, this could be a big breakthrough in developing new kinds of totally personalized rapid transit, which could transform our cities in ways that we can't yet see." Dec 15, 2005, Natl Building Museum.