Speaking of Design Ep. 12: Denver's New Mobility Choice Blueprint
Growing population and rapidly changing transportation technologies are affecting our everyday lives. In this episode, we’ll learn how public transportation agencies are partnering with private sector technology companies to tackle that change head-on in Denver, Colorado. That community’s “mobility blueprint” may suggest a new approach for other metropolitan cities wrestling with the same issues in their communities.
Featured on this Episode
The former mayor of Bow Mar, Colorado, Transportation Business Development Director Rick Pilgrim has nearly four decades of transportation planning and engineering experience. “One of the key features of the Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint is that we looked not just at transportation and technology, but also at how to make a better community,” he said. “When one starts to think about how you make a more livable community, you come at it from a little different perspective.”
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Chris Primus is a senior transportation planner who oversaw day-to-day activities throughout the Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint. “It established new dialogue with the private sector,” he said of the blueprint. “It also started to build awareness of the problems that we have on an everyday basis to provide transportation, but also an awareness of the potential for new mobility technologies to help address some of those persistent problems.”
As global director of transportation planning, Jason McGlashan brings more than 25 years of experience in multi-modal transport planning and traffic engineering. He offers smart growth perspectives to integrate land use and transportation decisions that promote sustainable development and apply advanced technologies to solve complex problems. “We are in such an exciting time of change, and we see these disruptions happening,” Jason said. “I think the real challenge is: How do we leverage those to create a better community?”
Jason Longsdorf is the transportation planning group lead in Denver, with a strong understanding of multimodal transportation design, public engagement strategies and environmental and funding processes. “It just kind of changed the way that we were thinking about what we have done for the last 40 years in terms of our planning,” he said. “This really opened up the conversation to how might we need to rethink how we do our regional goal setting and our travel estimating in the future.”
Kiernan Maletsky represents his generation's changing perspective of the concepts of car ownership and mobility. His background in print journalism and public administration gives him an appreciation for the importance of curiosity and humility in creating tangible roadmaps to achieve shared community visions. “I think Mobility Choice was not really in the end a technology project,” he said. “It was about thinking about how to make people’s transportation experience more valuable to them in the future – using technologies.”
Kaia Nesbitt began her career as a product development engineer at Nike. Eventually, she wanted to see the impact design can have on the scale of a city, which led her into urban design and landscape architecture. Kaia oversaw the community engagement team as part of the blueprint. “Transportation is an enabler to quality of life,” she said. “It's not only about helping you get from point A to point B; it’s also how you connect with your community.” More about Kaia
Justin Robbins is a transportation planner who specializes in automated and connected vehicle technology. But at heart, he considers himself a student of cities. Those passions connect by looking at how new technologies will change urban landscapes across the world. I always say it's like you have the ability either to shape your future or you can sit back and let the future happen to you,” he said. “And I think doing a plan like the Denver mobility project is the first step in trying to shape the future into a way that you want.” More about Justin
An early career in mathematics and statistics familiarized Ben Pierce with intelligent transportation systems, inspiring a career in transportation technology. Today, he is a nationally recognized speaker and thought leader on transportation technology and smart cities. “As a city matures and the population grows, you just can't continue to build your way out of the problem,” he said. “And that's where typically we start looking for alternative solutions, and that's where technology starts to come up.” More about Ben
Credits: Produced by Danny Sullivan and John Tourek. Special thanks to Stephanie White.