Symposium Robocar and Urban Space Evolution

13.09.2018, 9:00-18:00, Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft

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On 13 September 2018, the symposium ‘Robocar and urban space evolution’ hosted a public debate on city changes in the age of autonomous cars. International and Dutch experts discussed the potential spatial changes autonomous cars may bring and what they mean for the current urban issues. The symposium was organized and convened by Anca Ioana Ionescu (Forgaci), Rients Dijkstra, Víctor Muñoz Sanz, and Dominic Stead. The event was made possible by a Conference Grant of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


Photo by Monika Noykovikj / Robocar Evolution


Photo by Monika Noykovikj / Robocar Evolution

Three sub-sessions provided a forum for multidisciplinary debate involving relevant research and urban projects that outline and explore the possibilities opened by autonomous cars in relation to current urban sustainability goals:

Session 1: Mobility transition and its spatial implications
This session provides an overview about autonomous cars and urban implications from a spatial and transport planning perspective, by looking at different scale levels, backcasting and forecasting to observe automated mobility futures. David Hamers (PBL and DAE) and Dominic Stead (TU Delft) will draw possible paths on how to look at the topic, chaired by Victor Muñoz Sanz

Session 2: Revaluing public space
Outside the theme of autonomous cars, desirable futures are already on the agenda of many cities, which are trying to cope with the current urban issues and there are sustainable approaches and emerging urbanism projects trying to build desirables future. Salvador Rueda (director of BCN Ecologia and IaaC), Frans van de Ven (TU Delft, Deltares) and Florian Boer (De Urbanisten) will talk about their visionary projects, aimed to enhance livability, environmental quality and climate responsive design in public space, chaired by Rients Dijkstra

Session 3: Public space evolution in an automated mobility future
Robocars can dramatically redesign urban environment. They promise to behave different from the car as we know it and could facilitate accessibility and urban development anew. For instance, at the neighborhood and street level the use and perception of streetscapes can utterly change if parking space is freed up and streets are slowed down. Urban design groups from TU Viena (Avenue 21), University of Oregon (Urbanism Next) and TU Delft (Urban Design Chair) present methods and ideas to grasp urban futures in the context of automated mobility, chaired by Dominic Stead