Urbanism Next to address COVID-19 at interactive virtual forum

Bicycle delivery person on city street

The University of Oregon’s Urbanism Next Center is gearing up to hold its third annual national conference as an online forum slated for May 14.

The Urbanism Next Virtual Forum will bring together an interdisciplinary group of leaders to discuss how emerging technologies shape the future of cities, especially in the midst of global disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will feature discussions about how emerging technologies and services and the growth of e-commerce are having profound effects not only on how people live and move in cities but also increasingly on urban form and development.

This conversation will address the short-term effects and consider the long-term effects that evolution or disruption — brought on by new technologies, companies suddenly pulling out of markets and the global COVID-19 pandemic — may have on communities. The discussion will address how these changes impact equity, health and safety, as well as the economy and the environment.

 “The impact of this forum is wide reaching,” said Nico Larco, Urbanism Next director and co-director of the UO’s Sustainable Cities Initiative. “We are bringing together thought leaders from many different disciplines during unprecedented global disruption to discuss how cities can prepare for the changes and opportunities they will face and the evolving role emerging technologies will play in these shifts.”

Urbanism Next is a University of Oregon cross-disciplinary research initiative focused on understanding how new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, new mobility, e-commerce and the sharing economy affect land use, street design, land valuation and pressures on sprawl, and in turn examining how these changes influence equity, health, the economy, the environment and governance in communities. An overview of thinking on these topics and how to address them can be found at the recently released NEXUS site

The Urbanism Next Virtual Forum is a collaboration among the University of Oregon and the New Urban Mobility Alliance, the national and Oregon chapter of the American Planning Association, the national and Northwest chapter of the Urban Land Institute, the Regional and Urban Design Knowledge Committee and Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Oregon chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The virtual forum will be followed by a series of monthly webinars starting in June. Access to this entire series of webinars is included in the registration of the virtual forum.

For a detailed list of speakers, including planners, architects, developers, technology experts, elected officials and academics, visit urbanismnext.org/conference.

Registration for the virtual forum is now open, and a special rate is available for students. Visit the registration page for additional details and to complete registration.