Urbanism Next to host virtual forum on post-pandemic world

City street from above

The annual national conference of the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon will explore the process of rebuilding communities in a post-pandemic world.

The Urbanism Next Virtual Forum, slated for March 17-19, will bring together an interdisciplinary group of leaders to discuss how new mobility, e-commerce and urban delivery, and autonomous vehicles are shaping cities during the COVID-19 era.

The event will also examine how those changes impact land use, urban design, building design, transportation and real estate and what that change mean for equity, health and safety, the economy, and the environment. Individuals with ideas, projects or research related to the themes of this year’s virtual forum are also encouraged to submit a poster proposal by Friday, Jan. 22.

Registration for the event is now open, with a special rate available for students.

“COVID has amplified many of the disruptions that we were already seeing around new mobility, autonomous vehicles and e-commerce,” said Nico Larco, Urbanism Next director and co-director of the UO’s Sustainable Cities Initiative. “Everyone now firmly understands that the status quo of urban growth and development has been altered and continues to quickly change. This conference brings together leading thinkers to address the impacts we are seeing and how best to shape them towards positive outcomes for our communities.”

Urbanism Next is a 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 the topics is available on the center’s recently launched NEXUS site. In recent months, Urbanism Next has explored how those topics have been affected through its COVID-19 reports and resources.

The Urbanism Next Virtual Forum is a collaboration among the UOand 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.