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Designing Cities Conference: Austin 2015

Designing Cities 2015 Conference Program [PDF]

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, Oct 28

Wednesday, Oct 28 - 2:30 pm - 2:45 pm (1 Event)

Wednesday, Oct 28 - 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (9 Events)

The Global Street Design Guide and Best Practices from Across the Globe

Sessions
The new NACTO Global Street Design Guide (GSDG) is a timely resource that sets a new global baseline for designing streets and public spaces, while redefining the role of streets in a rapidly urbanizing world.

The Peoples' Perspective on Transportation

Sessions
Transportation is crucial to creating a strong, livable city, yet the public discourse on mobility solutions can be fraught with misunderstanding and divisiveness. What is driving this and how can transportation leaders be more effective in their efforts to communicate

Zoning for Complete Streets

Sessions
How are cities using zoning, development review, and other local regulations to help create a safe, convenient, multi-modal transportation network?

Building Safe Pedestrian Networks through Corridor Redesign

Sessions
In this session, learn from cities about Vision Zero efforts to redesign corridors for safety.

Complementing Transit Systems with Shared Mobility

Sessions
This session will feature city leaders paired with industry thought leaders to discuss the impacts of shared use on transit systems and mass mobility.

Active Transportation Programs Coast to Coast: How North American Cities are Meeting the Demand for Walking and Bicycling

Sessions
How do America's biggest cities apply public resources to improve walking and bicycling?

Department of Yes!

Sessions
Officials from New York, Seattle, and Austin, discuss application-based programs, an effective strategy to harness neighborhood excitement for change and build partnerships with community stakeholders.

Making The Fiscally Conservative Case for Investing in Multimodal Urban Streets

Sessions
Learn how to communicate the connection between a city’s long-range fiscal health and a transportation strategy that prioritizes investments in safe, walkable streets in the central core.

Workshop: Making the Case for Complete Streets: The Power of Images

Sessions
Learn how New York City Department of Transportation launched an initiative in 2007, Official Project Imagery, to document street transformations.

Thursday, Oct 29

Thursday, Oct 29 - 10:15 am - 11:45 am (8 Events)

Strategies for Successful Transportation Ballot Measures

Sessions
This session will examine the trend of ballot box finance for transportation investment and the hallmarks of successful campaigns.

Building Productive Partnerships between State and City DOTs

Sessions
In this session, representatives from state DOTs will discuss their approaches to cooperation across what are too-often siloed levels of government.

Making it Happen: Gaining Public Support to Turn Action Plans into Action

Sessions
After laying the vision and groundwork for change, how are cities scaling up their innovative transportation projects?

Where Next for Bike Share?

Sessions
This panel brings together operators and policy makers to discuss the future of bike share in the U.S.

Planning for Growth: Transportation Demand Management

Sessions
This session will focus on Transportation Demand Management tools, data collection methodology, and policy approaches to reduce vehicle miles traveled and shift trips to more sustainable travel modes.

Designing Public Spaces: Buskers, Benches, and Barbecue

Sessions
In this session, learn from experts at Gehl Architects about their approach to designing public spaces, and hear from experts from Somerville, New York City, and Austin about their public space projects.

Harnessing Big Data for Transportation Decision-Making

Sessions
This session will highlight an emerging partnership in the Austin region between the City and The University of Texas, the role of the private sector, and the debate on big data versus little data.

Designing Streets for Transit

Sessions
This session will preview the forthcoming NACTO Transit Street Design Guide, a detailed resource developed by practitioners from city transportation departments and transit agencies across North America.

Thursday, Oct 29 - 1:15 pm - 3:15 pm (26 Events)

Gehl Studio People First Design Walkshop

Sessions
Public space is what connects our cities and places together. Whether we walk, drive, take the bus or bicycle, we encounter an element of public space daily. Streets and sidewalks are 80% of urban open space, but typically this space

How to get people out of their cars: Austin’s Alternative Mobility Options

Walkshops
Join RideScout on a tour of Austin’s multimodal solutions, including discussion on the impact of BRT, mobile bus ticketing, and ways mobile applications can assist mode-shift efforts.

Tejano Walking Trail (Thursday)

Walkshops
This East Austin tour will share the story of a nearly six-year community effort to complete the Tejano Walking Trail, highlighting the rich heritage of the surrounding, traditionally Hispanic community.

Festival Streets: Planning for SXSW and more (Thursday)

Walkshops
See the Austin Convention Center area and learn about the cross-departmental "one stop shop" for street event permitting and planning.

SoCo: Iconic South Congress (Thursday)

Walkshops
Walk south across the river to South Congress Avenue, a favorite people place for visitors and Austinites. A Public Works project manager and engineer will tell the story of the South Congress Improvement Project.

Sidewalk Cafes: Permitting for People Places (Thursday)

Walkshops
Stroll along the sidewalk cafes and food trailers of Downtown Austin, and stop for a snack, as you learn about the new way sidewalk cafes are being permitted by Austin Transportation Department.

Seaholm: From Power Plant to Urban Neighborhood (Thursday)

Walkshops
Take an insider's tour through the Seaholm District—a redevelopment project that repurposes a 1950s Art Deco power plant and industrial area into a vibrant walkable neighborhood where people work, live, shop and play.

Project Connect Gateway: Downtown Multimodal Terminal Station (Thursday)

Walkshops
Tour the site of the Downtown Station, the terminus for the existing MetroRail Red Line. Learn about the debate over how to balance transit-station goals with the needs of the existing street network.

Guerrilla Wayfinding (Thursday)

Walkshops
Tour participants will help install temporary signage that encourages walking and shows foot-times between major Downtown Austin attractions.

Great Streets: Second and Third Street (Thursday)

Walkshops
Come walk through the handsome results of Austin's Great Streets Program, a nationally recognized program to enhance and elevate the pedestrian realm.

Green Streets (Thursday)

Walkshops
Come walk the streets of Austin with Public Works and Office of Sustainability City staff at the forefront of green innovation and technology.

Downtown Parks and Passageways (Thursday)

Walkshops
This tour will highlight how parks and transportation planning can come together to influence the shape of a place and the traffic flow, economy, and civic culture of a community.

Butler Hike and Bike Trail (Thursday)

Walkshops
The tour will discuss the fascinating history of the Butler Trail, recent improvement projects, and how it functions today for both recreational and transportation purposes.

Art in the Streetscape (Thursday)

Walkshops
Learn about challenges and solutions for working in the streetscape and how public art can enhance the pedestrian experience and be integral to creative placemaking.

Public Art Meets Green Infrastructure: Great Public Spaces (Thursday)

Walkshops
Tour Austin’s fascinating mash-up of public art and watershed protection! This walking tour includes stops at public art as cultural markers and attractive green infrastructure.

Partnering with Neighborhoods: Better Streets, Better Places (Thursday)

Walkshops
See a variety of Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) projects, winner of a 2015 American Planning Association Leadership in Sustainability Award.

Transforming Mueller: New Neighborhood, New Street Network (Thursday)

Walkshops
Tour the street network created for Mueller, a new mixed-use, multi-modal, inner-city neighborhood being created on the site of the former 700+ acre Mueller Municipal Airport.

MetroRail Red Line (Thursday)

Walkshops
Take a TOD tour on the MetroRail Red Line, Austin’s "starter" commuter rail line. Agency staff will discuss how they are expanding service with additional track, more rail cars, better connectivity, and more.

Water Quality and Development on Lady Bird Lake: A Kayak Tour (Thursday)

Walkshops
The tour provides a unique perspective (from a kayak!) on the environmental challenges Austin is facing while creating an active and accessible urban waterfront.

MetroRapid BRT (Thursday)

Walkshops
Hop on a MetroRapid, Austin's bus rapid transit system, which opened last year. Explore station types, pedestrian and bicycle features, rapid development changes, and a downtown transit priority treatment.

Reconnecting an Urban Waterfront and Boardwalk Trail (Thursday)

Walkshops
Come bike along Lady Bird Lake on the City’s beautiful new Boardwalk - built partly over the river and partly on land - to glose a gap and create a continuous 10-mile hike-and-bike trail.

Bike South: All Ages and Abilities (Thursday)

Walkshops
Learn how bike facilities in Austin are connecting communities and encouraging family-friendly cycling through the use of thoughtful and innovative design.

Bike North: University District (Thursday)

Walkshops
Cycle to see 15 of Austin's best protected bicycle facilities, designed for all ages and abilities, in the downtown and University of Texas at Austin area, all in 7 miles.

Bike East: Lance Armstrong Bikeway, Butler Trail, and the Boardwalk (Thursday)

Walkshops
This cycling tour showcases many of East Austin’s innovative bicycle trails and pathways, including those found on the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, Butler Trail, and the Boardwalk.

Bike Detection System (Thursday)

Walkshops
Take a behind-the-scenes look at advanced bike detection for signal actuation -- a first-of-its-kind system that uses Smartphones for virtual detection.

Austin Bike Share System (Thursday)

Walkshops
Tour the stations along Austin’s innovative bike share system by bicycle with City of Austin and Bike Share of Austin representatives.

Thursday, Oct 29 - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm (10 Events)

Bold Moves to Get People Moving: Public and Private Collaborations that Work

Sessions
Learn how Austin’s Transportation Department began a culture of collaboration many years ago and how different actors in the mobility community have worked to continue this today.

Exploring Global Streets, Pecha Kucha Style

Sessions
7 presenters from various corners of the world will showcase projects from their local contexts, sharing their experiences and discussing the challenges they faced while shaping improved street environments.

The Future of Transportation Funding and Financing

Sessions
How are cities using value capture in transit corridors, public-private partnerships, impact fees, and developer agreements to invest in walking, bicycling, and transit? This session showcases funding models that could work in your community.

Project Evaluation: Tools for Measuring Success and Building Support

Sessions
Cities are using data to ensure that infrastructure changes and culture changes keep pace with each other, employing creative new ways to measure project success and leveraging data in how they engage stakeholders.

What's Mine is Yours: Planning, Designing, and Implementing Shared Streets

Sessions
City staff will share lessons learned around operations, design and maintenance and the political challenges faced both with internal stakeholders and the neighborhoods impacted by this new type of street.

Beyond Protected Bicycle Lanes - The Role of All Ages and Abilities Networks

Sessions
Hear from U.S. cities that are leading the movement to meet urban mobility demand through the planning and implementation of all ages and abilities networks, setting the stage for rapid mode shift.

Preventing Crashes and Saving Lives: The Role of Automated Enforcement

Sessions
Experts from four cities will examine legislative efforts, public communication strategies, and best practices for safety camera implementation.

Changing Behavior and Achieving Mode Shift Goals

Sessions
Panelists discuss strategies to change the perception of car ownership and the single-occupancy vehicle trip, and efforts to increase shared use mobility as a convenient, attractive transportation choice.

Tackling Congestion through Corridor Redesign

Sessions
Hear from cities that have transformed constrained streets, and found they could unlock new capacity by reallocating space to biking, walking, and transit.

Complexity + Ambiguity: An Intersection Design Workshop

Sessions
Learn from NYC DOT's experience redesigning intersections for legibility and safety, and apply these techniques to a complex intersection in Austin.

Friday, Oct 30

Friday, Oct 30 - 1:15 pm - 3:15 pm (25 Events)

Tejano Walking Trail (Friday)

Walkshops
This East Austin tour will share the story of a nearly six-year community effort to complete the Tejano Walking Trail, highlighting the rich heritage of the surrounding, traditionally Hispanic community.

Festival Streets: Planning for SXSW and more (Friday)

Walkshops
See the Austin Convention Center area and learn about the cross-departmental "one stop shop" for street event permitting and planning.

SoCo: Iconic South Congress (Friday)

Walkshops
Walk south across the river to South Congress Avenue, a favorite people place for visitors and Austinites. A Public Works project manager and engineer will tell the story of the South Congress Improvement Project.

Sidewalk Cafes: Permitting for People Places (Friday)

Walkshops
Stroll along the sidewalk cafes and food trailers of Downtown Austin, and stop for a snack, as you learn about the new way sidewalk cafes are being permitted by Austin Transportation Department.

Seaholm: From Power Plant to Urban Neighborhood (Friday)

Walkshops
Take an insider's tour through the Seaholm District—a redevelopment project that repurposes a 1950s Art Deco power plant and industrial area into a vibrant walkable neighborhood where people work, live, shop and play.

Project Connect Gateway: Downtown Multimodal Terminal Station (Friday)

Walkshops
Tour the site of the Downtown Station, the terminus for the existing MetroRail Red Line. Learn about the debate over how to balance transit-station goals with the needs of the existing street network.

Guerrilla Wayfinding (Friday)

Walkshops
Tour participants will help install temporary signage that encourages walking and shows foot-times between major Downtown Austin attractions.

Great Streets: Second and Third Street (Friday)

Walkshops
Come walk through the handsome results of Austin's Great Streets Program, a nationally recognized program to enhance and elevate the pedestrian realm.

Green Streets (Friday)

Walkshops
Come walk the streets of Austin with Public Works and Office of Sustainability City staff at the forefront of green innovation and technology.

Downtown Parks and Passageways (Friday)

Walkshops
This tour will highlight how parks and transportation planning can come together to influence the shape of a place and the traffic flow, economy, and civic culture of a community.

Butler Hike and Bike Trail (Friday)

Walkshops
The tour will discuss the fascinating history of the Butler Trail, recent improvement projects, and how it functions today for both recreational and transportation purposes.

Art in the Streetscape (Friday)

Walkshops
Learn about challenges and solutions for working in the streetscape and how public art can enhance the pedestrian experience and be integral to creative placemaking.

Public Art Meets Green Infrastructure: Great Public Spaces (Friday)

Walkshops
Tour Austin’s fascinating mash-up of public art and watershed protection! This walking tour includes stops at public art as cultural markers (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson statues) and attractive green infrastructure (the gorgeous landscape bio-filtration system at the

Waller Creek: A Revitalizing Downtown Corridor (Friday)

Walkshops
Waller Creek is at the center of plans for the largest urban creek corridor revitalization in the nation, to feature a chain of parks connected by urban trails for biking and walking.

Partnering with Neighborhoods: Better Streets, Better Places (Friday)

Walkshops
See a variety of Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) projects, winner of a 2015 American Planning Association Leadership in Sustainability Award.

Transforming Mueller: New Neighborhood, New Street Network (Friday)

Walkshops
Tour the street network created for Mueller, a new mixed-use, multi-modal, inner-city neighborhood being created on the site of the former 700+ acre Mueller Municipal Airport.

MetroRail Red Line (Friday)

Walkshops
Take a TOD tour on the MetroRail Red Line, Austin’s "starter" commuter rail line. Agency staff will discuss how they are expanding service with additional track, more rail cars, better connectivity, and more.

Water Quality and Development on Lady Bird Lake: A Kayak Tour (Friday)

Walkshops
The tour provides a unique perspective (from a kayak!) on the environmental challenges Austin is facing while creating an active and accessible urban waterfront.

MetroRapid BRT (Friday)

Walkshops
Hop on a MetroRapid, Austin's bus rapid transit system, which opened last year. Explore station types, pedestrian and bicycle features, rapid development changes, and a downtown transit priority treatment.

Reconnecting an Urban Waterfront and Boardwalk Trail (Friday)

Walkshops
Come bike along Lady Bird Lake on the City’s beautiful new Boardwalk - built partly over the river and partly on land - to glose a gap and create a continuous 10-mile hike-and-bike trail.

Bike South: All Ages and Abilities (Friday)

Walkshops
Learn how bike facilities in Austin are connecting communities and encouraging family-friendly cycling through the use of thoughtful and innovative design.

Bike North: University District (Friday)

Walkshops
Cycle to see 15 of Austin's best protected bicycle facilities, designed for all ages and abilities, in the downtown and University of Texas at Austin area, all in 7 miles.

Bike East: Lance Armstrong Bikeway, Butler Trail, and the Boardwalk (Friday)

Walkshops
This cycling tour showcases many of East Austin’s innovative bicycle trails and pathways, including those found on the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, Butler Trail, and the Boardwalk.

Bike Detection System (Friday)

Walkshops
Take a behind-the-scenes look at advanced bike detection for signal actuation -- a first-of-its-kind system that uses Smartphones for virtual detection.

Austin Bike Share System (Friday)

Walkshops
Tour the stations along Austin’s innovative bike share system by bicycle with City of Austin and Bike Share of Austin representatives.

Friday, Oct 30 - 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm (8 Events)

Self-Driving Vehicles: Policy and Technology Considerations

Sessions
In this session, learn about technological advances, city regulations, and policies to align self-driving vehicles with shared mobility and Vision Zero goals.

Texas Transportation Round Up: Delivering Mobility, Safety and Community in the Lone Star State

Sessions
Hear how transportation leaders from the largest cities in Texas are keeping their citizens moving safely through innovative strategies such as managed lanes, shared mobility, bus rapid transit, rail, bicycle networks and more.

Vision Zero From Below: Creating the Political Climate for Change

Sessions
Hear from advocates and community groups that are re-framing controversial issues and cultivating a foundation for change.

Transit Innovation Hour: Pecha Kuchas

Sessions
In an energizing session, learn about 7 innovations in transit from 7 different speakers.

Defining and Measuring Success: Lessons from LOS Reform

Sessions
There is a growing recognition that LOS is too narrow a measure of a project's true impact on mobility networks; learn about reforms to traditional Level of Service metrics.

Bold Transportation Visions: Move Seattle and Go Boston 2030

Sessions
Officials from opposite coasts present innovative long-range transportation planning efforts to make their cities more active, more connected, and more engaged: Move Seattle and Go Boston 2030.

Streets as Ecosystems: Innovative Approaches to Long-Term Improvements

Sessions
How are cities integrating trees, bioswales, rain gardens, and landscaping to treat streets as ecosystems and integrate nature into city life?

Protecting People Biking and Walking through Intersections

Sessions
Hear from cities that are raising the bar for designing safer and more accessible intersections for active users.

Saturday, Oct 31