Driving Urban Design in Transportation Infrastructure

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Understand the opportunities and challenges that arise integrating urban design into the engineering design process for street and highway infrastructure 

  • Learn the strengths of visualization technology and how it can be used to communicate complex engineering designs to the public

  • Demonstrate how urban design concepts and visualization technology can be used to influence highway engineering design decisions both engineering and urban design

Since the passage of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), planners have been engaged in the highway design process to evaluate the potential environmental, social, and economic impacts of highway design and construction. The task allocated to planners has largely been in the realms of impact analysis and public outreach. Rarely, if ever, do planners get involved in the actual design of the project. Many transportation projects jump straight to the engineering, without ever going through a planning process to identify community design, access, or aesthetic concerns. The role of the Urban Designer has never been more important in the context of transportation infrastructure projects. The growth of multi-modal complete streets, context sensitive design, and public realm improvements has created a need for Urban Designers to be formally involved throughout the design process. The notion that they are only needed to help produce pretty pictures is becoming a thing of the past. Sophisticated clients and DOTs understand that they can create long lasting value in well-designed infrastructure. The design process will be discussed from the point-of-view of three typical project team members – an Engineer, a Planner, and an Urban Designer. 


Mark Rhoads , Conshohocken , PA (see bio)
Marian Hull , AICP , AECOM , Philadelphia , PA (see bio)
Douglas Robbins , AICP , AECOM , Philadelphia , PA (see bio)