PSU Transportation Seminar: Streets are for People! Livable Streets 2.0 and Five Decades of the Conflict, Power and Promise of our Streets

Friday, May 31, 2024, 11:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Bruce Appleyard, San Diego State University
Free and open to the public
Vanport Building room 269
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. We've opened up PSU Transportation Seminars to other days of the week, but the format is the same: Feel free to bring your lunch! If you can't join us in person, you can always watch online via Zoom.



Streets constitute the majority of our urban public spaces, yet we struggle everyday with how they should be designed and operated for travel, safety, and livability.

In 1969, when Dr. Bruce Appleyard was 4 years old, he was hit by a car and nearly killed. Around that time his father, Donald Appleyard, started work on what would become Livable Streets, published in 1981 – a ground-breaking and seminal work, the product of more than a decade of rigorous research and thoughtful analysis that would uncover the ill effects of traffic and laying out the seminal arguments that streets are for people.

On September 23, 1982, a year after Livable Streets was published, Donald Appleyard was killed by a speeding, drunk driver in Athens, Greece—it was never reprinted. And so it goes, one of the most important books on street safety and livability was itself bookended by two horrific events of traffic violence. In 2021, Dr. Bruce Appleyard published an updated version, Livable Streets 2.0. Dr. Appleyard’s talk will revolve around the work of Livable Streets and Livable Streets 2.0, including the old as well as the new research research around the general theory that streets are for people, not merely conduits for cars. His talk will also deal directly with the Conflict, Power, and Promise of our streets, which will be presented to spur on group discussion. Participants are invited to reflect on their own research and work on streets and on such topics as street livability, complete streets, and Vision Zero.


  • Gain an understanding of the history of research, theoretical arguments, and findings related to the conflict, power, and promise of our streets.
  • Gain an understanding of how to design and create streets that are both safe and livable for people, specifically for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the way of making streets safe and livable, now and in the future of driverless cars.


Bruce Appleyard, San Diego State University

Dr. Appleyard is a Professor of City Planning and Urban Design at San Diego State University (SDSU) where he is the Director of The Active Transportation Research (ATR), the Action Institute for Sustainability, Livability, and Equity (AISLE), and SDSU’s Director of the national Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety (CPBS). Working at the intersection of land use, housing, transportation, and urban design, he helps people and agencies make more informed decisions about how we live, work, and thrive. Working from the human to regional/ecosystem scale, he is an author of numerous peer-reviewed and professional publications, and is the most highly cited scholar in the SDSU School of Public Affairs. He is also a renowned expert on urban quality, regional planning, the future of transport, street livability and designing for pedestrians and bicyclists.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Photo by Page Light Studios/iStock

Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), PORTAL, BikePed Portal and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research and tools for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research.