Oct 13, 2015

The first Transportation and Communities Summit picked up where its predecessor summit left off, offering a day of professional development opportunities and a few new touches. Around 275 people attended this year’s summit, held Sept. 15 at Portland State University.

The highlight for many, according to post-event surveys, was the keynote address by author and sociology professor Eric Klinenberg. Keeping alive a tradition from earlier Oregon Transportation Summits, Klinenberg’s address gave insight into an issue that intersects with transportation—in this case, the rise of single-occupant households—without directly detailing the transportation implications.

The breakout sessions allowed attendees to delve deeper into topics directly related to their professions. A full 54 percent of survey respondents called the breakout sessions the most valuable piece of the summit program. The most highly rated sessions were “Waiting to Connect,” on connected vehicles; “Something from Nothing,” on funding; “Zeroing in on Safety,” on Vision Zero; and “Baby, You can Drive my Car;” on the sharing economy. 

Slides from all these presentations are available at the summit page.

For the first time, summit sessions were Webcast for those who couldn’t attend in person...

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Aug 06, 2015

On creating civic engagement, driving density and sharing a stage with the 'funniest person on earth'

Our cities reflect how we choose to live. Increasingly, we choose to live alone.

Eric Klinenberg spent seven years researching people who live alone for his book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg will discuss the implications for the future of transportation as keynote speaker for the Transportation and Communities Summit on Monday, Sept. 15.

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Klinenberg, a sociology professor at New York University, came to the topic after an earlier investigation into isolation. Instead of a problem, however, he found the sort of vitality that drives civic participation.

People who live alone, Klinenberg said, make cities vibrant places by nourishing the “social infrastructure”: the places and institutions that support people’s public lives.

 “When countries invest in public amenities, including transit, they make it easier for...

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