Expansionary Ethos and the American Transportation Landscape


Casey L. Brown, Alan M. Berger, Kenneth P. Laberteaux (TRI-NA)


Technology has long enabled an expansion of the urban sphere, shuttling people far from city centers on critical infrastructure linkages. Near-future technologies like automated vehicles, and far-future travel modes like Hyperloop, have the potential to expand this trend, significantly shaping future urbanization in the developed world. While the various automakers, technology companies, and regulators remain focused on the technical and risk profiles of this new form of mobility, far less effort has been invested in the larger-scale geographical space this new mobility might catalyze or how it might be designed. Given landscape architecture’s long-standing relationship with the spatial ramifications of new transportation technology, this transitional moment for mobility seems critically important for establishing a role for landscape architecture and city planning. This role can be shaped by the historically important part played by early American landscape architects in planning new developments around new transportation modes. Landscape architecture can once again envision a geographic and systemic approach that will help guide how self-driving vehicles will shape a new wave of expansive urbanization.

Publication pending

Using Format