Next Generation American Suburbs: Planning and Designing for Autonomous Suburban Metro Patterns

As global populations grow, cities are expanding beyond their core and out to lower-density suburban neighborhoods. In the United States, almost two-thirds of these suburban areas have non-existent or limited public transit options. This results in a dependence on individually-owned vehicles and associated challenges of traffic, parking, affordability, and environmental impact. With this in mind, the autonomous driving revolution has the potential to radically transform life in suburban communities.

To explore the possibilities, the MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism is collaborating with the Toyota Mobility Foundation. Together, and with the collaboration of urban planners and landscape urbanists, we will expand prior research to develop scenarios and plausible suburban configurations that will explore autonomous mobility options. The work will evaluate real-world typologies and create guidelines for future land use and new Optimized Suburban Units (OSUs).

Spring 2019