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Autonomous Arlington - Introduction

Introducing our new blog series Autonomous Arlington!

by Brandon Utterback


Autonomous vehicles, rideshare, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), and online delivery technologies are developing quickly. As a result, the ways in which we interface with our destinations and receive our consumables are changing. If one looks closely at our current situation, they will see that the pressure on parking spaces is beginning to subside, while it simultaneously is heating up at the curb, sidewalk, and doorstep. As a grad student at The University of Texas at Arlington, I have been studying this change as the subject of my masters’ thesis in landscape architecture and city and regional planning. My hope is to not only fulfill my academic requirements, but to establish myself as an expert who will help design and retrofit our cities to this new transportation paradigm.


I am introducing this blog series, not only to inform, but to inspire participation by the public at large. Although I have spent a great deal of time conceptualizing a future with far less parking and how it might be designed, I continuously benefit from gaining others’ perspectives, and look forward to facilitating a forum for discussion. In short, I would love to hear what excites you, or gives you pause, about the new future we will build for our cities. Additionally, any applicable resources you discover might aid in my research, and would be greatly appreciated.


I also hope to align myself and mirror Arlington’s reputation as being on the forefront of this exciting new transportation frontier. During my research, I seek to establish myself as an expert on this subject. Aside from my thesis defense in December, I will be actively looking for opportunities to speak and collaborate with my colleagues and others. Finally, and possibly most importantly, I lay out my argument for mma to pave the way. Arlington has once again become the largest American city without mass transit, and offers a proving ground for modern door-to-door and on-demand autonomous transit and delivery. From what I have experienced in my first year at mma, no other firm is more equipped to address the anticipated change before us.


Next week I will submit my first post of this series titled Muscle Power. In that post I will explore transportation, just before the mass acceptance and adoption of the automobile in America.


About Brandon

Brandon Utterback is a grad student at the University of Texas at Arlington. His undergraduate degrees include horticulture and interdisciplinary studies with a minor in environmental sustainability. Brandon will graduate in the fall of 2018 with a master in landscape architecture and a master in city and regional planning. His hopes for the future are to develop an A-Team of designers that inject magic and awe into the experience of place, and work creatively to usher in the age of autonomous vehicles.

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