Friday, February 28, 2014

Presentation by Cartoonist (and Traffic Engineer) Ian Lockwood

As a bit of background, I was a little college intern a dozen years ago at a company called Glatting Jackson in Orlando, FL (I like warm weather. Can you tell?).  This was a great experience for a designer and urban planner like myself because at Glatting was a group of traffic engineers that really understood the bigger picture.  That traffic (and its infrastructure) should be subservient to city (and all of its functions) rather than the city subservient to ephemeral traffic issues.

Traffic, behavior, and land use all adapt to the bones its given.  You have to understand cities as living systems in order to best design and shape them towards doing what they do best, which is improving quality of life by facilitating fast, efficient social and economic exchange.  The traffic engineers at Glatting understood this bigger picture and design infrastructure networks so that cities function better.

I consider Ian to be the best traffic engineer in the country.  Don't take my word for it.  Take the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Loeb Fellowship, which made Ian the only traffic engineer to ever receive fellowship.  There, he studied highway tear-outs and is one of the foremost experts on design traffic networks with the intended goal of optimizing cities as social, economic, and environmentally sustainable places.

If you missed the presentation last night, we'll be posting the youtube over the weekend or early next week (provided the siren's song of nice weather doesn't intervene).  Here is the link to the slideshow, but it's really his words and experiences shaping more safer, more walkable, and more economically vibrant places (which are all interconnected) that tie it together.  So be on the look-out for that youtube.