About Urban Street Symposia

The Urban Street Symposia bring together planners, engineers, and other people with diverse and sometimes opposing perspectives and backgrounds related to a broad range of city street planning and design issues. The Symposia address the planning and design of urban streets from the perspectives of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, the disabled, transit users, and the greater community. The Urban Street Symposium objectives follow.

  • Provide a forum for comparison and debate of alternative urban street design practices.
  • Highlight problems caused by certain design practices, and better alternatives.
  • Promote applications of research.
  • Reconsider long-held urban street design practices in light of the “new urbanism” movement.
  • Document better urban street design practices.
  • Show “how to do it”.
  • Share innovations with others.
  • Transfer urban street research findings to state agencies and to local governments.

The Symposia provide a forum to exchange information, better understand and appreciate different views, and work toward common objectives. The scope is confined to city (of any size – “downtown, uptown, or small town”) streets, excluding freeways.

The majority of a Symposium is devoted to presenting papers. Each paper session usually consists of three to five papers addressing a theme related to street planning or design. Other activities have included workshops, site tours, poster session, and a “pro vs. con” debate on Smart Growth.