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Gothenburg – the first city to incorporate autonomous vehicles into urban planning

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gothenburg City Planning Authority is the first in the world to examine the interaction between autonomous vehicles and sustainable, long-term urban planning. The city is exploring the effects and benefits of technology, including, but not limited to, the future need for parking facilities, enhanced road safety, accessibility, and implications to the use of public space.

Throughout the world there’s ongoing intensive work to test the technology associated with autonomous vehicles but up until now no-one has examined the interaction between technology and urban planning. With the project ‘Autonomous Vehicles as Part of the Deepening of the Comprehensive Plan for Central Gothenburg’, Gothenburg and the City Planning Authority are the first in the world to examine the interdependencies between the technology associated with autonomous vehicles and transport systems and
the city’s long-term planning.

Based on different scenarios and visions for the future, the project will examine the potential effects generated by this emerging technology, and how they relate to the sustainability goals for Gothenburg and the city’s planning of the streets, buildings, parks and public spaces
of the future.

“Through this project we are mapping and linking technological outcomes to our current urban planning system. Based on the deepening of the city’s comprehensive plan, we can see how the new conditions that emanate from this technology will have a bearing on our potential to build a good, sustainable city. The lessons that we learn will also provide valuable data that can be passed on to those responsible for developing the technology,” says Anna Svensson, project manager at the City Planning Authority.

“We are still only at the beginning of what digitalisation could entail in the development of a sustainable city that allows people to live a good life. We are therefore pleased that Gothenburg is the first in the world to examine how autonomous vehicles could, as part of the digitalisation process, create new opportunities for effective urban development,” said Agneta Hammer, Director of Gothenburg City Planning Authority.

For further information, please contact:
Project manager Anna Svensson
+46 (0)70-761 25 53

The project Autonomous Vehicles as Part of the Deepening of the Comprehensive Plan for Central Gothenburg is being led and run by the City Planning Authority in Gothenburg with the aim of examining the negative and positive impact of autonomous vehicles in relation to the physical planning of the city. The project is part of two Swedish innovation partnership programs, Smarta städer (Smart Cities) and Nästa generations resor och transporter (Next Generation Travel and Transport), and is funded in part by Vinnova within the framework of the public-private partnership Drive Sweden. It will continue through to the end of 2018.

The City Planning Authority remit is to create a comprehensive plan for the whole of Gothenburg, and to prepare local plans that present how and where we are permitted to construct new buildings and facilities. We are responsible for building permits, maps and aerial photographs, as well as measurements and the maintenance of a large archive with building permit drawings, land survey documents, site maps and current plans. We also house the Gothenburg office of the Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority.
The Planning and Building Committee comprises nine members and six deputies, elected by the City Council for four years. The committee meets once a month, except for July. The meetings are not open to the public. A press and media information session is held after each meeting.