City Planning

Urban, city, and town planning seek to inform land use, development, and transportation infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the community, often with the explicit goal of maximizing both economic vitality and overall quality of life. RAND helps to inform policymakers who plan long-term urban services and neighborhood design, from determining the public health implications of proximity to parklands or inner city waste abatement to the role of urban planning in nation-building efforts.

  • The Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2, 2016

    Commentary

    The Olympic Legacy — What Can Rio Learn?

    Rio will spend $14.4 billion on the Olympics. Like other host cities, it hopes to achieve an “Olympic legacy” to ensure that this investment pays dividends after the games and provides long-term economic, social, sporting, and cultural benefits.

    Aug 3, 2016

  • Journal Article

    CicLavia: Evaluation of Participation, Physical Activity and Cost of an Open Streets Event in Los Angeles

    Increasing the frequency of events in which major streets are open only to pedestrians and bicyclists would increase physical activity in urban areas.

    Jun 30, 2016

  • Metro Expo Line westbound train about to turn onto Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica

    Commentary

    Expo Line Could Enhance Wellbeing in Santa Monica

    On May 20, the long-awaited Metro Expo Line will begin service to Santa Monica. Viewing urban mobility as a key component of community wellbeing may be an instructive way to assess the impact of Expo and other infrastructure efforts.

    May 6, 2016

  • Advertisement from 1957 for "America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies" showing an autonomous car

    Report

    Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers

    Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology.

    Mar 22, 2016

  • City of Santa Monica seal

    Essay

    Learning from One City's Effort to Transform Community

    RAND researchers have partnered with the city of Santa Monica, California to redefine not just how cities measure success, but how they assess their very purpose for being. This “Wellbeing Index” posits that cities can improve not just the safety and comfort of their residents, but also their happiness.

    Mar 8, 2016

  • Report

    Quality of Life Indicators and Policy Strategies to Advance Sustainability in the Pearl River Delta

    Proposes a system of quality of life indicators and identifies policy options to improve quality of life in the Pearl River Delta, a region of Guangdong Province in southeastern China.

    Nov 6, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Associations Between Neighborhood Alcohol Availability and Young Adolescent Alcohol Use

    An investigation into the association between alcohol outlet density and adolescent alcohol use, including whether this association differed by sociodemographic characteristics.

    Oct 20, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Influence of the Built Environment on Pedestrian Route Choices of Adolescent Girls

    We examined the influence of the built environment on pedestrian route selection among adolescent girls.

    May 29, 2015

  • The entrance to the Santa Monica Pier at sunset

    Commentary

    Wellbeing Project to Weave Science Into Government Decisions

    Wellbeing is about individuals having the skills and opportunity to live a meaningful life. There are countless things that cities do that either contribute or detract from that sense of meaning. Santa Monica's Wellbeing Project is working to fundamentally change how the government thinks about its citizens.

    Apr 29, 2015

  • Downtown Pittsburgh

    Commentary

    Building the Best Pittsburgh Possible

    Pittsburgh's journey toward its bright future has only just begun. To realize its potential, the city needs a vision as well as an innovative, inclusive, and data-driven approach to community development.

    Apr 9, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Building Urban Resilience: A Look at Challenges Facing the Pittsburgh Region Today and Tomorrow

    RAND's Board of Trustees joined RAND donors and partners, as well as local Pittsburgh civic and community leaders, to discuss urban resilience efforts. Pittsburgh is at the forefront of municipalities considering how to develop resilience as a framework for managing change.

    Apr 8, 2015

  • Self-driving vehicle on a cloud

    Essay

    The Dream Drive: Twists and Turns on the Road to Self-Driving Vehicles

    Autonomous vehicle technology is already here: Cars park themselves, alert drivers to impending dangers, and even apply the brakes in emergencies. But what will it take to unlock its potential for major societal benefits?

    Jan 14, 2015

  • Barcelona aerial port view

    Commentary

    How Smart Are Our European Cities?

    The urban population is expected to double by 2050, when seven out of every 10 people will live in cities. Poverty, inequality, unemployment, and energy management challenges are also expected to increase. One potential solution is the concept of the “smart city,” where initiatives are designed to fuse current infrastructures with digital technology.

    Jul 9, 2014

  • The Dinesh Nagar housing complex on the outskirts of New Delhi

    Report

    The Effects of Moving to Permanent Dwellings on India's Working Poor

    In India, low-cost housing projects like the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot may help the working poor and their families improve their living conditions, while still allowing developers to recover their costs.

    May 30, 2014

  • Affordable housing in India

    Project

    Socio-Economic Effects of Affordable Housing on the Working Poor of India

    RAND examined the socio-economic effects of affordable housing on the working poor of India.

    May 30, 2014

  • A man on a donkey-pulled cart transports an auto-rickshaw for repair in Lahore, Pakistan

    Project

    Pakistan Urban Sector Assessment

    RAND is examining the trends and implications of rapid urbanization in Pakistan. The analysis leads to recommendations for policies to enhance productivity and economic growth in urban areas.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • Berlin by night

    Project

    Mapping Smart Cities in the EU

    The European Parliament asked RAND Europe to provide background information and advice to their members on the role of Smart Cities initiatives and to explain how existing mechanisms perform. The researchers established a working definition of a Smart City and mapped the cities fitting this definition across the Member States. An analysis of the Smart Cities initiatives found that Smart Cities objectives should be more explicit, well defined and clearly aligned to city development, innovation plans and Europe 2020 to be successful.

    Mar 25, 2014

  • One of Google's self-driving cars picturesd in a parking lot.

    Research Brief

    How to Best Realize the Social Benefits of Autonomous Vehicle Technology

    The auto industry has been moving toward more autonomous vehicles for years. Policymakers could benefit from an examination of the technological advances in this area, their benefits and risks, and the potential effects of various regulations — as well as the absence of regulation — on the development of this technology.

    Jan 6, 2014

  • News Release

    Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers

    Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology.

    Jan 6, 2014

  • Vietnamese woman paddling a boat

    Journal Article

    Flood Risk Management in Ho Chi Minh City

    Ho Chi Minh City faces significant and growing flood risk. Recent risk reduction efforts may not work if climate and socio-economic conditions diverge from earlier projections. Robust decisionmaking can help Vietnam's capital develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

    May 1, 2013