Reducing failed deliveries, truck parking time could improve downtown Seattle congestion

Reducing failed deliveries, truck parking time could improve downtown Seattle congestion

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In Amazon’s hometown, people turn to their computers to order everything from groceries to last-minute birthday presents to the odd toothbrush or medication forgotten from the store. If online shopping continues to grow at its current rate, there may be twice as many trucks delivering packages in Seattle’s city center within five years, a new report projects — and double the number of trucks looking for a parking space.

In...

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What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

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To David Meere, a visually impaired man from Melbourne, among the various obstacles to life in cities is another that is less frequently discussed: fear. “The fear of not being able to navigate busy, cluttered and visually oriented environments is a major barrier to participation in normal life,” says Meere, 52, “be that going to the shops, going for a walk in the park, going to work, looking for work, or simply...

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Shocker: It’s mostly men moving to Seattle for tech jobs

Shocker: It’s mostly men moving to Seattle for tech jobs

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Public Domain

For every four men who moved to Seattle for a tech job in the last decade, only one woman did, too, according to a recent analysis that looked at the trend of tech transplants nationwide.To industry experts and academics, the findings from the careers website Paysa.com came as no surprise. The data is more of the same — evidence of a gender void in the technology sector that has been well-documented but...

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Cities face a surge in online deliveries

Cities face a surge in online deliveries

​CC BY-ND 2.0: Flickr: torbakhopper

By the time veteran UPS driver Thomas “Tommy” Chu leaves work, he will have picked up and delivered hundreds of packages in New York City, making some 16 stops an hour as his company hurries to meet the online shopping rush. But what may be his most impressive feat of the day precedes that scramble: at precisely 10:02 am, Mr Chu snags a parking spot. This is no small victory in midtown Manhattan, where one...

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Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

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The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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Earthquakes are inevitable but catastrophe is not

Written by University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Marc Eberherd, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Jeffery Berman, and Department of Human-Centered Design senior scientist Scott Miles.

Many older buildings provide vital, low-cost housing. But we must find a way to make these structures safer. It should not be acceptable to us to subject our fellow citizens to such hazardous conditions.

ONCE again we...

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One-third of Seattle drivers ‘cruising’ for parking, rides, study finds

More than one-third of drivers in Seattle are either searching for parking or are ridesharing drivers waiting for ride assignments. That’s according to a study by a group of University of Washington students looking at traffic sensor data. The four students involved called this practice of searching for parking or rides “cruising.” The project used 63 sensors that already scattered through downtown Seattle. Student Orysya Stus said the team used a complicated...

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Opportunity abounds as Washington builds the modern electricity grid

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage, and Training Project—which would be the largest solar installation in Washington, and one of a relative few anywhere with a significant amount of energy storage incorporated—embodies a long chain of public and private sector efforts that have positioned the state, and the broader Pacific Northwest, as a leader in the grid modernization and energy storage industries.

Grid modernization—a broader term for what is also...

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Partnership with CMMB launches new center on smart, connected communities

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting - Vision (CMMB) has awarded the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering (UW EE) a $1.5 million gift to establish a new research center. The CMMB Vision-UW Center on Satellite Multimedia and Connected Vehicles will focus on the development of the next generation of smart cars and ubiquitous connectivity.

“UW EE is dedicated to the advancement of smart cities,” UW Department of Electrical Engineering Professor and...

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Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which creates less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington transportation engineers finds. In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don’t have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has...

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Cities Seek Deliverance From the E-Commerce Boom

With a major increase in residential deliveries, new urban delivery challenges have also arrived. That’s due in part to the failures of urban planning and the nature of the trucking business. While matters of public policy like public transit, bike lanes, and walkability fall within the purview of planning boards and municipal departments of transportation, freight has always been a purely private-sector enterprise. That means cities don’t even have reliable data on...

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Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

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A University of Washington-led research group has taken an important step toward measuring — and ultimately reducing — the global carbon footprint of building construction and long-term maintenance.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative effort among academics and industry professionals based in the UW’s College of Built Environments that studies reducing carbon emissions over a building’s entire period of use, or life cycle.

There is...

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In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

Image Credit: University of Washington

New research from University of Washington has shown for the first time that ambient FM radio signals can be used as a signal source for wireless communication. The technology, developed by engineers in the Networks & Mobile Systems Lab and Sensor Systems Lab, creates backscatter transmissions that can be decoded on any FM receiver, including those in cars and smartphones. This enabled the researchers, led by students in the two...

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Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

credit: Jessica Hamilton

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.

Leadership:

Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture

Executive Committee:

Margaret O’Mara, Department of History

Susan P. Kemp, School of Social Work<...

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New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

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Transportation routing services primarily designed for people in cars don’t give pedestrians, parents pushing bulky strollers or people in wheelchairs much information about how to easily navigate a neighborhood using sidewalks.

On Wednesday AccessMap – a University of Washington project spearheaded by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology — launched a new online travel planner offering customizable suggestions for people who need accessible or pedestrian-friendly routes when getting from point A...

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