‘Mobility’ Is Starting to Get the Attention It Deserves

Bill Peduto, who became mayor of Pittsburgh in January 2014, made mobility one of his top priorities early on. He focused on reshaping the way the city’s transportation functions were organized and delivered so that they would support and facilitate Pittsburgh’s ongoing renewal…

As a result, in May 2017 Peduto hired Karina Ricks to create a new Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. Ricks had spent about 20 years working in transportation in Washington, D.C., during that city’s dramatic economic recovery. When I heard Ricks’ presentation at a conference last fall, I could see that she had a view of transportation that I would call human-scale, grounded in the idea that it should bring people together in ways that build community.

With Carnegie Mellon University serving, in Ricks’ words, “as the research arm of the city,” Pittsburgh is emerging as a leader in the smart city movement.