Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, has announced the creation of Urban Movement Labs (UML), a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that will work to accelerate transportation innovation and smart mobility concepts across California’s most populous city.
Urban Movement Labs is the latest initiative led by Garcetti to ensure a sustainable, equitable, and accessible future for transportation in Los Angeles (LA). It will empower a coalition of public and private sector partners, non-profit organisations, academic experts, and local residents to design and deploy creative solutions to the city’s critical transportation challenges, bringing stakeholders to the table to develop new ideas, safely testing them on LA’s streets, and rolling them out in close partnership with local communities. In its first year, UML will work with local communities across the city to confront major issues affecting daily life, including: providing better transportation options to LA’s residents and 50 million annual visitors; easing commutes across the region; and converting underused transportation assets into affordable housing.
Beyond working with residents to tackle these immediate challenges, UML will be built around three core initiatives:
- The Ideas Accelerator – UML will identify current challenges, match solutions to each of them, then develop pilot programs to test ideas on LA’s streets;
- The Economic and Workforce Development Initiative – UML will be focused on one of Garcetti’s top priorities, which is developing a pipeline of businesses and well-paid jobs for the local workforce;
- The Urban Proving Grounds Initiative – UML leaders, partners and community members will identify and vet a network of neighbourhoods where solutions can be tested, evaluated, scaled to size, and eventually deployed.
Founding partners of UML include: the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), Los Angeles World Airports, the Port of Los Angeles, Avis Budget Group, the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Lyft, Verizon, and Waymo.
“Angelenos don’t wait for the future; we guide it,” said Garcetti, launching the initiative. “Urban Movement Labs will secure LA’s standing as the transportation innovation capital of the world, a place where new technologies are tested, proven, and brought to life, and people in every community have a seat at the table today, as we think about what our city will look like tomorrow.”
Avis Budget Group’s chief innovation officer, Arthur Orduna, commented, “Through our rental car and Zipcar brands, we operate at the intersection of urban mobility and travel and tourism and know the importance of convenient, efficient and sustainable movement of people in, out and around cities. It’s a unique opportunity to be part of this deep public-private partnership and we’re excited to leverage UML as the platform to put real transportation solutions into place with the City of Los Angeles as a global stage for mobility innovation.”
Stefano Landi, director of sales and business development at Verizon Smart Communities, said, “Our 5G Ultra-Wideband network applications and solutions are expected to power the transportation revolution. By investing in organizations such as the UML, we will help the City of Los Angeles and communities everywhere, including those that have been traditionally underserved, to accelerate the delivery of next-generation technologies that transform the way we live, work and play.”