IBL Center Hellwege Speaker Series: Prof. Peter Norton, University of Virginia
Peter Norton, University of Virginia Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will present a talk entitled "Back to Sustainable Urban Mobility."
Sustainability demands innovation, but we’ve been sold a defective version of innovation. “Innovation,” once a synonym of “improvisation,” has been reduced to high-tech novelty. For 80 years such techno-futurism has been a dangerous distraction. It rules out of consideration the tools and techniques we need to devise a more sustainable future. It miscasts humans as complications instead of assets. It mistakes what’s simple for what’s obsolete. In urban mobility most high-tech innovation has been committed, ironically, to perpetuating the unsustainable car dependency we inherited from the twentieth century. Real urban mobility innovation will require reinventing innovation. A complete innovation palette will include high tech, zero tech, and everything between. It will take advantage of the intelligence of the humans in the mobility system instead of striving to engineer it out. It will learn from history instead of disdaining it. When we rescue innovation from the techno-futurists and recover the tools they excluded, we will find that we can do today, at far less cost, what the techno-futurists have promised to deliver for unlimited dollars at an ever-receding future date.
Lunch will be available.