The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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the leader September 2018 41 worker is required for customer-service purposes will need to be resolved if labor-saving benefits are to be fulfilled. One of the more eye-catching innovations is the use of drones for delivering goods. While there are clear advantages in terms of avoiding traffic and being able to deliver within specified time slots, the scalability of drones for delivery has been questioned. Drone delivery is unlikely to have a major impact on the built environment, as their use is likely to remain a niche solution in urban areas. However, drone use in surveying, construction, management, and marketing is on the rise, particularly in the U.S., where one in five drone exemptions has been for real estate purposes. One means of avoiding the challenges of concerns around safety is to deploy drones that operate on the ground – droids. These are small pods that operate on pavements and can carry up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds). London-based Starship Technologies has carried out 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers) of deliveries across 100 cities in a range of countries, partnering with companies such as Just Eat with a focus on decreasing the cost and increasing the efficiency of on-demand, last-mile delivery. However, the limited pavement space for these AVs means scalability is a challenge, and reduced congestion is unlikely, particularly if the solution is compared to the relative fast pace and low cost of bicycle couriers. Delivery giant UPS began trialing an electric-powered bike trailer in London in 2017, allowing couriers to carry up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of parcels. Parking A reduction in carparking spaces is not necessarily contingent on the deployment of AVs, but could be prompted by improved connectivity, expansion of Mobility as a Service, or a commitment to a "carpark-free" vision, or simply the ability to get better value from land. Carparks may be sold or redeveloped for retail, office, or even logistics space – often depending on land values and the initial design of the carpark. In 2017, Westfield Europe submitted plans to convert an entire floor of the carpark at Westfield Stratford City to retail use based on exceptional demand from retailers for additional space. Predictions as to the exact reduction of parking spaces are difficult, as it depends on locations, AV usage, and end-user needs. The fate of existing carparks will depend primarily on ownership, design, management, and land values. For example, it is feasible that publicly owned carparks (for example, those held by TfL) are ringfenced for the development of housing, with set quotas of affordable housing. Such a model has already been proposed by the New York Regional Planning Agency. Research suggests that a near-complete removal of parking spaces and road space simplification within a new development would gain an estimated 15 to 20 percent additional developable area. A reduction in parking is also likely to be viewed positively by planning authorities and could become a branding or sales point for new developments as "AV only" zones. Proper prioritization remains critical Uncertainty around the impact of AVs on driving behavior and parking needs leaves cities and developers with a range of options. The challenge for the CRE sector is to view advances in CAV technology in the broader context of changes to urban density, end-user behavior, and mobility solutions. For some, this might mean simply monitoring the social, technological, economic, environmental, and political landscapes to ensure decisions around design, location, and accessibility can adapt to trends. For others in the CRE sector, a response to AVs may be shaped around a long-term vision for the sustainability of a development, using AV technology to achieve specific goals around congestion, on-demand transport services, and public realm management. While it takes courage for developments to go parking-free, planning and investment in alternative options, including ridesharing credits and drop- off points, and working with a range of transport providers, might give end-users confidence in a parking-free vision. Finally, landowners must decide what they want to do with surplus parking, and planning authorities will need to decide how much to intervene with the market. The message for the sector as a whole is that while advances in AV technology are not to be ignored, decisions around investment, design, and management should place people before vehicle, regardless of who is behind the wheel. Kat Hanna is insight associate for C&W Research & Insight. James Maddock is head of Global Occupier Services, EMEA for Cushman & Wakefield.

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