Today, here in 2018, students, staff, and faculty are all struggling with the same issue: how to make the tough tradeoffs between an affordable (and hopefully nice!) place to live and a short and affordable commute to campus. It affects our quality of life, where we choose to live, and what we spend our time and money on. Right now, it’s not working very well for a lot of people. As Lynne Harris puts it:
In 2030, it’s not hard to use your Shadow Imagination to envision a campus with more commuters, more parking lots, more cars, and even longer days for those who live even farther away.
As Alyson Brown notes, that’s because of the housing/car nexus – as goes affordable housing, so go commute patterns and needs.
Steven Yu points out how increased pressure on affordable housing will lead to more commuters, coming from farther away:
Fiona plays out a pretty shadowy future: Might some students have to resort to DIY personal housing right on campus?
Affordable housing and long commutes are linked problems that need some new approaches. There are tons of great ideas about things our Long Beach community can start working on today:
First stop, an easy idea but hard to execute: better public transport….
Public transport is a hard nut to crack and involves major partnerships with external organizations. But closer to home, how about streamlining on-campus mobility so that campus commutes don’t add an extra leg to already long travel times?
Lori Joy has a great first start: an idea that would also create jobs for students and provide more inclusive mobility options for all.
Re-organizing campus to be a little more decentralized would also make on-campus commutes easier and faster…such as having more facilities on lower and upper campus.
Third, how about simply better maps of resources that are already available…
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see who’s driving to campus and has an extra seat, exactly where the shuttles are, and where there are open parking spaces? If we start now, this should definitely be in place by 2030.
We can also do better at helping commuters manage their quality of life. How about building more multi-purpose spaces that allow students, staff, and faculty to rest during those long days?
This is just the beginning of the conversation. This is a huge, multifaceted issue, and one that affects our ability to show up at class and work with energy. If we want to see transformation in 2030, we have to address it with creativity, empathy, and execution.