Cubular Corridors: Merging Vertical Urbanism with Accessibility Initiatives

76 Pages Posted: 22 May 2018 Last revised: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michael N. Widener

Michael N. Widener

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Date Written: May 7, 2018


Transportation network improvements have only marginal impacts unless either land use policies or transportation measures take seemingly costly directions, such as increasing mass transit service frequency, or by imposing additional fuel taxes or implementing costly congestion pricing to use a Corridor. Alternatively, radical initiatives such as the sale of public lands to an enterprise with a transportation authority component to develop transit-surrounding parcels (or sell them to the private sector for development), repurposing of brownfields or implementing performance zoning standards, will spur denser land development. Despite these realities, the public’s focus on increasing accessibility opportunities is focused, incorrectly I believe, on implementing devices relying on technological advances from artificial intelligence (AI) to the burgeoning Internet of Things (using 4 and 5G platforms) to move travelers faster and less stressfully. Focus on regional planning, especially, goes missing from this current environment. Initially in this paper, I review the nature of the traffic problems affecting heavily-traveled arterial streets in urban cores today, referring to these key rights of way as “Corridors” throughout this paper. Next, I explain why towns cannot bank on transportation infrastructure planning being “left up to AI and the IoT environment.” Then, I outline 10 “cubular” principles of land planning for communities grappling with Corridor gridlock and other issues affecting the quality of life from poor movement of motorized devices, velocipedes and persons walking alongside city streets. These principles are sensible when imagining Corridors in their three dimensions, adopting a sort of new “vertical urbanism,” where major thoroughfares insinuate themselves into the core areas of our planning landscapes.

Keywords: central business districts, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, AI, land planning, urban planning, autonomous vehicles, drones, jetpacks, mass transit, auto-centricity, vehicles, general plan, comprehensive plan, regional planning,traffic management, transportation plans, accessibility

JEL Classification: H75, K11, K23, P14, R41, R42, R52, R53, R58, Z32

Suggested Citation

Widener, Michael N., Cubular Corridors: Merging Vertical Urbanism with Accessibility Initiatives (May 7, 2018). William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2019. Available at SSRN: or

Michael N. Widener (Contact Author)

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint ( email )

2325 East Camelback Road
Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85016
United States

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ( email )

Prescott, AZ 86301
United States

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