For the first time in history, most people live in urban settings. Cities are the engines of economic growth, but are plagued with challenges relating to resource allocation, constrained government spending, ecosystem protection, creating migrant and youth opportunities, social inequities, labour market changes and infrastructure aging. Thrown into this arena, emerging technologies such as automated and connected vehicles, ride-hailing services, Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, and micro-transit are threatening rapid changes to our mobility systems. The academic and policy debates are rife with visions of new mobility utopias, where technology drives improvements in efficiency, CO2 emissions, and social inclusion. Also prominent are visions of mobility dystopias, where private vehicles control more of the public realm, mobility benefits are concentrated among the wealthy, and labour standards are eroded. Cities now face the massive challenge of evaluating the potential benefits, costs, and unintended consequences of integrating a heterogeneous mix of promising technologies with existing transportation infrastructure and mobility services. Because of this uncertainty, it is imperative that we conduct evidence-based research to guide transportation policy to achieve the many positive promises of emerging technologies, while ameliorating the inherent risks in technology-induced disruption. The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series will provide the U of T community a space to engage on these topics and explore research opportunities with the Mobilities Cluster at the School of Cities.
- Steven Farber, Human Geography (UTSC)
- Amer Shalaby, Civil and Mining Engineering (UTSG)
- Eric Miller, Civil and Mining Engineering (UTSG)
- Jonathan Hall, Economics (UTSG)
- Shauna Brail, Urban Studies Program (UTSG)
- Paul Hess, Geography and Planning (UTSG)
Call for speakers: The Future of Urban Mobility Seminar Series