Cities by Design: The Future of Urban Mobility

When and Where

Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
55 St George Street


Prof Shauna Brail, Associate Professor, Innis College, Urban Studies Program
Prof Paul Hess, Associate Professor, Associate Chair and Director - Programs in Planning, Dept. of Geography and Planning


Part of the Urban Challenge Project Seminars

For the first time in history, the majority of 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. In light 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.

"Regulating Ride-Hailing in Canadian Cities" – Prof. Shauna Brail

At the start of 2016, ride-hailing was not a regulated form of ground transportation in any Canadian municipality. At mid-2019, however, more than two-thirds of Canada’s 30 largest municipalities have introduced ride-hailing regulations and another four are expected to do so by the end of the year.  This presentation will address the rollout of regulations and policy to date, consider the challenges for municipalities and existing forms of ground transportation in incorporating ride-hailing, and highlight potential opportunities and disadvantages associated with the growth of ride-hailing in Canadian cities.

“Pedestrians and Street Design in the Age of Automated Vehicles: A Review” – Prof. Paul Hess

This series is held in partnership with: 

UTTRI - U of T Transportation Research Institute


55 St George Street