Cities by Design: The Future of Urban Mobility

When and Where

Thursday, July 11, 2019 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
BA 2139
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St Toronto, ON M5S 2E4


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.


Dena Kasraian
A multi-decade longitudinal analysis of transportation, land use and
travel demand developments in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area

Planning for the future of urban mobility is not possible without
assessing the past trends and the outcome of previous land use and
transportation policies. This presentation will discuss a longitudinal
research on the development of transportation infrastructure networks,
urbanization and travel demand, as well as their determinants in the GTHA
over several decades. The results emphasize the importance of developing
area-specific land-use and transportation policies within a metropolitan

Ahmadreza Faghih Imani, NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of
Toronto Transportation Research Institute.
Does the future of urban mobility rely on two wheels?
Bicycles are recognized to be more efficient, cost-effective,
enjoyable, and healthier mode of travel that can improve cities livelihood,
create vibrant communities, contribute to the economy and reduce GHG
emissions. In the dense congested urban areas, short trips are often
accomplished more quickly by bicycles. This talk presents how the growing
availability of new data and advancements in data analytics can provide
evidence supporting investments on bicycle infrastructures as a smart
solution for future urban mobility.

Laura Minet 
Health and Climate Benefits of Electric Vehicle Deployment in the
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)

The transportation sector contributes 35% of Ontario’s total
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Similarly, it is also a large contributor to
criteria air contaminants. Since electric vehicles do not generate any
operating emissions, vehicle electrification has been promoted to reduce
traffic-related air pollution and GHG emissions. However, in the context of a
scenario analysis of the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on the air
quality, it is necessary to consider the emissions from surrounding power
plants. This presentation will discuss the potential impacts of the
deployment of EVs in the GTHA on the air quality of the region. Different
penetrations of EVs will be analysed and their associated health and climate
benefits presented.

This series is held in partnership with: 

UTTRI - U of T Transportation Research Institute


40 St George St Toronto, ON M5S 2E4