Sustainable Transportation and Cities

Faculty in the Sustainable Transportation and Cities research group analyze a diverse set of issues related to the form and function of cities and the role of transportation in creating or responding to that form. Of particular interest is the interplay between some or all of the following: land use, urban form, street design, new mobility, active transport, micromobility, public policy, public budgeting/finance, real estate, equity, quality of life, and happiness, among other related issues. More specifically, faculty are examining:

  • Planning and designing for small footprint, low carbon modes of transport
  • Issues of transportation and equity
  • Impacts of transportation on health
  • Governance, policy, and finance issues emanating from new transportation modes
  • Land use, growth management, sustainable transportation, and new mobility

Information for PhD Applicants

Sustainable Transportation and Cities is one of three research groups that support the PPPM PhD in Planning and Public Affairs. Students applying to the doctoral program should review the expertise of the Core PPPM faculty listed below to identify potential advisors.


Core PPPM faculty

Rebecca Lewis: Land use, growth management, and the sharing economy
Anne Brown: Equity, shared and innovative mobility, travel behavior
Yizhao Yang: Travel behavior decision-making, environmental analysis for walkability
Ben Clark: Effects of autonomous vehicles on parking demand and municipal finance changes
Nicole Ngo: Changing mobility and its impacts on parking, transit, and sustainability

Participating PPPM faculty

Rich Margerum: Collaborative decision-making processes
Dyana Mason: Access, human services, and social equity

Other Participating Faculty

Stephen Fickas (Computer Science): Smart and connected cities & micromobility
Nico Larco (Architecture): Urban design, streets, and sustainable cities
Heather Brinton (Law): Environmental and natural resources law
Josh Skov (Business): Sustainability and new mobility; new mobility business models; big data in transportation
Rob Ribe (Landscape Architecture): Green infrastructure, ecosystem services, and corridor design
Thomas Götschi: Transportation and health; travel behavior research

Key Graduate Elective Classes

Current Research

  • Green Waves, Machine Learning, and Predictive Analytics: Making Streets Better for People on Bike
  • Matching the Speed of Technology with The Speed of Local Government
  • Investigating Effects of TNCs on Parking Demand and Revenues
  • Equity Outcomes of Mobility on Demand Pilot Programs
  • Equity of New Transit Fare Technologies
  • Scooter, Bike, And Car Parking Behaviors and Violations

Future Research

  • Experimental examination of how information and subsidies influence bike share use
  • Electrification of the fleet and managing the grid: field experiments on pricing and behavior
  • Developing new ways to measure, analyze, and repurpose the street
  • Impacts of ride hailing on transportation, streets, curbs, parking, and cities
  • Technology, mobility as a service, and environmental psychology
  • Carbon, health, and infrastructure impact assessments of sustainable transport and new mobility
  • Modal choice and the coproduction of government services
  • E-commerce and urban freight generation across a metropolitan area
  • New mobility and e-commerce impacts on street design
  • Understanding regional transportation-housing cost burdens
  • Transportation, community resilience, and pre- and post- disaster recovery
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication
  • The impact of ride hailing services on the accessibility of nonprofit services
  • Ride-hailing services, air quality, and congestion
  • Understanding the environmental and psychological factors affecting the use of transit
  • Understanding how transportation knowledge gets put into practice
  • Environmental and health impact calculations for changes in travel patterns related to mode switching and new mobility (ride-hailing services/bike sharing/e-bikes/e-scooters)
  • Evaluations of transport policies (including pricing schemes, regulations, infrastructure) on mode choice and/or travel behavior
  • Identifying and/or developing adequate methods to evaluate schemes for active transportation
  • What is the role of objective and perceived safety in cycling: development of adequate methods to assess cycling safety and identification of measures to improve it
  • Evaluation of traffic calming schemes: effects on speed, noise, safety, acceptance with neighbors, drivers, planners, etc.

Relevant Media