Global Mobility Research

Global Mobility Research

This Global Mobility Research blog series features interviews with global transportation researchers from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation’s Future Urban Transport Program. Each month we feature a leading thinker from this network of transportation professionals. Their research looks at how mobility systems are functioning, evolving, and working in cities around the world with an eye towards emerging technology, policy and collaborative solutions.

About the Author

Christina Olsen is Program Director at Meeting of the Minds and has been working with the organization for more than 2 years. For the past 15 years, Christina Olsen has provided research, advisory services, project management, planning, and general management to a wide range of sustainability organizations and projects around the world. She holds a master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard and a BA in Environmental Studies – with a joint major in Anthropology – from the University of Victoria.

This series was made possible by the generous support of the Volvo Research and Education Foundation.

Integrating Formal and Informal Transportation Services into a Hybrid Network

Featuring Roger Behrens

Meeting of the Minds talked with Roger Behrens about planning for hybrid urban transportation systems that include both formal and informal transit services. Roger is an Associate Professor in the University of Cape Town’s Department of Civil Engineering. He is Director of the Centre for Transport Studies, and of the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport (ACET). He graduated with a Master Degree in City and Regional Planning from UCT in 1991, and with a PhD degree in 2002. His current research activities relate to: the integration and improvement of paratransit services; the dynamics and pace of changing travel behavior; the use of transport systems by pedestrians; and the urban form prerequisites for viable public transport networks. 

Leveraging Technology to Improve Transportation in Nairobi and Beyond

Featuring Jacqueline Klopp

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Jacqueline Klopp about using technology to improve transportation in Nairobi and other African cities. She is an Associate Research Scholar at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University and teaches Sustainable Development at Columbia University. Her research focuses at the intersection of sustainable land use, transportation, planning and democratization. She is writing a book on the politics of planning in Nairobi and is taking an increasing interest in ICT and questions of public participation in policymaking around planning. She is also a co-founder of the blog NairobiPlanningInnovations and the Digital Matatus project that mapped minibuses (matatus) in Nairobi and produced the first public transit map of minibuses for the city. Klopp received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Political Science from McGill University.

Researcher and Paratransit Operator Collaboration in South Africa

Featuring Herrie Schalekamp

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Herrie Schalekamp about new working relationships between researchers and paratransit operators in South Africa and beyond. Herrie is the ACET Research Officer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Transport Studies. In addition to his research, teaching and consulting in the fields of paratransit and public transport reform he is involved in specialised educational programmes for paratransit operators and government officials. Herrie’s activities form part of a broader endeavour to investigate and contribute to improved public transport operations and regulation in Sub-Saharan African cities under ACET – the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport.

Bridging Divides in International Transportation Planning

Featuring Chris Zegras

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Chris Zegras about the use of technology in interactive urban planning, multi-disciplinary transportation education, and Bus Rapid Transit Oriented Development. He is Associate Professor of Transportation and Urban Planning at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). He teaches, leads large-scale research, and consults on a range of topics, from data collection to behavioral analysis, integrated land use transportation planning and modeling, and project and policy analysis. He is also Lead Principal Investigator for the Future Urban Mobility Interdisciplinary Research Group under the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), an Executive Board member of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Centre of Excellence, and the lead for the Mobility Futures Collaborative.

Interview with Dan Chatman: Integrating Pre-Existing Public Transportation with Bus Rapid Transit in Developing Cities

Featuring Dan Chatman

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Dan Chatman on the integration of paratransit services with Bus Rapid Transit around the world. Dr. Chatman studies travel behavior and the built environment; residential and workplace location choice; “smart growth” and municipal fiscal decision making; and the connections between public transportation, immigration and the economic growth of cities. His research relies heavily on original data collection, including surveys, focus groups and interviews. Before joining UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Chatman was an assistant professor of urban planning and policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. His previous experience includes work as a planner and consultant in the Bay Area, and three years with the Peace Corps in Botswana.

Interview with Richard Barone: Strategies for Moving Goods in Metropolitan Areas

Featuring Rich Barone

Meeting of the Minds talked with Richard Barone of Regional Plan Association (RPA) about the hidden but critical issues of freight and goods movement in cities around the world. In his role as Vice President for Transportation at RPA, Mr. Barone is responsible for the organization’s transportation portfolio in the areas of finance, policy and planning. He is RPA’s subject matter expert on freight/logistics, technology and urban transportation systems, and aviation.

Interview with Xumei Chen: Sustainable Urban Transport in China

Featuring Xumei Chen

Meeting of the Minds talked with Xumei Chen about sustainable urban transport in China. Ms. Chen is Associate Professor and Director for Policy and Standard Division at the China Urban Sustainable Transport Research Center (CUSTReC), an international think tank on urban transport in the China Academy of Transportation Sciences of the Ministry of Transport in China. Her main research areas include low carbon transport policies, energy conservation and emission reduction, environmental and energy technologies as well as climate adaptation.

Interview with Geetam Tiwari: Mobility and Climate Solutions in Indian Cities

Featuring Geetam Tiwari

Meeting of the Minds talked with Geetam Tiwari about her work developing systems and designs that make transportation safer and more efficient, with a special focus on vulnerable road users and commuters. Geetam is TRIPP Chair Associate Professor for Transport Planning at the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT) in Delhi and Alderbrastka Guest Professor for Sustainable Urban Transport at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden 2007-2009.

Interview with Juan Carlos Muñoz: Why Bus Rapid Transit Makes Sense for Cities

Featuring Juan Carlos Muñoz

Meeting of the Minds took a minute to sit down with Juan Carlos Muñoz about his new book on BRT. He and Laurel Paget-Seekins edited the recently published book: “Restructuring Public Transport through Bus Rapid Transit”. Juan Carlos is the Director of the Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence, Director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Development, and Associate Professor with the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago. 

Meeting of the Minds is made possible by the generous support of these organizations.

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