Imani, Kasraian, Minet: July 11 Future of Urban Mobility Seminar

July 11, 2019 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Room BA 2139, Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St Toronto
ON M5S 2E4
School of Cities
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July 11, 3-5 p.m.

Three presentations from three speakers, followed by Q&A and discussion.

“Does the future of urban mobility rely on two wheels?” – Dr. Ahmadreza Faghih Imani

head shot of Dr. Ahmadreza Fagigh Imani

Dr. Ahmadreza Fagigh Imani

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.

Ahmadreza Faghih Imani is an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute working under the direction of Professor Eric J. Miller. He obtained his PhD in Civil Engineering (Transportation) from McGill University in 2017. His dissertation on examining bicycle-sharing systems was recognized with the 2015 Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science from North American Regional Science Association (NARSC). He is a young member of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Committee on Bicycle Transportation.


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

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Dr. Dena Kasraian

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 region.

Dena Kasraian is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute. She gained her PhD in Urban and Regional Studies and MSc in Urbanism (Cum Laude) from the Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She has a BSc in Architecture and a BA in French Language and Literature from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. With backgrounds and work experience in architecture, urban planning and travel studies, she is interested in multidisciplinary research among these fields. Her main research interest is the empirical investigation of long-term relationships between land use, transport and travel behaviour using geographic information systems and longitudinal analyses.


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

head shot of Laura Minet

Laura Minet

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.

Laura Minet is a PhD Candidate in Environmental and Transportation Engineering under the supervision of Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou.

About The Future of Urban Mobility Seminar Series

Seminars take place every other Thursday 3:00-5:00 p.m., details TBA.

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.

The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series is presented by UTTRI and the University of Toronto School of Cities in partnership.

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