Defining, measuring and analyzing transportation equity: Mobility Network Summer School

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An international group of thirty students and postdoctoral fellows, along with eight instructors and facilitators, took part in Mobility Network’s first summer school, “Planning More Equitable Transportation Systems,” on July 18 and 19, 2022, at the University of Toronto.

The summer school program was designed to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the theories of distributive justice and the theory and measurement of accessibility, as well as knowledge of how equity analysis can be applied to both transit and active travel planning in practice. Over the two-day period, participants heard, questioned, and discussed insightful presentations from experts, and learned how to use tools and methods to define, measure and analyze transportation equity.

Participants were chosen based on applications received after a Call issued on June 1, 2022, and attended free of charge.

Mobility Network Director Professor Eric Miller welcomed the group with an opening address on July 18, briefly introducing Mobility Network’s mission and goals as a designated Institutional Strategic Initiative of the University of Toronto.

speaker at podium, audience seated around tables

Professor Eric Miller, Director, Mobility Network, welcomes participants and instructors to summer school, July 18, 2022. (Photo: Mobility Network)

Each of the two days featured four sessions. July 18 began with presentations from Professor Christopher Higgins, Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough (Accessibility) and Dr. Rafael Pereira, Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), Brazil (Distributive Justice), followed by two sessions of hands-on work led by Professor Steven Farber, Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough, and Dr. Willem Klumpenhouwer, Postdoctoral Fellow at Transit Analytics Lab, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto (via Zoom), using Mobilizing Justice’s draft handbook “Equity Analyses of Transport Futures” (Transit Accessibility Workshop).

The first day’s program ended with a reception at the University of Toronto Faculty Club’s outdoor patio.

On July 19, two further Transit Accessibility Workshop sessions took place in the morning and were followed by presentations from Professor Meghan Winters, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University (Active Travel) and Dr. Floridea Di Ciommo, CambiaMO co-founder (European Perspectives).

Summer school concluded with a wrap-up and discussion led by Dr. Matthew Palm, Research Coordinator, Mobilizing Justice, and Dr. Ignacio Tiznado-Aitken, Postdoctoral Fellow, Suburban Mobilities, University of Toronto Scarborough. Participants were given an opportunity to synthesize their experiences at the summer school and reflect on how they can incorporate the material into their research and professional plans.

Mobility Network plans to offer summer schools on a variety of topics annually.

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