Transportation as a Language: Mobility management of China’s urban billion

Lecture | March 10 | 4-5 p.m. | 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Jinhua Zhao, MIT

 Institute of Transportation Studies

Abstract: The rapid urbanization and economic growth in China uniquely characterize her transportation challenges and corresponding solutions. Extraordinary growth calls for extraordinary measures. Boldness in both infrastructure development and policy design seems commonplace in China’s transportation arena. This talk, however, will present the subtleties in these bold designs through three stories: the rise and decline of bicycles, the high speed rail and mega-regionalization, and contrasting policy models of automobile management. I see urban transportation as a language, to describe a person, to characterize a city, and to understand an institution in contemporary Chinese society. The talk starts and ends with the speculations of the (im)possibility of sustainable transportation in China and a glimpse of hope.

Bio: Jinhua Zhao is the Edward and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor of Urban Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. He holds Master of Science, Master of City Planning and Ph.D. degrees from MIT and a Bachelor's degree from Tongji University. Prof. Zhao brings behavioral science and transportation technology together to improve urban mobility systems and policies. He also studies China’s urbanization and urban mobility. Prof. Zhao directs the Urban Mobility Lab at MIT.