Media Releases

Moving people: responses to congestion

October 24, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The sec­ond lec­ture in a six-part series dis­sect­ing urban issues in Toron­to, host­ed by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Cities Cen­tre, will focus on the city’s trans­porta­tion sit­u­a­tion.  The event will take place on Tues­day, Octo­ber 25, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103.

Speak­ers Eric Miller (Direc­tor, Cities Cen­tre) and Steve Munro (Pub­lic Tran­sit Advo­cate and blog­ger will present overviews on trans­porta­tion-relat­ed top­ics in the Toron­to region. Trans­porta­tion plan­ning in the region and tran­sit tech­nolo­gies as they have gone in and out of favour over time will be exam­ined by Steve Munro. Eric Miller will dis­cuss trav­el demand and needs in the Toron­to region, urban growth trends, how land use and urban form relates to tran­sit, and some options for mov­ing for­ward.

Ques­tions and dis­cus­sion will fol­low the pre­sen­ta­tions.

Steve Munro was born in Toron­to and has spent his pro­fes­sion­al life in Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy. He has been active in tran­sit pol­i­tics since 1972 when the “Street­cars for Toron­to Com­mit­tee” fought for the reten­tion and expan­sion of the street­car sys­tem. The com­mit­tee’s goal was a net­work of low-cost rapid tran­sit ser­vices to the new, grow­ing sub­urbs based on the prin­ci­ples of “Light Rapid Tran­sit”. Although the com­mit­tee dis­band­ed in the 1980s, Steve remained active as a tran­sit advo­cate on many fronts. The TTC’s “Rid­er­ship Growth Strat­e­gy” and “Tran­sit City” drew heav­i­ly on Steve’s advo­ca­cy that “The Bet­ter Way” could be much more than just a mar­ket­ing slo­gan.  Steve is a fre­quent com­men­ta­tor on tran­sit in Toron­to in the press and media, and through his well-known blog at

Eric Miller is the inau­gur­al Direc­tor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Cities Cen­tre. He has B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. degrees from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. He has been a fac­ul­ty mem­ber in the Depart­ment of Civ­il Engi­neer­ing, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to since 1983, where he served as Act­ing Chair in 1998–99, 2003 and 2007. Prof. Miller is Chair of the U.S. Trans­porta­tion Research Board (TRB) Com­mit­tee on Trav­el Behav­ior and Val­ues and past-Chair of the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion for Trav­el Behav­iour Research. He is past-Chair of the TRB Sub-Com­mit­tee on Inte­grat­ed Trans­porta­tion – Land Use Mod­el­ing and Mem­ber Emer­i­tus of the TRB Trans­porta­tion Demand Fore­cast­ing Com­mit­tee. He served on the TRB Task Force on Mov­ing Activ­i­ty-Based Approach­es to Prac­tice and the US Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences Com­mit­tee for Deter­mi­na­tion of the State of the Prac­tice in Met­ro­pol­i­tan Area Trav­el Fore­cast­ing as well as on numer­ous trav­el demand peer review assign­ments. His research inter­ests include: inte­grat­ed land use trans­porta­tion mod­el­ling; analy­sis of the rela­tion­ship between urban form and trav­el behav­iour; mod­el­ling trans­porta­tion sys­tem ener­gy use and emis­sions; and microsim­u­la­tion mod­el­ling. He is the devel­op­er of GTA­Mod­el, a “best prac­tice” region­al trav­el demand mod­el­ing sys­tem; TASHA, a state-of-the-art activ­i­ty-based trav­el microsim­u­la­tion mod­el; and ILUTE, an inte­grat­ed land use – trav­el demand mod­el sys­tem for the GTA. He is co-author of the text­book Urban Trans­porta­tion Plan­ning: A Deci­sion-Ori­ent­ed Approach, the sec­ond edi­tion of which was pub­lished in 2001.

The City of Toron­to is over 175 years old, and over the years it has gone through many changes and respond­ed to many chal­lenges. In the 1990s there was the chal­lenge of amal­ga­ma­tion, and the resul­tant absorp­tion of six munic­i­pal­i­ties (Toron­to, Eto­bi­coke, York, North York, Scar­bor­ough and East York) into a sin­gle one-tier city.  In the first decade of the mil­len­ni­um, the new City of Toron­to grew into a world-renowned metrop­o­lis, and became a focus for inter­na­tion­al tourism, a flour­ish­ing film and media indus­try, med­ical and oth­er hi-tech devel­op­ments, and many oth­er new and relat­ed fields. Now, the City is being chal­lenged to jus­ti­fy and explain itself, in the face of major fund­ing issues and con­cerns about pol­i­cy and gov­er­nance.

To dis­cuss some of these impor­tant ques­tions, the Cities Cen­tre has orga­nized six events, all open to the pub­lic. Each event fea­tures an urban “prac­ti­tion­er” and an aca­d­e­m­ic asso­ci­at­ed with Cities Cen­tre. Under the over­all rubric, “Toron­to in Ques­tion?,” Cities Cen­tre will host the events at John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening.

Com­ing events in the series include:

  1.  “City Build­ing” Speak­ers: Ken Green­berg and Dr. Lar­ry Bourne. Novem­ber 29.
  2. “Whose City? Inequal­i­ty and Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion” Speak­ers: David Miller and Dr. David Hulchan­s­ki. Jan­u­ary 24.
  3. “Who Gov­erns? City Hall and Cit­i­zen Par­tic­i­pa­tion” Speak­ers: Adam Vaugh­an and Dr. Richard Stren. Feb­ru­ary 28.
  4. “Who Needs Arts and Cul­ture in Toron­to?” Speak­ers: John Ral­ston Saul and Dr. Mark King­well. March 27 (loca­tion TBC).


WHAT:     Mov­ing Peo­ple: Respons­es to Con­ges­tion

WHEN:     Tues­day, Octo­ber 25, 2011, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE:   John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103, just east of Spad­i­na.

For more infor­ma­tion, or for media RSVPs, please con­tact:

Richard Stren
Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus, Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and Senior Advi­sor, Cities Cen­tre
(416) 817‑1330 (cell)

Rei­hane Mar­zoughi
Post-Doc­tor­al Fel­low, Cities Cen­tre