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 http://stevemunro.ca/) 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 stevemunro.ca

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.

BACKGROUND
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).

EVENT DETAILS:

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
rei.marzoughi@utoronto.ca