Mobility Matters: Equity and Socioeconomic Factors
August 6, 2020
by Tom Lemoine
Robert Hamsphire, PhD is an associate professor of public policy at the University of Michigan Ford School and research assistant professor at the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS).
As part of Nexus’ new online professional certificate, Foundations of Mobility, Dr. Hampshire covers the social and behavioral implications of mobility, including the intersection between transportation and economic mobility, urban sprawl and segregation, and transportation equity. Dr. Hampshire addressed these topics and the impact of COVID-19 on transportation access and behavior during a recent conversation among U-M mobility experts.
ON MOBILE EQUITY, BEHAVIOR, AND ECONOMIC FACTORS, AND HOW HIS COURSE MODULE ADDRESSES THESE TOPICS:
The perspective I take in the module is that it’s all about people. The fact that transportation and mobility connects people to social and economic opportunities, political engagements, and civic life means that the system we view as a mobility system is one that is connecting people to opportunity. Part of what we look at in the module are some of the factors that impact those connections and opportunities and also the barriers that we’ve seen over the years. Some of that has to do with land use and how particular neighborhoods are organized, how dense they are, what kind of opportunities are provided and how that impacts economic opportunity, and so on. Given COVID, people know what it means to not be mobile in some ways, so the module I’m teaching doubles down on the connection between mobility and people.