Transforming Urban Transport- The Role of Political Leadership

Our Team

Our Team


Core Team Members



Diane E. Davis

Diane E. Davis is a Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is the author of Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (Temple University Press 1994) and Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004) as well as co-editor of Irregular Armed Forces and State Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Politics in Urban Spaces (Indiana University Press, 2011). Her published works examine the relations between urbanization and national development, comparative international development, the politics of urban development policy, and conflict cities.  She has explored topics ranging from historic preservation, urban social movements, and identity politics to urban governance, fragmented sovereignty, and state formation to planning theory. Her current research focuses on the transformation of cities of the global south, particularly the urban social, spatial, and political conflicts that have emerged in response to globalization, informality, and political or economic violence.



Lily Song

Lily Song is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Senior Research Associate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her teaching and research interests lie at the nexus of urban infrastructure and redevelopment; race, class, and gender politics in American and postcolonial urban contexts; and transformative policy and planning (just, sustainable, livable, or otherwise). Her projects topically span building energy retrofits, urban transport and mobility, and food markets and distribution systems among others. They typically center the experiences and insights of historically marginalized and disenfranchised groups and communities to diagnose systemic dysfunctions and inform more transformative policy and planning practices. From 2013-2015, Lily was a Provost Fellow with University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy, where her research investigated efforts by local Indonesian governments to engage forms of urban informality to advance more inclusive economic, workforce, and spatial development. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from MIT; Master’s in Urban Planning from UCLA; and BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.


Research Assistant

Hannah Herzig

Hannah Herzig holds a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she focused on urban health and health impacts of social policies. She went to medical school and received her license as a physician at the University of Cologne in Germany, completing her internship at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in the United Kingdom and Seoul National University Hospital. During her Masters studies, Hannah examined to which extent different urban environments affect social determinants of health, and whether ongoing urban renewal projects in the Boston neighborhood of Alston have the potential to positively influence health outcomes of the local population. She is interested in how sustainable modes of transit, especially public and non-motorized transportation, and housing and land-use policies, can be used to promote physical activity and improve cardiovascular health, quality of life and social cohesion.