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.



Devanne Brookins

Devanne Brookins is a Research Coordinator at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, supporting the Transforming Urban Transport - The Role of Political Leadership (TUT-POL) Sub-Saharan Africa project. Her research interests are centered on African cities at the intersection of urban development, governance and land, interrogating questions of how the urban is produced in Africa, and how development and decision-making contribute to the production of inequality. Her dissertation research explored the process of institutional change through the lens of land reform in urban and peri-urban areas in Ghana. Devanne holds a PhD in International Development Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT; dual Masters’ degrees from Columbia University in Urban Planning (GSAPP) and International Affairs (SIPA); and a BA in Political Science and French from Wellesley College.