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.


Other Research Affiliates

Chandra Rouse

Armando Sullivan

Justin Stern

Anneli Tostar

Seung Kyum Kim

Theodore Conrad

Marco Gorini 

Aaron Ramirez

Noah Coolidge

Daniel Foster



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.



Alexander Paulsson

Alexander Paulsson was a 2016 Visiting Scholar with TUT-POL. He is a post doc at the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Public Transport and Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, where he works in a research project on how collaborative governance processes can advance sustainable urban public transport policies. While at Harvard, Paulsson investigated mobility and equity with a specific lens towards Stockholm and San Francisco, two TUT-POL case study cities.


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.


2017 Visiting Scholar

Yilak Akloweg

Yilak Akloweg is a visiting scholar with TUT-POL. He is comparing successful BRT implementation in our case study cities (Mexico City and Seoul) with Addis Ababa, as well exploring city-regional development in multi-ethnic political systems through the vehicular/instrumental role of transport governance and leadership. He is a Coordinator to an urban think tank that has been working with the mayor of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in order to help the office make informed decisions on many aspects of urban challenges. He was also a National Coordinator for Bloomberg Global Initiative for Road Safety/Addis Ababa. 



Advisory Board Members


ALAN Altshuler

Alan Altshuler is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and the Ruth and Frank Stanton Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Kennedy School of Government. His teaching and research focus on urban politics, planning, and public investment. Altshuler’s prior appointments include Dean of the Graduate School of Design, Director of the Kennedy School’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for State and Local Government and Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Academic Dean of the Kennedy School, Dean of NYU’s Graduate School of Public Administration, and Professor of Political Science and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Altshuler also served as secretary of transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1971 to 1975.


David Banister is a Professor of Transport Studies at the School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) and Director of the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford. During 2009-2010 he was also Acting Director of the Environmental Change Institute in SoGE. Until 2006, he was Professor of Transport Planning at University College London. He has been Research Fellow at the Warren Centre in the University of Sydney (2001 – 2002) on the Sustainable Transport for a Sustainable City project and was visiting VSB Professor at the Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam (1994- 1997). He was a visiting Professor at the University of Bodenkultur in Vienna in 2007. He was the first Benelux BIVET-GIBET Transport Chair (2012-2013).


Robert Cervero is Friesen Chair of Urban Studies and a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He works in the area of sustainable transportation policy and planning, focusing on the nexus between urban transportation and land-use systems. Besides his academic appointment, Professor Cervero is the Director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) and the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC), a multi-campus research center devoted to advancing economic competitiveness, sustainability and livability in the transportation sector. His current research focuses on the intersection of infrastructure, place-making, and economic development as well as sustainable transportation planning in the developing world.


Ralph Gakenheimer is a Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He specializes in urban transport in rapidly motorizing and urbanizing countries with special attention on transport and land development. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and recent Chair of the Committee on Developing Countries of the Transportation Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Science. He has been visiting professor at the University of Paris XII, the University of the Andes (Bogota), University of California at Berkeley, the Catholic University of Chile, the National University of Colombia at Medellin. He was visiting staff for over a year each at the Ministry of Transport of France and the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism of Chile and for six months at the Work Bank. 


Jose Gomez-Ibanez

José A. Gómez-Ibáñez is the Derek C. Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Harvard University, where he holds a joint appointment at the Graduate School of Design and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He teaches courses in economics, infrastructure and transportation policy in both schools. Professor Gómez-Ibáñez research interests are in transportation, infrastructure and urban economic development, and infrastructure privatization and regulation. At Harvard, Professor Gómez-Ibáñez currently serves as chair of the Kennedy School Social Policy Area. He is faculty co-chair (with Professor Henry Lee) of the Infrastructure in a Market Economy executive program at the Kennedy School.


Barbara Kellerman

Barbara Kellerman is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was the Founding Executive Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, from 2000 to 2003; and from 2003 to 2006 she served as Research Director. Kellerman has also held professorships at Fordham, Tufts, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Washington, Uppsala, and Dartmouth/Tuck. She also served as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Fairleigh Dickinson, and as Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Kellerman received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.A. (in Russian and East European Studies), M.Phil., and Ph.D. (1975, in Political Science) degrees from Yale University. She was awarded a Danforth Fellowship and three Fulbright fellowships. At Uppsala (1996-97), she held the Fulbright Chair in American Studies.


Patrick Le Gales

Patrick Le Galès, is CNRS Research Professor of Sociology and Politics, at Sciences Po Paris, Centre d’études européennes and he chairs the “Cities are back in town” and “restructuring the state” research groups. He is a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a former editor of the International Journal of Urban and regional Research, a past president of SASE (Society for Advanced Socio economics), a trustee of theFoundation for Urban and Regional Research. He was educated at Sciences Po Paris, Nuffield College Oxford (M.litt.) and the University of Paris X Nanterre. He was a visiting professor or researcher in particular at UCLA, King’s College London, Nuffield College University of Oxford,, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Society in Cologne, the Universities of Milan Bicocca, Venise and the University of Sao Paolo (spring 2014).


Jay Walder

Jay Walder is the incoming CEO of Alta Bicycle Share now known as Motivate, a global bike sharing company that operates systems in ten cities around the globe—including Citi Bike in New York City. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation from 2012-2014. He has worked in the rail industry, both in England and in the United States, for over 20 years. Before joining MTR Corporation, Walder was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the United States. Between 2001 and 2007, he was the Managing Director, Finance and Planning, of Transport for London. From 2007 to 2009, he was Partner at McKinsey & Company, London where he was the Global Leader of the Infrastructure Practice for the firm. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Taubman Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he taught Public Policy and was also a guest lecturer at the National University of Singapore.