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VREF-SLoCaT Webinar: Political Strategies for Transforming Urban Transport

7 May 2015 @ 10:00 am


Date: May 7th, 2015

Time: 10 am EST/4 pm Central European/10 pm Shanghai time


  • Diane E. Davis, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Onesimo Flores-Dewey, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

On May 7th at 10 am EST, the Volvo Research Educational Foundations and Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport jointly organized a Webinar on political strategies for transforming urban transport.  The webinar aimed to spark a preliminary conversation about the forces of change and the action strategies that make transforming urban transport possible.  

The webinar highlighted and discussed: 

  • how BRT promoters in Mexico City successfully anticipated resistance and pre-empted opposition
  • how proponents of highway removal and bus reform in Seoul flexibly framed the scope of their efforts to recruit a broad supporting coalition
  • how Stockholm authorities relied on trialing and prototyping to turn public opinion in favor of congestion pricing.  


Scholars have long advocated for policies and projects to dramatically enhance the quality of public transit, to make streets much safer and more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians, and to make automobiles significantly less attractive. In pursuit of these goals, support for congestion pricing, bus rapid transit, pedestrianization, traffic calming, and non-motorized transport is on the rise in professional circles. However, the successful adoption and implementation of these ideas has proven tremendously difficult in the context of democracies where multiple stakeholders may disagree on their utility and where decision-making processes can involve a wide range of interest groups with competing interests. 

The Transforming Urban Transport (TUT) project, funded by the VREF and hosted at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, explores the conditions under which political leaders have embraced  transformative ideals in the field of transportation, asking how they have managed to champion them into reality. By examining cases of “success,” we reveal a range of action, framing, and coalition-building strategies that can inform policymaking efforts elsewhere.


Please click here to download the presentation on “Political Strategies for Transforming Urban Transport

For more information about the Transforming Urban Transport Project check out our website: www.gsd.harvard.edu/tut.


7 May 2015
10:00 am
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