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Christopher Zegras
Assistant Professor of Transportation Planning

People > Faculty ProfiLes > Christopher Zegras

Q. Who most influenced your work as a scholar of international development and why?

Zegras: Some of my earliest influences include Manfred Max-Neef, a Chilean economist known for his early practice in “economics as if people matter” (From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics) who also pioneered a “human needs-based” development paradigm (Human Scale Development).  Also, in 1991 I first saw Herman Daly speak, and remain forever impressed with his efforts to make economics better reflect the values of the natural world.  Amartya Sen’s work has also been an important source of influence, as his eloquent writings on human development are critical to understanding the needs and possibilities for sustainability in the developing world and have important implications for understanding the relevant role of transportation.

Q. What is your research focus?

Zegras: Most broadly speaking, my research focus is on the interaction between transportation systems and quality of life.  Specifically, I look at the influence of the built environment (urban form and design) on travel behavior; at the moment, for example, I am examining the influence of gated communities on travel behavior in Santiago de Chile.  I have also researched extensively the impacts of transportation on the natural environment, including transportation’s role in climate change. In this area, I have just completed an analysis of the potentials for using the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the urban transportation sector.  Finally, I have looked at the possibilities for and implications of various financing mechanisms, such as the increased use of private sector concessions, for urban transportation infrastructure development and systems performance.

Q. Please tell us about of your most recent publications of note.

Zegras: Donoso, P., F. Martínez, C. Zegras. 2007. The Kyoto Protocol and Sustainable Cities: The Potential Use of the Clean Development Mechanism in Structuring Cities for “Carbon-Efficient” Transport. Transportation Research Record (forthcoming, accepted for publication).

Zegras, 2006. Private Sector Participation in Urban Transport Infrastructure Provision.  In Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Developing Cities. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammen­arbeit (GTZ), Division 44, Environmental Management, Water, Energy, Transport.

Q. What are some of your most recent public lectures?

Zegras: “Como involucrar el sector privado en el financiamiento de sistemas de transporte sustentable.” 2006. 2do Congreso Internacional de Transporte Sustentable, Ciudades en Movimiento, Ciudad de México, World Trade Center, 17 de octubre

“Indicadores de Transporte Sustentable y Metodologías de Evaluación: Antecedentes.” 2006. Plenary presentation at Clean Air Initiative-Latin America, Biannual Conference, Transporte Sustentable: Vínculos para Mitigar el Cambio Climático y Mejorar la Calidad del Aire, sponsored by the World Bank, São Paulo, 26 July.

“Transportation and City Design.” 2006. Invited Lecture at Tsinghua University, School of Architecture, Beijing, 30 June.