At our Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony today, we launched an ongoing series of videos about the impacts of research. The series will take a high-level look at recent studies, focusing on the benefits and impacts to users. The short videos feature interviews with the people who implement research—such as MnDOT and Metro Transit staff—to improve Minnesota’s transportation systems.
CTS Scholars in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are testing their ideas for how we can make infrastructure work better to support healthier and happier cities.
This post highlights a few of their projects that are exploring bike sharing, public transit, and transportation funding.
People experience different emotions during daily travel. Their happiness varies depending on the mode they use, trip duration, and other factors. U of M researchers are exploring how happiness could become a useful metric to assess transportation systems and guide policymaking, supplementing more common measures such as mobility and accessibility.
“Happiness is increasingly seen as a gauge of an individual’s well-being, and this has many social implications,” says Yingling Fan, associate professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “Happier people often are more productive and creative, have better family and social relationships, live longer, and, in general, are more successful.”
Americans spend, on average, about 75 minutes on daily trips. “Given the known benefits of emotional well-being, it’s important for planners and policymakers to understand the connection between transportation and happiness,” Fan says.
In May, the Global Transit Innovations (GTI) program coordinated a study-abroad course that took 16 University of Minnesota students to China. The intensive two-week course focused on high-density urban and regional development and included visits to five cities in the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions.
In this guest post, student Joe Polacek reflects on Nanjing, the third stop on the course’s itinerary. His highlights include an example of creative street design and experiences with Chinese bike-sharing systems.
A new report by a team of researchers at the U of M’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) provides insights into barriers stakeholders face to building healthier, more equitable developments in first-ring suburbs of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The report also suggests steps that could positively influence development decisions moving forward.
The Healthy and Equitable Development Project, funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Center for Prevention, was developed for over a year and focused on 18 developments within four cities: New Hope, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, and Richfield. It reflects the thoughts of community members, elected officials, city staff, and developers on the problems and opportunities around affordable living and active transportation.
As the movement to promote bicycling as a means of transportation has grown, so has the amount of money governments and nonprofit organizations are investing in the nation’s urban bicycling infrastructure. A concern, however, is whether these investments are distributed equitably among neighborhoods.
In a new study, U of M researchers looked at this issue using Minneapolis as a case study and found that though inequities still exist, equity is improving.
A new 10-episode podcast is exploring what commuting in the Twin Cities is like—and what it could be.
Here to There, developed by Apparatus and Transit for Livable Communities & St. Paul Smart Trips, examines the inextricable link between the ways we commute and the ways we live.
Each episode focuses on a different “destination”—defined not as a place but as a goal for the Twin Cities mobility system. Episode destinations include accessibility, equity, cohesion, and flexibility.