Welcome to the SMART blog! It’s a dynamic counterpart to SMART’s website, posting-up-to-the-minute sustainable transportation news, events, jobs, and other opportunities from the U.S. and around the world. It also links to innovations, new research, policy updates, related newsletters, inspiring initiatives, and videos that come our way. You can contribute too! Please send relevant information to Kim Seelye. The blog will benefit and grow from your involvement. SMART is a project of University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. MANY THANKS to the FIA Foundation for their generous support of the development of SMART’s blog in the interests of advancing New Mobility implementation. Many thanks also to Ford Motor Company for supporting the development of this blog through its generous ongoing support of SMART.


Summer Internship Opportunity with CPPR in Tamil Nadu, India

Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.cppr.in/) is looking for summer interns with background in urban planning and design. The intern will work on a project being undertaken by CPPR in the city of Erode in Tamil Nadu where they will be starting with city mapping exercises based on identified indicators. This opportunity will allow you to get hands on ground experience and a chance to work alongside CPPR’s diverse research team. The duration of the Internship shall be from 2-4 months starting from June/July 2015. Accommodation at Erode shall be provided along with a small stipend. Interested candidates should send their resume/CV to Madhu Sivaraman at project@cppr.in with the subject line “APPLICATION FOR CPPR SUMMER INTERNSHIP”. For additional details look at the announcement below.

Post: Urban Planner Intern

Site Location: Erode City, Tamil Nadu, India

Key Deliverables

The duties for the intern include but are not limited to:

  Work on developing Master Plans for cities with a regional approach

  Collating data, undertaking analysis and writing reports for on-going CITY MAPPING exercise at Erode, Tamil Nadu, India.

  Demographic and Economic Analysis for Regional and Master Plans

  Doing sketch-ups, and rendering, understand layers, differing scales.

  Work both independently and collaboratively with the various team members and other interns/ volunteers

  Develop/create attractive presentation layouts and maps using the appropriate softwares.

  Travel to Site with potential overnight stays for Site visits.

Desired Requirements

  Working knowledge of GIS, with proficiency in creating base maps from Google and from GIS shape files preferred.

  Proficiency on working with AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and Microsoft Office

The duration of the Internship shall be from 2-4 months starting from June/July 2015. The Intern shall be allowed a Stipend amount or allowances for the Project of up to INR 5000 per month ($80) depending on the engagement. Accommodation at Erode shall be taken care by CPPR. Any other additional expenditure shall be borne by the intern themselves if it is not directly related to the execution of the project.

About CPPR

Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) is a think tank dedicated to extensive and in-depth research on current economic, social, and political issues. They strive to initiate policy changes by publishing our research and by framing policy debates and discussions on various subjects. Their research areas include Governance, Education, Health, Law, Livelihood, Strategy & Security and Urban Reforms. They have carried out research projects and worked on policy papers for government bodies, private institutions, and academia; many of which have had a profound impact at the governance level. CPPR’s research team includes professionals from different fields of expertise and resource persons from across the world.


University Student Program for this year’s Podcar City 9 conference

Podcar City, November 4-6, 2015 in Silicon Valley, will be the 9th annual international conference on the development and use of Automated Transit Networks, or ATN systems. Since 2007 the conference has been held in Sweden, Germany and the USA.

Podcar City 9 will be hosting a series of special activities to encourage emerging professionals to take an active role in shaping the future — their future — in transportation. The program includes a summer internship program in Silicon Valley, a design charrette on Wednesday, November 4th, and poster sessions during the conference.

For more information, see http://www.podcarcity.org/PodCityVirtualConf/ConferencesFolder/9__siliconvalley/Documents/Youth%20Program/2015-05-03.PCC9%20Student%20program.pdf.


Want to save energy? Fly the environmentally friendly skies

Flying in a plane is not only safer than driving a car, it’s also better for the environment, says a University of Michigan researcher.

In a follow-up study from last year, Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute found that it takes twice as much energy to drive than to fly.

He examined recent trends in energy intensity—the amount of energy needed to transport a person a given distance—in light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups and vans) versus domestic airline flights. His analysis measured BTU per person mile from 1970 to 2012.

Read the full story at http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22843-want-to-save-energy-fly-the-environmentally-friendly-skies.


Toronto needs more mid-rise condos, report says

Author: Susan Pigg

The GTA is plagued by “dead zones” along many of its major streets that could become affordable new family-friendly neighbourhoods and vibrant shopping areas if rezoned for desperately needed mid-rise condo projects.

Whole stretches of prime real estate — especially along key transit routes like the Bloor-Danforth subway — are hobbled by outdated zoning and low-rise buildings that would make ideal spots for five- to 11-storey condo complexes and new walkable, transit-oriented neighbourhoods, notes a new report being released Friday.

“Housing affordability has become a pressing issue — the new transit discussion,” says Cherise Burda, director of the Toronto-based think tank, the Pembina Institute which co-authored the “Make Way for Mid-Rise” report.

Where reasonable rental housing was once the biggest challenge in the region, now affordable home ownership is a growing crisis, with too many young families being “forced to drive until they qualify” for mortgages on more affordable homes in far-flung suburbs a killer commute from work, Burda says.

Read the full article at http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/05/01/toronto-needs-more-mid-rise-condos-report-says.html.


Postdoctoral Research Position in Sustainable Urban Mobility

The Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics (DTEL) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (www.ing.puc.cl/transporte-y-logistica), host of the BRT Centre of Excellence (www.brt.cl) and key member of the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development – CEDEUS (www.cedeus.cl), is currently looking for a post doctorate or experienced researcher to join their research group. They have a number of on going projects on different urban mobility issues in which the successful applicant could participate, leading some of them and/or collaborating with other researchers at the DTEL on others. Individuals with research interests in any area regarding urban mobility (public transport, non-motorized modes, pedestrians, private vehicles, etc.) ranging from the most strategic to the most operational aspects of each theme are especially encouraged to apply (i.e. planning, design, financing, economics, social issues, environmental impacts, demand modelling, operations and control). They welcome applicants with the ability to carry out interdisciplinary and collaborative research and an interest in the role transportation plays in urban sustainability.

Job Description: They are seeking applicants with a PhD in an area related with urban mobility and planning, with a demonstrated research potential. Candidates need not be fluent in Spanish at the moment of applying as they welcome applications from within and outside Chile. They must exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills and an aptitude for teamwork. While industrial experience is desirable, a strong commitment to rigorous and relevant research is essential. They offer the attractive opportunity of a job working in the field of urban mobility within an international and interdisciplinary academic setting.

Requirements: Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or be about to complete it. It is important that the applicant is able to work collaboratively and international experience is desirable. Review of applications starts immediately and the position will remain open until a successful candidate has been found. The position starts at the beginning of 2015 and we expect a commitment of at least two years.

Information and application: Interested applicants should forward their CV including a publication list, contact details of three reference providers and a one page description of their experience and research interests related to this position. The application information and/or any requests for more information should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Juan Carlos Muñoz , Director of the Department (jcm@ing.puc.cl).


Verizon Powerful Answers Award:

Honoring its ongoing commitment to innovation and social responsibility, Verizon is offering US$6M in prizes for innovators who propose the most innovative solutions to help develop and empower three core areas:

  1. Transportation: How can technology find better, more efficient ways to reduce the complexities of transport and distribution in the physical world?
  2. Emergency Response: How can technology help solve real world issues that plague our first responders and advance the effectiveness of long term relief?
  3. Internet of Things:  Connecting things is making the world smarter and more efficient.  How can your solution impact how cities operate, or change big industries like healthcare and agriculture?

Each category winner will receive $1M, one second prize of $500K and two runners up per category will each receive $250K.

For more information, see http://www.verizon.com/powerfulanswers/award.