Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[follow up] Transport legacy of mega-events, equity and the future of public transport in Rio de Janeiro

A couple of weeks ago, I organized the seminar "Transport legacy of mega-events, equity and the future of public transport in Rio de Janeiro", which was held at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) in Rio de Janeiro. The seminar generated some interesting discussions on issues of equity, transport planning and uneven urban development in Rio. It also contributed in bringing together academic researchers, organizations from the civil society and policy makers directly involved with the transport and urban planning of Rio in different governmental levels (municipality and metropolitan area).

The seminar was recorded and the videos are now available on Ipea's Youtube channel. Apart from session 2, all presentations were in Portuguese.

  • In this session, three speakers including myself presented some of their recent work assessing the equity impacts of transport legacy of mega-events in Rio de Janeiro.


  • While the presentations in the 1st session focused on the role of governmental policies in delivering just transport policies and investments, the second session emphasized the role of community organization and self-management in promoting more just and inclusive transport systems despite of the government.


  • In the the third session, academics and policy makers heavily involved in the transport planning of Rio municipality and metropolitan area reflected about some of the issues addressed in the previous sessions and the challenged involved in the transport planning of Rio.

The event gathering a good audience (aprox. 70 people) and it received attention from national and local TV channels and newspapers. If you don't have time to watch the entire seminar, these four pieces give a good summary of the discussions:
  1. Rio on Watch: "The Results Are In: Costly Mega-Event Transport Projects Did Not Expand Mobility, Address Inequalities"
  2. Rio on Watch: "Experts Debate the Future of Transport in Rio’s Metropolitan Region"
  3. [Portuguese] G1: "Obras viárias da Copa e Olimpíada contribuíram pouco para melhoria do transporte do Rio, aponta Ipea"
  4. [Portuguese] O Globo: "Obras de mobilidade urbana para Copa e Olimpíada favoreceram mais parcela rica da população do Rio"


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Future of Informal Transport in Rapidly Growing Cities (seminar)

For those in Oxford, London and surroundings, the Oxford Urbanists collective and the 'Cities that Work' initiative from IGC will be holding a seminar on the "Future of Informal Transport in Rapidly Growing Cities”. The event will feature three of the UK's transportation and development giants: Paul Collier (author of The Bottom Billion), Clemence Cavoli (UCL), and Tim Schwanen (Oxford SoGE). I would definitely go if I had the chance.

The event will be held on Wednesday 15th November, from 17-19 at St. Antony’s College (Panel discussion: 17:00-18:30, Nissan Lecture Theatre. sorry for the late post


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How Pollution Compares With Other Causes Of Global Deaths

The Lancet Commission on pollution and health has recently published a report that calls attention to the fact that pollution kills 3 times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. There is a good summary of the report in this piece, by NPR.

This chart below was created by Brittany Mayes and Matthew Zhang for the NPR piece, and it is based on data from the Global Health Data Exchange. Thanks Linsey Marr for the pointer on Twitter.


[click on the image to enlarge it]

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Transport legacy of mega-events, equity and the future of public transport in Rio de Janeiro

Just a quick update of my PhD.

A few months ago I was awarded the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship, by the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. This award was established in 2012 to celebrate Lee Schipper, who was one of the founders of EMBARQ and an enthusiastic supporter of building closer links between rigorous research and policy-making.

Thanks to this award and the support from TSU/Oxford University and the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), I was able to put together a seminar to promote a discussion among researchers, civil society and public authorities about the transport legacy of mega-events, equity and the future of urban mobility in Rio de Janeiro. The event is going to be held at Ipea in Rio de Janeiro next Monday (Nov. 6). The full program of the event is available here [in Portuguese]. Come by if you're in town!

This seminar is in a way a byproduct of my doctoral research. Alongside other speakers, I will be presenting at the event some of the results from two papers from my PhD. In these studies I analyze how the transport investments related to mega-events and the subsequent fiscal and economic crisis in Rio affected the provision of public transport services between 2014 and 2017. In different ways, both papers engage with a wider discussion on how transport policies can transform the fabric of cities and reshape social and spatial inequalities in access to opportunities. Both papers are currently under review, but if you're really looking for a reason to procrastinate you can read their pre-prints in the links below:

  • One of the papers reflects on the delimitation of transport legacies and analyzes how recent transport developments in Rio increased the number of people from different income levels who could access Olympic sports venues and healthcare facilities by public transport within 15, 30, 60 and 90 minutes.
  • The other paper uses spatial regression models and cluster analysis to evaluate in multiple spatial scales how gains in accessibility to jobs and schools varied across different income groups and areas of the city as a result of the recent policies adopted in Rio.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Converting GTFS data into an igraph for network analysis in R

It is becoming ever more common for local transport authorities to publish their data on public transport networks in GTFS format. Two of the advantages of so many agencies using a standardized data format is that it makes it easier for us (1) to apply the same research methods to different cities and do comparative studies, and (2) to share our scripts, get feedback and learn from others. 

While working on my PhD on transportation equity in Rio de Janeiro, I have written a script in R that converts GTFS data into an igraph so I can run some network analysis. I shared this script on GitHub yesterday and it got the attention of a few people on Twitter, so I thought some of you might be interested as well. Get in touch if you would like to share any feedback or do some collaboration. :)


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Quote of they day: programming


"In programming the hard part isn’t solving problems, but deciding what problems to solve."

ps. a timely quote that reflects my struggle working on the 4th paper of my doctoral research.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Migrating researchers are cited the most

This is according to a recent paper published in Nature. The authors analyzed 14 million papers published between 2008 and 2015 by nearly 16 million individual authors. Around 4% of those authors - more than 595K were considered to be “mobile,” meaning they had affiliations with academic institutions in more than one nation between 2008 and 2015. 

The study looks very interesting throughout. Here are only two of the main results:
  • "[...] mobile scholars have about 40% higher citation rates, on average, than non-mobile ones"
  • "Regardless of region, mobility pays in terms of citations. Across all regions, mobile scholars are more highly cited than their non-mobile counterparts. The advantage varies by region. Mobile North Americans see only a 10.8% boost in citations over their non-mobile colleagues. For Eastern European scholars, the gulf is 172.8%."
I thank Tim Schwanen for the pointer.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Two positions open at Oxford

Just a heads up to job seekers. There are currently two positions open at Oxford University. Perhaps some of you could be interested.