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14 NOV 2023 (TUE) 10:00-10:45 | 11:15-12:00 | 14:30-15:15 | 15:45-16:30

Departmental Research Seminars Series

Transport Geography

Date: 14 NOV 2023 (Tuesday)

Time: 10:00-10:45 | 11:15-12:00 | 14:30-15:15 | 15:45-16:30 (HKT)

Mode: Hybrid Mode

Venue: CLL, Department of Geography, 10F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Zoom: Zoom link will be provided upon successful registration


[ 10:00-10:45 ]


The Equity and Sustainability Dilemma of Vehicle Ownership: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Private vehicles make significant contributions to congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. However, owning a private vehicle is an essential component of access to many social, recreational, and economic activities in many places in the world. Based on his eight years of transportation research in the U.S. and China, Dr. Li presents two studies related to vehicle ownership from an international lens: he starts with a study linking vehicle ownership and subjective well-being in Beijing, China, and provides an environmental psychological explanation on why people tend to own multiple vehicles under restrained car ownership and usage policies. He then demonstrates how vehicle ownership changes over life course among older Americans using a longitudinal study integrating literature in gerontology and transportation. Based on these two examples, he will briefly discuss his recent study in Southern California about the local government responses to vehicle electrification and conclude with uncertainties and concerns of future vehicle dependence.


Dr. Shengxiao (Alex) LI

Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management, College of Design, University of Oregon, United States

Shengxiao (Alex) Li is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management at the University of Oregon (UO). Prior to joining UO, he was an adjunct lecturer and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests broadly cover transportation equity issues, interaction of land use and transportation, urban planning for an aging society, and local sustainability actions and governance. His has published 25 peerreviewed articles in top transportation, planning, and social policy journals including Journal of American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Literature, Transportation Research Part A, Transportation, and Journal of Aging and Social Policy. He holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained his master's and bachelor's degrees from Peking University, China.


[ 11:15-12:00 ]


In Search of Spatial Justice in Public Transit: Lessons from Ride-hailing

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is frequently perceived as a strategic approach to curtail car dependency and foster public transit utilization. However, the reduction in car dependence may yield two outcomes when travel demands remain constant: (1) encourage the adoption of public transit, as the TOD advocates; (2) promote individuals to use alternative automobile travel modes like ride-hailing (Uber/DiDi). Previous studies largely focus on estimating the substitution relationship between ride-hailing, private car travel, and public transport, but how transit-dependent people turn to use ride-hailing and the subsequent implications thereof have not been well answered. With these concerns in mind, this presentation emphasizes on deciphering the interplay between ride-hailing, public transit, and private car travel, using Chengdu as a case study city. Then it develops an evaluation framework that combines transport accessibility and economic affordability to assess the potential outcomes of introducing new on-demand public transit services from a spatial justice perspective. The findings could help policymakers, planners, and transport engineers to formulate public transport policies, spatial planning, and operation strategies to bridge the mobility gaps for low-income populations.



Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Urban Planning and Design, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Dr. Si Qiao is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. She holds PhD, MSc, BEng and BSc from urban planning, Geomatics, CS and GIS. She is the recipient of an AAG Dissertation Award, HKU Foundation Award for Outstanding Research Postgraduate Students, Young Researcher of the Year Award from International Transport Forum, and various paper awards. She has authored over 20 research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and books. Her current research interest is how the burgeoning digital turn will revolutionize individual and collective mobility, with a special focus on platformization across the fields of transport (Uber/DiDi) and housing (Airbnb).


[ 14:30-15:15 ]


Fostering Thriving, Equitable, and Sustainable Communities through Urban Mobility

Urban mobility is crucial for cultivating thriving and equitable communities, particularly for marginalized populations facing social disadvantage, transport poverty, and exposure to traffic-related air pollution. To address these challenges, the seminar advocates for the PEACE (People-oriented, Equitable, Accessible, Community-focused, and Environmental) urban mobility to effectively serve cities and communities in a climate emergency, as shown through a series of study findings. Initially, it presents studies investigating the impact of individuals’ aggressive driving behaviours under congestion conditions on real-world emissions.

Subsequently, the seminar introduces the UrbanScanner, developed in collaboration with a Canadian sensor manufacturer for real-time air quality measurement using low-cost sensors, while capturing urban environmental data. It examines the contributions of various local sources to near-road exposures in the urban environment by leveraging computer vision techniques and machine learning models. Following this, another study is presented which identifies Toronto neighbourhoods burdened by social disadvantage, mobility poverty, and poor air quality, with the aim to characterize those most affected and promote tailored policies for different community challenges.

The seminar then transitions to community engagement studies. It reveals that despite better regional air quality, communities residing in cooperative condos near airports face frequent short-term exposure peaks. Cooperative condos, often characterized by shared ownership and governance, provide affordable housing options but may be located near environmental risk areas such as airports. Lastly, the seminar introduces an ongoing multidisciplinary project that adopts a “university as a living lab” approach and seeks to decarbonize the university community through sustainable and equitable personal choices, underscoring the seminar’s objective of advancing the PEACE urban mobility.


Dr. Junshi XU

Research Associate, University of Toronto and Director, Positive Zero Transport Futures, Infrastructure Canada & University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Junshi Xu is a Research Associate at the University of Toronto’s Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, where he earned his Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering in 2020. He’s also the Director of Positive Zero Transport Futures, an initiative focused on transport decarbonization and social well-being, funded by Infrastructure Canada and the University.

His recent studies leverage mobile monitoring platforms, machine learning modelling, and computer vision techniques to investigate environmental justice issues, particularly for marginalized individuals facing transport and social challenges. His people-oriented and city-wide research aims to guide community-relevant policies and solutions.

Junshi has contributed 27 articles in reputable journals like Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Pollution, Science of the Total Environment, and Transportation Research Part D. He is an Associate Editor for the Standing Committee AMS10 Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. Additionally, he serves as a Guest Editor for special topics in the Journal of Computational Urban Science and the Journal of Atmosphere, and as a Topic Advisory Panel member for the Journal of Atmosphere.


[ 15:45-16:30 ]


Enhancing Climate Resilience in Shipping Networks

In the face of escalating climate change challenges, ensuring the resilience of shipping networks is imperative. This seminar explores the critical aspects of climate resilience within shipping and maritime transportation systems. By delving into the intersection of climate change and global shipping, we will examine innovative strategies and practical solutions to fortify shipping networks against climate-related disruptions. Drawing upon extensive research and industry expertise, this seminar will cover climate adaptation measures, risk assessment frameworks, sustainable shipping practices, and incorporating advanced technologies. Join us to gain insights into the evolving landscape of climate-resilient shipping and how these efforts shape sustainable global commerce's future.


Dr. Ching Pong (Mark) POO

ERC Research Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom

Dr Mark Ching-Pong Poo is an accomplished engineering researcher with a profound passion for

transportation and climate change resilience. He holds a PhD in Transport Logistics, an MSc in

Transportation Engineering, and a BEng in Transportation Systems Engineering, equipping him

with a strong foundation in transportation science. Currently serving as an ERC Research Fellow

at Liverpool John Moores University and a Teaching Fellow at Liverpool Hope University, Dr Poo

is actively engaged in maritime transport science research and knowledge transfer. Beyond

research, he has embraced teaching roles, nurturing the next generation of transportation

professionals. Dr Poo's research interests encompass a broad spectrum, including climate

change adaptation for transport infrastructures, container inventory management, supply chain

carbon footprint, and sustainable transportation practices. His multidisciplinary expertise bridges

the gap between academic research and real-world applications. As a testament to his dedication

to advancing knowledge in the field, Dr Poo is an active member of various professional bodies

and has authored numerous journal articles. His academic journey reflects a steadfast

commitment to enhancing transportation science and its vital role in addressing climate change




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