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CanU 2020 - Step up conversation
Access to Mobility

  Wednesday, 14 October 2020


Brent Toderian

Vancouver, Canada


Dongho Chang

Seattle, USA


Salvador Rueda

Barcelona, Spain

Ahmed El-Geneidy

Montréal, Canada

Jay Pitter

Toronto, Canada

Meet the panel

Access to Mobility Recording
Play Video

What we’ve heard


The “Era of the Car” has created an imbalance that prioritizes the car over the safety, convenience, and desirability of all other modes of transportation. As the Covid-19 pandemic made clear this promoted access inequities and degraded the public health of our communities. And while the pandemic exasperated the public transit precarity of many communities it also illustrated the willingness of people to adopt active modes of transportation. Communities must continue to promote, prioritise, and invest in infrastructure that integrate all modes of transportation equitably and effectively integrates mobility and land development objectives.


  • Mobility is not about infrastructure, it’s about civic rights. Think citizens, not “commuters”, and of streets as shared “civic spaces” rather than “car space”.

  • Imagine the transit grid as a human-centered armature to host city life. Transit should not be a political tool, but a basic right for an entire community.

(Listen the panel conversation at 48'34)


  • Create more quality transportation choices for people and ensure that these are equitable for the entire community.

  • Cease the marginalisation of segments of a community by selectively cutting transit service.

  • Improve engagement with the community to understand its mobility needs.

  • Plan land use and mobility together.

  • Tie all mobility choices and investments to climate change goals.


(Listen the panel conversation at 26'42)

Design Differently

  • Every location should be both an origin and a destination (the Dutch model).

  • Capture land value increase in near-transit development to invest in amenities.

  • Design flexible streets for all users, not just to quickly move private cars through the community.

  • Restrict free and abundant car parking that undermines efforts to promote a multi-modal community.

  • Shrink the city: 20-minute for access to most goods and services; 45-minute to reach all your destinations no matter where you are in the metropolitan region.

  • Design to replace vehicular short trips with other modes of transportation.

See Montreal’s TRM Strategic Plan (PDF)

  • “Planify”, “Centrify”, and densify the suburbs.

  • Increase the number of mix-use urban centres to reduce daily commutes throughout the urban region.

  • Revisit parking requirements for land use development (i.e., minimum stalls requirements).


From the Drawing Board


What are the three words you would use to describe the biggest challenge to mobility in your city ?


Click on picture to view details


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Anchor 1

The panel

Ahmed El-Geneidy.jpg
Salvador Rueda.jpg

Brent Toderian - Moderator

Brent Toderian is a nationally and internationally respected thought leader on better cities, and a leading global practitioner in city planning, urban design and advanced urbanism. He advises cities, governments & best-practice developers across Canada & around the world, including the cities of Sydney, Auckland, Oslo, Helsinki, Medellin & many Canadian cities.

Brent’s establishment of TODERIAN UrbanWORKS in 2012 followed 6 years of significant achievement as Chief Planner for Vancouver, and 6 years as a transformative planning leader in Calgary. He started his career as a prominent city planning consultant in Ontario after receiving his planning education at the University of Waterloo.

Brent is the past/founding President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism; a regular voice on cities in national and international media; and a writer for Fast Company, CityLab, the Huffington Post & many other publications.

Dongho Chang is the City Traffic Engineer for Seattle.  He has worked over 28 years in the transportation engineering field focused on improving safety and mobility for all travel modes.  Dongho has worked as the Traffic Engineer for City of Everett and Area Engineer for Washington State Department of Transportation where he was responsible for traffic signals group, traffic analysis and channelization review, and traffic safety program.  Dongho is active with Institute of Transportation Engineers and NACTO.  Dongho drove a Zamboni during high school, which he considers as his “coolest” job ever!

Dongho Chang, PE, PTOE





Ahmed El-Geneidy is a full professor at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University. He conducts research in the area of land use and transport planning, public transport operations and planning, travel behavior analysis concentrating on the use of motorized and non-motorized modes of transport and their impacts on health and well-being, and measurements of accessibility in urban contexts. Ahmed has a special interest in measuring and understanding the transport needs of disadvantaged populations. He established the Transportation Research at McGill (TRAM) research lab in 2007, which is known for generating practice ready research that impacted communities in Canada and around the world. He has published more than 130 articles in peer reviewed academic journals through his collaborations with students trained in the TRAM lab.

Ahmed received his Bsc and Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering, University of Alexandria Egypt and received his PhD in Urban Studies from Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University, USA.  

Ahmed is currently serving as an editor for the Journal of Transport and Land Use and Transportation. He is also serving as the chair and board member of the World Society on Transport and Land use Research (WSTLUR). He is currently serving on the board of directors for the regional public transport authority in Montréal's Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM).



Jay Pitter, MES, is an award-winning placemaker whose practice mitigates growing divides in cities across North America. She spearheads institutional city-building projects specializing in public space design and policy, forgotten densities, mobility equity, gender-responsive design, inclusive public engagement and healing fraught sites. What distinguishes Jay is her multi-disciplinary approach, located at the nexus of urban design and social equity, which translates community insights and aspirations into the built environment.


Ms. Pitter also makes significant contributions to urbanism theory and discourse. She has developed an equitable planning certificate course with the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture and taught a graduate-level urban planning course at Ryerson University, among others. Jay also delivers keynote addresses for entities such as the United Nations Women and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is the co-editor of Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity, and her forthcoming books, Black Public Joy and Where We Live, will be published by McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada in 2021. Ms. Pitter is currently the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning at the University of Toronto.

Salvador Rueda - President of the Urban and Territorial Ecology Foundation; Founder and Director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona (2000-2020). Urban ecologist, psychologist, graduate in energy engineering and environmental engineering, creator of Ecosystemic Urbanism and the concept of the superblock. He has developed applied research projects in the fields of urban planning, mobility, public space, metabolism, biodiversity, economic development and social cohesion.


He is the author of the books : Urban Ecology, Ecosystemic Urbanism, Green Book on the Urban Environment, Barcelona, a compact and complex Mediterranean city. A more sustainable vision of the future. Methodological guide for the calculation of urban planning indicators with ecological bases.

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