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Martin Wachs Lecture

wachs lecture"What good is it? Reflections on the utility of travel in a resource-constrained era"

Monday, May 19, 2014
Patricia Mokhtarian, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Reception: 5-6 pm, 3rd floor patio, Public Affairs Bldg.

Lecture: 6-7:30 pm, 2355 Public Affiars Bldg. UCLA

337 Charles E Young Drive University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024

It is customary for transportation professionals to consider travel as a disutility to be minimized, laden with negative externalities needing mitigation — preferably by curtailing vehicular travel. This talk attempts to restore some balance to our collective view of travel, beginning with reviewing a broad range of reasons why we travel. Recent scholarship related to the positive utility of travel is presented, including subjective assessments of the travel experience and the contribution to the utility of activities conducted while traveling. Some associated societal implications and policy issues are discussed, and directions or future research are suggested.

Patricia Mokhtarian is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. She joined Georgia Tech in 2013, after 23 years at the University of California, Davis, where she was a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, and founding chair of the interdisciplinary MS/PhD program in Transportation Technology and Policy. Key research interests include the impacts of land use on travel behavior, the impact of tele­com­munications technology on travel behavior, attitudes toward travel itself, and travel multitasking. Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty in 1990, she worked for several years in regional planning and consulting in Southern California.

Dr. Mokhtarian has specialized in the study of travel behavior for more than 30 years and has authored or co-authored more than 200 refereed journal articles, technical reports, and other publications. She is a North American co-editor of Transportation, and serves on the boards of six other transportation journals. Her PhD is from Northwestern University.

About the Lecture Series

Professor Martin Wachs retired from the University of California in 2006, after spending 25 years as an Urban Planning faculty member at UCLA and 10 more as a Civil & Environmental Engineering and City & Regional Planning faculty member at UC Berkeley. In his honor, students created the Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Transportation, which rotates each year between the Berkeley and UCLA campuses. The lecture features prominent and innovative scholars and policymakers who draw on many years of research and thinking in transportation and/or urban planning. The lecture is attended by transportation faculty and students from all reaches of California, scholars from related fields and disciplines, and transportation and planning practitioners and officials from across the United States.