A new initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to pull together research from various departments to provide a more complete approach toward resolving the large-scale, global problems of sustainable transportation.
The new programme — Transportation@MIT — is a “coordinated effort to address one of civilization’s most pressing challenges: the environmental impact of the world’s ever-increasing demand for transportation.”
Starting up as a two-year pilot, Transportation@MIT will draw together research efforts from the School of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Planning and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The idea launched after a survey of 1,300 faculty and research staff found that more than one out of four are currently studying some aspect of transportation.
“It is amazingly broad, way beyond what I imagined, and I do transportation,” said Cynthia Barnhart, associate dean of engineering for academic affairs and director of the new initiative.
“MIT has all the relevant players,” said Christopher Zegras, a land-use planning researcher. “Each of those will play a crucial role in solving problems in mobility.”
The new initiative, he added, “will have a major impact if it succeeds in bringing these forces together. MIT is uniquely situated to take this field into the 21st century.”