Prof. P Christopher Zegras

Professor of Urban Planning, Transportation and Engineering Systems
Department Head / Urban Studies and Planning
Lead, Transportation Systems, (MIT-Portugal Program)

Primary DLC

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

MIT Room: 10-403

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Environmental Planning and Management
Healthy Communities and Active Living
Infrastructure Planning
International Development
Transportation and Mobility
Transportation Planning, Urban Finance
Management and Urban Economics
Urban Information, Technology and Media and Analytics

Research Summary

Professor Zegras's research is driven by the fundamental sustainable mobility challenge: how can we maintain the capability to provide non-declining accessibility over time? Accessibility -- individuals’ abilities to fulfill the daily needs and desires necessary to survive and thrive -- is key to human development. How can we increase society’s accessibility levels, thereby increasing human development potentials, while reducing or eliminating the wide-ranging negative impacts, short- and long-term, that modern mobility systems impose on us, our ecosystems, and future generations?

Zegras focuses on three broad, inter-related areas critical to answering this question:

(1) improving our understanding of the dynamic relationships between human behavior and the built, social, and natural environments;

(2) devising and demonstrating new planning approaches, with the goal of producing more robust strategies for sustainability in the face of uncertainty; and

(3) identifying viable pathways, through the complex institutional settings of the modern metropolis, to implement change.

Increasingly as part of the above work, he explores the role of mobile communication and computation technologies as a new data source for estimating and validating models, as a tool for changing behaviors within the mobility system itself, and as a way to improve citizen engagement in planning processes.

Recent Work

  • Video


    April 1, 2021Conference Video Duration: 69:40
    Christopher Zegras
    Professor of Mobility and Urban Planning
    Department Head, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
    Janelle Knox-Hayes
    Associate Professor of Economic Geography and Planning
    Head, Environmental Policy and Planning GroupDavid Hsu
    Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning
    Nelson A. Chang
    Chairman, Taiwan Cement Corporation
    Boudewijn Van Lent
    Executive Vice President, Global Head of Specialty Construction Chemicals, GCP Applied Technologies
    Laurent Le Boulc'h
    Deputy Managing Director – Sustainable Smart Infrastructure & Mobility, Colas Group
    Cédric Leroux
    Directeur Technique
    Direction Ingénierie des Infrastructures, Colas


    March 30, 2021Conference Video Duration: 23:17
    Christopher Zegras
    Professor of Mobility and Urban Planning
    Department Head, Department of Urban Studies and Planning