Sustainability and transportation


Large infrastructure systems provide the foundation for most activities in modern societies and strongly influence their surrounding environment, both in the short- and long-term. As such, infrastructure plays a defining role in the quality of life and environmental sustainability of most individuals and communities. What is built—and how it is built—is a clear indication of the priorities and values of a society, and will be critical in determining the extent to which global societies live up to local and international sustainability needs and commitments. An ever-relevant topic at the crossroads of sustainability and infrastructure provision are transportation systems, which have uniquely long lifetimes, cover a large area, and are networked products.


The Sustainable Systems Research Group works to advance the knowledge and understanding around infrastructure and sustainability generally, with transportation systems as a common application. Our research efforts include:

  • Analysis of system-level environmental implications for transportation systems (e.g., vehicle fleets at the national level)
  • Development of conceptual frameworks for infrastructure system analysis and its connection to sustainability goals
  • Data-driven applications (e.g., machine learning, optimization strategies) for design improvements in existing transportation networks


Please find a non-exhaustive list of relevant publications below:

The concept of value in sustainable infrastructure systems: a literature review

Year: 2021
Authors: Zuluaga, Santiago, Bryan W. Karney, and Shoshanna Saxe
Published in: Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability 1: 022001

Air transportation as a central component of remote community resilience in northern Ontario, Canada

Year: 2021
Authors: Pia I. Dimayuga, Tracey Galloway, Michael J. Widener and Shoshanna Saxe
Published in: Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.

Cycle accessibility and level of traffic stress: A case study of Toronto

Year: 2019
Authors: Imani, Ahmadreza Faghih, Eric J. Miller, and Shoshanna Saxe
Published in: Journal of transport geography 80: 102496.