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Assistant Professor; Cities Pardue Fellow

Specialization: Transportation Planning
202 New East

Accepting PhD students

Matthew Palm is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Palm welcomes opportunities to co-create new knowledge or advocacy with community partners. If you are an advocate, organizer, or NGO please reach out at any time.

Transportation infrastructure investments inevitably benefit some people more than others, with the “winners” of investments varying from project to project and city to city.  Similarly, transportation planning can harm communities by introducing new negative externalities, such a new highway’s air pollution raising asthma incidents in adjacent neighborhoods. Matthew Palm studies how transportation planning impacts people and society, including how those impacts are distributed across the population. His work aims to help planners design systems that enable society to flourish, without the negative impacts of those systems falling on communities that have historically benefited the least.

Barriers in the transportation system can prevent people from participating in essential activities, like doctors’ visits or school. This comes at a cost to both the traveler and society. Matthew’s work also examines how the removal of mobility barriers can increase residents’ social and economic participation. He aims to document how removing such barriers creates spillover benefits in other policy domains like healthcare and education.

Finally, Matthew is currently measuring how working nights and evenings impacts the travel behavior of shift workers and their families.   He asks what challenges shift workers face and how planning can better support the essential workforce of our 24-hour economy.

Matthew is the academic lead of the Innovative Pilots and Policies working group of Mobilizing Justice, a research partnership committed to advancing transportation equity in Canada. He has published past research on affordable housing and transportation topics in the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia.


In the News

Shift workers need ‘transportation justice,’ better service.

Newest Episode: Transportation Justice – 24HourNation

$1.09 Billion Grant reflects North Carolina’s Renewed Interest in Rail

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