March 3, 2023

Regan F. Patterson, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles


Freeway Removal: Lessons from the Past to Inform an Equitable Transport Future


1:40pm - 3:00pm


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


Freeway removal is a transportation policy that may help redress disproportionate burdens resulting from mid-20th freeway construction. For instance, nonwhite communities are more likely to live in areas with higher road density, which contributes to racial-ethnic disparities in exposure to traffic-related air pollution. This seminar will present the effects of rerouting the Cypress Freeway on air pollution and neighborhood change. Findings provide quantitative evidence of the air quality benefits. However, findings also highlight the importance of coupling freeway removal or rerouting projects with anti-displacement policies in order to ensure that longtime residents benefit from air quality improvements and are not excluded through the phenomenon of environmental gentrification. This seminar explores the implications for the newly developed US Department of Transportation Reconnecting Communities program.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Regan F. Patterson is a newly appointed Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the intersection of sustainable transportation, air quality, and environmental justice. She uses air quality models to quantify traffic-related air pollutant emissions and concentrations in urban, disenfranchised communities. Dr. Patterson was previously the Transportation Equity Research Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), where she conducted intersectional transportation policy analysis and research. Prior to joining the CBCF, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Dr. Patterson earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

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