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Guest Thinkers

The Future is Gray, Small & Female: Disruptive Demographics and Transportation Tomorrow

Data dense and seemingly dry, demographic change and transportation are two topics that by themselves do not readily grab the attention of the public. Yet, these are two inter-related factors that both reflect and reinforce lifestyles, consumer patterns, future retail, real estate and mobility demand. In short these are data-driven bookends that shape how we are likely to live tomorrow. 

This video was produced by Transportation@MIT and MIT World recording a talk I delivered November 2010 before a group of researchers, students and transportation professionals in both the public and private sectors. The talk (it’s nearly an hour long, so grab a cup of coffee) provides an overview of three demographic ‘driving forces’: aging, household size, and the predominance of women in an older society and addresses their possible impacts on the transportation behavior and demand in the United States. Examples of related technology-enabled futures based upon research conducted by the MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center are presented as well as other innovations in livable communities, home services, real estate development patterns, and alternative transportation systems.


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