Dr. Lily Song is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design and Senior Research Associate with the Transforming Urban Transport-Role of Political Leadership (TUT-POL) project at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD).
Her research focuses on the relations between urban infrastructure and redevelopment initiatives, sociospatial inequality, and race, class, and gender politics in American cities and other postcolonial contexts. It takes what are often depoliticized, technically-formulated infrastructural issues such as urban transport, food markets and distribution systems, and building energy efficiency, and foregrounds social, political, and economic factors that fundamentally shape their planning and governance.
As part of the Transforming Urban Transport-Role of Political Leadership research team at the Harvard GSD, Dr. Song has investigated how and why transport investments that are intended to enhance public transit and non-motorized transport may be intensifying inequities of urban mobility and access in many cities. This entails assessing equity trade-offs in distributive and processual terms as well as interrogating the relationship between transport policies and urban redevelopment projects. It also includes exploring how public transit goals might be better integrated with alternative urban land use, housing, and economic development templates. One line of research on gender and mobility further investigates the challenges and opportunities of decarbonizing urban transport from the perspectives of women, girls, and femme-identified people in rapidly urbanizing contexts of Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.