Abdirashid Dahir

smiling man with dark eyes and black hair. He is wearing black rimmed glasses and a white button down shirt

Program: Geography Ph.D. Program

Specialization: Transportation, Health and Energy

Expected Graduation Date: 2025

Area of Research: Nexus among transportation, urban form and energy, Intersection of Transportation and Health, Intersection of City Planning and Data Analytics, Reproducible Research 

Link to Research Profile: https://twitter.com/abdirashidmd

Email: dahir.39@osu.edu

Why are you interested in sustainable energy solutions? I study the nexus among transportation, urban form, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with a special focus on the transition to environmentally friendly and sustainable modes of transportation. My research centers around how we can move beyond car-based transportation planning in the evolving interdisciplinary domains of transportation, land-use planning, and energy for the reduction of the environmental impact of car dependency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. I apply transportation engineering and urban planning theories and methods as well as a variety of innovative research tools such as big data analytics, optimizations, and simulations.
Technological innovation, and behavioral change have been at the heart of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, while the former has received a particular attention, there has been a scant emphasis in the literature on the role of the interactions of urban form, and mobility in influencing travel behavior, and thus achieving a lower carbon footprint in urban transportation system. My research addresses this gap, and the overarching goal is to examine how urban form can contribute to the reduction of green gas emissions from transportation.

How are your personal history and vision assets to development and research in energy and sustainability? The nexus of transportation, urban form and energy is an active research frontier which is now ripe for big data disruption. To date, the efforts to promote sustainable energy in transport sector include technological innovation and modal shift. The latter which includes active travel such as walking and cycling, and public transport underpins my master's thesis titled, “Understand Decoupling of GDP Growth and Car Use: Towards Sustainable Urban Transport System in South Korea.” The findings from this master's thesis research project contribute to Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG)'s objectives to reduce car travel by 30%, sap transit commuting time by 30%, and reduce transport greenhouse gas emissions from 1.2 tons to 0.9 tons per capita a year.
Prior to starting my MSc program at the University of Seoul, I covered flooding and mitigation in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia as part of European Flood Awareness System (Copernicus).
Furthermore, I work with research scholars at Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University to understand the drivers of transit-infrastructure costs on a global scale through a database with over 500 projects from more than 40 countries. The goal of this research project is to deliver more high-capacity transit projects to give American cities an alternative to a future in thrall to automobiles. The findings from our research project portend significant implications for the advancement of sustainable energy systems in cities which play a critical role in the world's pursuit for a transition to a low-carbon economy as they account for 65% of global energy use according to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

What is your dream job and how will it contribute to a more sustainable energy landscape? I want to pursue a career in academia by focusing on the following research areas through innovative and multidisciplinary lens: 1) Travel behavior and energy; 2) Intersection of Transportation, land-use and energy; and 3) city planning and data analytics. Drawing from my multidisciplinary background in transportation engineering and geography, the findings from my EmPOWERment research project could represent a major step towards understanding not only the integration of urban form and mobility, but also the role of transport-related urban form layouts in achieving zero emission neighborhoods.

Hobbies/Personal Interests: Jogging, cycling and reading.

double-arrowRelevant Technical Skills: 

R, R Spatial, R Markdown, Tidymodels and Python.

double-arrowCurrent Projects: 

double-arrowPublications and Presentations:

-HSR construction costs in South Korea, a presentation at Marron Institute of Urban Management at NYU (2021).
- Demystifying Seoul subways, a presentation at Marron Institute of Urban Management at NYU (November, 2020)
- Peak Car Use: Transforming urban roads and streets through Movement and Place Design. Proceedings of the 2019 International Joint Conference Among Calgary University, University of Seoul, Tongji University and Kumamoto University August 18-21, 2019, University of Calgary, Canada
- Innovative Street Design Approaches in Urban Areas to End the Automobile Dependence, February, 2020
- A Study on the Modification of South Korea's Design Standard for Desirable Stopping Sight Distance, January, 2020
- Walkability Can Alleviate Capital’s Traffic Worries 
- Flooding and mitigation in East Africa