Jinhua Zhao

Jinhua Zhao is the Edward H. and Joyce Linde Associate Professor of City and Transportation Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Prof. Zhao brings behavioral science and transportation technology together to shape travel behavior, design mobility systems, and reform transportation policies:

  • Sensing travel behavior with new data technology and measurement instruments
  • Understanding travel by incorporating behavioral economics and social psychology
  • Nudging travel behavior through preference shaping and demand management
  • Regulating travel by designing behavior-sensitive transport policies

He applies this framework to managing automobile ownership and usage, optimizing public transit planning and operation, promoting active modes of walking and cycling, and designing multimodal urban mobility system. Prof. Zhao leads long-term research collaborations with major transportation authorities and operators worldwide including London, Chicago, Hong Kong and Singapore. He sees transportation as a language, to describe a person, to characterize a city, and to understand an institution. He aims to establish the behavioral foundation for transport policies. Prof. Zhao directs the JTL Urban Mobility Lab and the Transit Lab at MIT. He holds Master of Science, Master of City Planning and Ph.D. degrees from MIT and a Bachelor's degree from Tongji University. He very much enjoys working with students

Theme I Behavioral Foundation of Urban Mobility

Theme II Mobility System: Design with Behavioral Perspective

Theme III Mobility Policy: Formulate, Implement and Evaluate




Master of Science in Transportation, MIT
Master of City Planning, MIT
Bachelor of Engineering in Planning, Tongji University

Academic Experience

Assistant Professor, MIT
Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia