Complete Streets for Canada

policy and design hub for building safe and inviting streets for all

Paul Hess, University of Toronto

Paul Hess is an Associate Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research focus is on pedestrian environments and design, planning for activity transportation modes, and streets as public space. Dr. Hess has done research on how built environments influence pedestrian activity for more than 15 years with his early work pioneering measures of pedestrian network connectivity and route-directness now in common use. A recent study with Professor Beth Moore Milroy examined instuitional barriers to improving street design for pedestrians. Current projects include a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded project exploring “walkability” in the inner suburbs and how residents without access to cars negotiate their neighbourhoods by walking, cycling, and taking transit. In partnership with the Centre for City Ecology the study has been extended by the Toronto Community Foundation to include pilot sites for the Mayors Tower Renewal program. Dr. Hess is also part of a University of Toronto research team examining the politics of transportation in Canada including the entrenched institutional processes sustaining a culture of “automobility” and auto-dependence.