Dr Zahra Zarabi



Zahra's research is driven by an overarching concern for behavior change toward sustainable mobility through understanding of the interrelated institutional, social, physical and psychological processes that support or hinder sustainable transport. Before joining the TSU - Zahra completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Polytechnique Montreal in 2021, where she was the lead researcher of “Mobility and Public Transit” project, funded by Government of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The study developed behavioral science-based strategies to achieve a broader transition toward transit ridership. Zahra obtained her PhD from the School of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture of University of Montreal in 2020. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, Zahra's thesis brought out the contributions to three sets of literature: previous work on the consequence of involuntary employ relocation; the literature on mobility biographies; the literature on the interrelations of people's travel behaviour, attitudes and values, and satisfaction with travel. Zahra's thesis was awarded by multiple academic and non-academic organizations including the Federal and Quebec Governments and Transportation Association of Canada. Zahra has also completed an MA in Urban Design and Housing at McGill University (2014) where she focused on Transit-Oriented developments.

Current Research

Zahra currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship from Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC) of Canada titled: Supporting sustainable transport for front-line health workers during COVID-19. Zahra's research concentrates on how highly disruptive changes in the transport context can facilitate behaviour change and what sort of recommendations can inform public authorities and transport service providers to achieve a broader and durable transition toward low-carbon transportation use.


Publications and conference presentations:

  • Zarabi, Z. and Waygood, E.O. (2021) Shifting to public transport: The influence of soft interventions. SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant report on Mobility and Public Transport.
  • Zarabi, Z. and Lord, S. (2019) Toward more sustainable behavior: A systematic review of the impacts of involuntary workplace relocation on travel mode choice. Journal of Planning Literature, 34(1): 38-58.
  • Zarabi, Z., Gerber, P. and Lord, S. (2019) Travel satisfaction vs. life satisfaction: A weighted decision-making approach. Journal of Sustainability, 11(19): 1-28.
  • Zarabi, Z., Manaugh, K. and Lord, S. (2019) The impacts of residential relocation on commute habits: A qualitative perspective on households' mobility behaviors and strategies. Journal of Travel Behaviour and Society, 16: 131-142.
  • Zarabi, Z. (2021) Toward more sustainable behavior: An investigation into the mobility responses to an involuntary workplace relocation of 10,000 employees in Montreal, Canada. Faculty of Environmental Design, School of Urbanism and Landscape Architecture. Montreal, Canada, University of Montreal. Doctoral: 216.
  • Zarabi, Z. and Lord, S. (2020, June) To change or not to change: A mixed-method retrospective investigation of mobility responses to an involuntary workplace relocation. Paper presented at IAPS2020 Conference, Quebec, Canada (Virtual Conference).
  • Zarabi, Z. (2019, September) Motivations and barriers of adopting more sustainable mobility. Poster presented at Sustainable Mobility Conference, HEC Montreal, Montreal, Canada.
  • Gerber, P., Zarabi, Z., Dévaud, J. and Lord, S. (2019, June) Encourager la mobilité durable par une relocalisation du lieu de travail, Paper presented at RFTM Conference, Montreal, Canada.
  • Bilodeau, S., Zarabi, Z. and Gerber, P. (2019, May) Workplace Relocation of 10'000 Workers in Metropolitan Area: Following Evolution of Daily Mobility Patterns According to Mobility Perceptions and Identities. Paper presented at EDRA 50 Conference, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Zarabi, Z., Manaugh, K. and Lord, S. (2020) An investigation of commute mode choice, attitudes, and satisfaction following an involuntary workplace relocation, revised version under review by Journal of Transport Geography.
  • Zarabi, Z. and Bhatt, V. (2016) Early railway suburbs and their links to contemporary transit-oriented developments. GSTF Journal of Engineering Technology (JET), 3(4): 1-7.
  • Lu, M., Martin, H., Peleg, I. and Zarabi, Z. (2013, November). Weaving and connecting, Poster Presented at MBNA Charrette: The Creative City, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec, Canada.

Activities and contributions:

  • Media interview at the Direction des affaires internationales, Université de Montréal - Presentation of Ph.D. project's contribution to advancement and transfer of knowledge, doctoral dissertation was nominated by the Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at University of Montreal (2021, September).
  • Collaborator role for grant development - SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant: "Mobility and Public Transport"; PI: Professor E. Owen Waygood (2020, October)
  • Collaborator role for grant development - SSHRC Insight Development Grant: "Les logiques, arbitrages et choix de mobilités des ménages en territoire métropolitain. Une enquête sur une relocalisation stratégique de plus de 10 000 travailleurs à Montréal, Canada."; PI: Professor Sébastien Lord (2016, October)
  • Editorial Assistant, Articulo - Journal of Urban Research (2019-2020)
Dr Zahra Zarabi