Steven Spears

Assistant Professor
School of Urban and Regional Planning
Graduate College
The University of Iowa
PhD in Planning, Policy & Design, University of California, Irvine
Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Virginia Commonwealth University
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University

My current research focuses on understanding how attitudes, perceptions, and habits affect transportation choices, and how these psychological factors interact with urban design to influence travel behavior and physical activity. I am particularly interested in how travel and residential location preferences evolve over time, and how they respond to changes in the built environment, life stage, and social support.

Since 2011, I have collaborated on the Neighborhood Travel and Activity Study (NTAS). The NTAS is the first experimental-control longitudinal study of a major transportation investment in California, and one of very few evaluations of this type conducted nationwide. It examines travel behavior dynamics and physical activity change associated with the opening of the Exposition light rail line in a largely low-income, minority community in south Los Angeles.