Zoom / Tuesday Jun 07,2022
10:00 am - 11:30 am

How to Tame Transit Costs: Learning from Istanbul and Italy


Please join the Transportation and Land-Use program for a webinar on transit-infrastructure costs. They will present an overview of their Transit Costs Project and a deeper examination of their newest cases in Istanbul, Rome, Naples, Milan, and Turin, led by Elif Ensari and Marco Chitti, and will engage you in a conversation moderated by The Atlantic staff writer Jerusalem Demsas.

This webinar is a follow up to their first webinar on the Green Line Extension in Massachusetts and will be an opportunity to examine how to build lower cost projects and what lessons there are for American transit agencies, policymakers, advocates, and citizens pushing for new projects. Istanbul has been building new transit lines at a rapid rate over the last 35 years. In the process of building or managing the construction of more than 300 kms of rapid rail, officials and contractors have learned how to optimize tunneling operations, improve station designs, cultivate productive working relationships between the public and private sectors, integrate technology, and develop a robust local construction market. In Rome, Naples, Milan, and Turin, we see how high-level reforms requiring greater transparency filtered down to transit projects and transformed project delivery and management. In the process of curbing corruption and mismanagement, the the case details how reference prices for unique transit related construction activities, high-quality public sector design and management, and cutting edge technology have reduced capital costs. In both Turkey and Italy, politics has been central to keeping costs low and the project pipeline flowing.

If you’re curious about why it’s so expensive to build transit infrastructure in the United States and how their research tackles this issue, please register for the webinar.


Marco Chitti
Fellow / Transportation and Land Use

Marco Chitti is a Fellow in the Transportation and Land Use program of the NYU Marron Institute, a licensed architect and urban planner. He received a Ph.D. in urban planning from the University of Montréal. His doctoral research focuses on the international flows of knowledge and ideas within the urban planning field, with a particular attention to North-to-South exchanges and an ethnographic approach centred on professional practices and cultures. For this research, he was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

The desire to better understand the challenges and barriers that prevent public agencies from learning best practices across national borders and between different institutional cultures has brought him to his current collaboration with the Transit Cost Project.

Jerusalem Demsas

Jerusalem Demsas is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Elif Ensari
Research Scholar / Transportation and Land Use

Elif Ensari is a Research Scholar in the Transportation and Land-Use program at the NYU Marron Institute. She was trained as an architect specializing in architectural design computing. She holds a master’s degree from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SciARC) and a dual Ph.D. degree from Istanbul Technical University and University of Lisbon. Her research utilizes urban analytics to support design and planning for sustainable mobility. She has taught at Istanbul Bilgi and Columbia Universities. Prior to joining the NYU Marron Institute, she provided design computing, spatial analysis and visualization services as part of research collaborative Bits’n Bricks in Istanbul. 

Eric Goldwyn
Program Director / Transportation and Land Use
Clinical Assistant Professor / NYU Marron Institute

Eric Goldywn is a program director at the Marron Institute of Urban Management and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Transportation and Land-Use program at the NYU Marron Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Columbia University. He teaches courses on urban planning and urban studies and his writing on cities and transportation technology has been published in academic journals and popular press outlets. Before starting this project, Eric and Alon worked together on a proposal to redesign Brooklyn’s Bus Network.

Alon Levy
Fellow / Transportation and Land Use

Alon Levy is a Fellow in the Transportation and Land Use program of the NYU Marron Institute. Alon's work focuses on public transportation and how to apply best practices from cities around the world. Alon Levy grew up in Tel Aviv and Singapore and has lived in the French Riviera, New York, Providence, Vancouver, and Stockholm, and is currently based in Berlin. While earning a Ph.D. in math at Columbia, Alon picked up an interest in public transportation networks, starting from the New York City Subway, and has been investigating how to apply best industry practices from a variety of cities around the world. Alon’s perspective is comparative, with interests including network design, integrated planning of transportation and development, and cost control.