Alex Karner, PhD

I’m an associate professor in the Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning at The University of Texas at Austin. My work critically engages with transportation planning practice to achieve progress towards equity and justice.

A deep commitment to practice and community engagement undergirds my research and teaching; I collaborate with community members, non-profit organizations, and public interest law firms to identify pressing research needs and improve conditions in communities experiencing transportation disadvantage.

The overarching goal of my work is to identify areas where current planning and modeling practices fall short and demonstrate the power of alternative approaches. I conduct research on:

  • access/accessibility: quantifying how easily people can reach the destinations they need to lead a meaningful and dignified life
  • civil rights and environmental justice: helping agencies and advocates conduct analyses that reflect the true impacts of transportation projects and plans on low-income people and Black, Indigenous, and people of color populations
  • travel demand modeling: incorporating critical elements of identity (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender) and individual experiences (e.g., feelings of safety and security) into dominant transportation modeling frameworks
  • community engagement: identifying and evaluating engagement efforts to strengthen the link between a community’s input and the ultimate decisions that are made

To complete this work, I use mixed methods and draw upon my training in civil engineering, transportation planning, and history.

View my abridged CV or my official bio.

Some recent work

Prior work