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Human behavior is notoriously difficult to change, but a disruption of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to bring about long-term behavioral changes. During the pandemic, people were forced to experience new ways of interacting, working, learning, shopping, traveling, and eating meals. A critical question going forward is how these experiences have actually changed preferences and habits in ways that might persist. We collected a nationally-representative, 3-wave panel survey in the U.S. that aims to shed light on this question. This talk will draw from these data to describe how the pandemic did (and did not) change how we live in cities, what we still don't know, and in which areas urban planners should adjust their assumptions as we look to the future.

Biographical Information

Deborah Salon studies transportation in cities with the goal of better understanding of how these systems work, and how policies and smart investments might improve them. She is passionate about doing research that can help solve real-world problems, and a common thread in her work is to inform policies that aim to reduce global automobile dependence. Salon employs methods ranging from qualitative, interview-based research to advanced econometric analysis. She holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. Before joining the faculty at ASU, Salon completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University's Earth Institute and subsequently held a research appointment at UC Davis's Institute of Transportation Studies.


COVID-19 (Disease)



How COVID-19 Changed Our Cities: Evidence from a National Survey