Carol Atkinson-Palombo

Dr. Carol Atkinson-PalomboPh.D., Arizona State (2007)

Office: AUST 424

Office phone: 860-486-3023

Curriculum vitae

Research Interests:

Sustainable Transportation

Sustainable Cities

GIS-based Spatial Analysis

UConn Geography Research Clusters:

Spatial Analysis of Social Issues

Human-Environment Dynamic


GEOG 1200: The City in the Western Tradition

GEOG 2400: Introduction to Sustainable Cities

GEOG 4093: Foreign Study

EVST 4000W: Capstone in Environmental Studies

Selected Publications

Hoen, B. and C. Atkinson-Palombo (2017). "Wind turbines , amenities and disamenities : A study of home value impacts in densely populated Massachusetts." Journal of Real Estate Research 38(4): 473-504.

Ahangari, H., C. Atkinson-Palombo and N. W. Garrick (2016). "Progress towards zero, an international comparison: Improvements in traffic fatality from 1990 to 2010 for different age groups in the USA and 15 of its peers." Journal of Safety Research 57: 61-70.

Garceau, T., C. Atkinson-Palombo and N. Garrick (2014). Peak travel and the decoupling of vehicle travel from the economy. Transportation Research Record: 41-48.

Atkinson-Palombo, C. (2010). "Comparing the capitalisation benefits of light-rail transit and overlay zoning for single-family houses and condos by neighbourhood type in metropolitan phoenix, Arizona." Urban Studies 47(11): 2409-2426.

Atkinson-Palombo, C.,  M., J. A. Miller and R. C. Balling Jr (2006). "Quantifying the ozone "weekend effect" at various locations in Phoenix, Arizona." Atmospheric Environment 40(39): 7644-7658.

Funded Research Projects & Appointments

EQUITY, EXTERNALITIES & PUBLIC POLICY: Understanding the Surprising and Oversized Use of Ridesourcing Services in Poorer Neighborhoods in NYC

Norman Garrick and Carol Atkinson-Palombo are the Principle Investigators of a one-year funded project from the Department of Transportation ($120,000).

ABSTRACT: Initial studies of ridesourcing services found that early adopters were relatively affluent, educated, young urbanites willing to experiment with new smartphone-enabled technologies. Similarly, early studies undertaken in settings like San Francisco reinforced this description of the customer base and added that services were most typically used for shopping and leisure trips on evenings and weekends. It was therefore surprising to us that in the five boroughs of New York City, preliminary research that we have undertaken revealed that a majority of ridesourcing trips in 2017 originated in the outer boroughs in neighborhoods, predominantly populated by relatively low-income minority residents with limited access to public transit. It is unclear whether the trips are being taken by local residents to fill a gap that exists in public transportation services or by people outside the community for other reason(s). If ridesharing is being used to provide desired levels of accessibility, then having this need filled by for-profit entities could have longterm negative consequences for transportation equity. Our project will use surveys, interviews, and spatial analysis of geocoded Twitter feeds about various companies providing ridesourcing to glean insights about these trips. We are especially interested in learning what has caused this rapid growth in trips originating in the outer boroughs, who is taking the trips, where they are going, and whether or not this represents additional travel or whether it is replacing trips already undertaken via different means. Our findings will provide insights about the implications of these ridesourcing trips for equity considerations, as well as externalities caused by any increased Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) that will be of interest to policy-makers. The mixedmethod spatiotemporal tools developed in this study will be applicable to a wide range of settings and illustrate the importance of contextual factors in evaluating the impacts of technologies that are disrupting the traditional landscape of transportation research and policy


Autonomous Vehicles Task Force

Dr. Atkinson-Palombo has been appointed to the Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles for the State of Connecticut.  The task force will evaluate the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding state responsibilities for regulating fully autonomous vehicles, evaluate laws, legislation and regulations proposed or enacted by other states to regulate fully autonomous vehicles, recommend how the state should regulate fully autonomous vehicles through legislation and regulation, and evaluate the pilot program to be established in Connecticut.  For more details on the Task Force and their responsibilities:


Transportation Technology & Society, Provost Award 2017-2020

Transportation technologies allowing for self-driving vehicles are emerging rapidly, sparking considerable speculation about how they may revolutionize society. Academic inquiry on this topic is thus far limited, focusing primarily on the science and engineering of enabling technologies such as vehicle sensors. A community of scholars from various academic disciplines who understands the intricacies of the complex systems associated with Transportation Technology & Society (TTS) is urgently needed to examine this potentially disruptive dynamic. The overarching goal of this pilot project is to create an interdisciplinary community of scholars who can collaborate on research and teaching in TTS and understand how to harness the Big Data associated with this technology.


What do we want from Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)? US Dept. of Transportation 2017-2019

This research will use the Transportation Indicator for Sustainable Places (TISP) previously developed by our research group as a framework for evaluating the potential outcomes of three different scenarios under which autonomous vehicles (AVs) could be deployed. The output of this initial deliverable will form the basis for thinking through the wide array of impacts that AVs may have on society, the economy, and the environment. The goal is to avoid repeating mistakes of the past in which people’s needs were subjugated by special interest groups who have a vested interest in championing the benefits of superior technology. Instead of passively responding to technological changes, society—and public agencies such as DOTs that serve society—will be better positioned to shape the outcomes of this ‘socio‐technological’ transition.