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Photo of Tilahun, Nebiyou

Nebiyou Tilahun

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Urban Planning and Policy


Building & Room:

231 CUPPA Hall, MC 348


412 S. Peoria St., Suite 231

Office Phone:

(312) 355-4622


Nebiyou Tilahun’s research focuses on travel behavior, transport accessibility, and transportation equity. His work examines how people value different attributes of travel and the built environment, and aims to align policy and planning decisions with user preferences. His research has focused on the transit last mile problem, assessing the equity of transit accessibility, and how social networks influence travel behavior. Recent work has also focused on the safety and equity implications of automated traffic enforcement. He teaches Transportation Planning Methods, Spatial Statistics, Planning Methods and Plan Making Studio courses.

Tilahun earned a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2010. He worked as a Transportation Engineer at the Washington State Department of Transportation early in his career. He also held post-doctoral appointments at the Urban Transportation Center (UIC) and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He directs the Mobility Urban Systems and Equity lab.

More information on recent activities can be found here.

Selected Publications

Shin, J., & Tilahun, N. (2022). The role of residential choice on the travel behavior of young adults. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 158, 62-74.

Tilahun, N., Persky, J., Shin, J., & Zellner, M. (2021). Place Prosperity and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty. Review of Regional Studies, 51(2), 208-220.

Ermagun, A. and N. Tilahun (2020) Equity of Transit Accessibility across Chicago. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment.

Freeman, V. L., Boylan, E. E., Tilahun, N. Y., Basu, S., & Kwan, M. P. (2020). Sources of Selection and Information Biases When Using Commercial Database-Derived Residential Histories for Cancer Research. Annals of Epidemiology.

Li, M. and N. Tilahun (2018) A comparative analysis of discretionary time allocation for social and non-social activities in the U.S. between 2003 and 2013. Transportation.

Li, M. and N. Tilahun (2017) Time Use, Disability, and Mobility of Older Americans. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. Volume 2650, pp 58-65.

Tilahun, N. and D. Levinson (2017). Contacts and Meetings: Location, Duration and Distance Traveled. Travel Behavior and Society. Volume 6. pp. 67-74.

Tilahun, N., Thakuriah, P., Li, M., and Y. Keita (2016) Transit Use and the Work Commute: Analyzing the Role of Last Mile Issues. Journal of Transport Geography. Volume 54, pp 359-368.

Thakuriah, P., N. Tilahun and M. Zellner Eds. (2016). Seeing Cities through Big Data: Research, Methods and Applications in Urban Informatics, Springer. Edited Volume.

Thakuriah, P., N. Tilahun and M. Zellner (2016). Big Data and Urban Informatics: Innovations and Challenges to Urban Planning and Knowledge Discovery. In Seeing Cities through Big Data: Research, Methods and Applications in Urban Informatics, Springer. Thakuriah, P., Tilahun, N., and M. Zellner Eds.


2010 Ph.D.; 2005 M.Sc.; 2001 B.S.C.E., Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.