Christopher Higgins

Christopher Higgins
Assistant Professor
Telephone number
Building HL 512

Teaching Interests

  • GGRC30 Advanced GIS
  • GGRC32 Essential Spatial Analysis
  • JPG1400 Advanced Quantitative Methods

Research Interests

My research is focused on the relationship between form and function in cities. Using the tools and methods of GIS/geographic data science, I capture and model the physical form and infrastructure of the city, its urban networks and the flows of people, goods, and information they facilitate, and the use of the city as an area or volume for engaging in activities. By providing a window into how the dynamic state of the city impacts and is impacted by social, environmental, and economic processes, my work seeks to better inform policy and planning interventions and promote more sustainable urban outcomes. Research areas to date include spatial and spatio-temporal analyses of:

  • Built environment and urban morphology
  • Mobility and accessibility
  • Real estate and land value uplift/capture
  • Housing and neighbourhood change
  • Choicemaking behavior and demand modelling
  • Health and wellbeing

Awards and Grants

  • 2020-2022: Christopher Higgins (PI). Form, Function, and Local Dynamics: Measuring Neighbourhood Morphological and Behavioural Context in Toronto. Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto
  • 2017-2020: Christopher Higgins (PI). The Value of Accessibility in the R+P Model: A 4D Space+Time Method for Analyzing Land Value Uplift from the Mass Transit Railway in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Polytechnic University Inject Fund
  • 2017-2020: Antonio Páez (PI) and Christopher Higgins. Do Closed Schools Mean Disappearing Value? Exploring the Decapitalization of Education in Neighbourhood House Prices. SSHRC Insight Development Grant
  • 2015-2016: Christopher Higgins (PI). Benchmarking, Planning, and Promoting Transit-Oriented Intensification in Rapid Transit Station Areas. Places to Grow Implementation Fund, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • 2015-2016: Pavlos Kanaroglou (PI), Christopher Higgins, and Matthew Adams. Value Planning for New Highway Infrastructure in Ontario: Evidence and Extensions for Policy. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario: Highway Infrastructure Innovation Funding Program


Recent Publications

  • Bruyns, G. J., Higgins, C. D., & Nel, D. H. (2020). Urban volumetrics: From vertical to volumetric urbanisation and its extensions to empirical morphological analysis. Urban Studies, 0042098020936970.
  • Paez, A., Anjum, Z., Dickson-Anderson, S. E., Schuster-Wallace, C. J., Ramos, B. M., & Higgins, C. D. (2020). Comparing distance, time, and metabolic energy cost functions for walking accessibility in infrastructure-poor regions. Journal of transport geography82, 102564.
  • Paez, A., Higgins, C. D., & Vivona, S. F. (2019). Demand and level of service inflation in Floating Catchment Area (FCA) methods. PloS One, 14(6).
  • Higgins, C.D. (2019). Accessibility toolbox for R and ArcGIS. Transport Findings
  • Higgins, C.D., Adams, M. D., Réquia, W. J., & Mohamed, M. (2019). Accessibility, air pollution, and congestion: Capturing spatial trade-offs from agglomeration in the property market. Land Use Policy84, 177-191.
  • Higgins, C.D. (2019). A 4D spatio-temporal approach to modelling land value uplift from rapid transit in high density and topographically-rich cities. Landscape and Urban Planning185, 68-82.
  • Mohamed, M., Higgins, C.D., Ferguson, M.R. & Réquia, W.J. (2018). The influence of vehicle body type in shaping behavioural intention to acquire electric vehicles: A multi-group structural equation approach. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice118, 54-72.
  • Réquia, W., Mohamed, M., Higgins, C.D., Arain, A. & Ferguson, M.R. (2018). How Clean are Electric Vehicles? Evidence-based Review of the Effects of Electric Mobility on Air Pollutants, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Human Health. Atmospheric Environment186, 64-77.
  • Ferguson, M.R., Mohamed, M., Higgins, C.D., Abotalebi, E., & Kanaroglou, P.S. (2018). How Open are Canadian Households to Electric Vehicles? A National Latent Class Choice Analysis with Willingness-To-Pay and Metropolitan Characterization. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment58, 208-224.