My name is ማህቶት ገብረስላሰ spelt in the alphabet of Ge’ez language, from which the name originates. In English, I spell it as Mahtot Gebresselassie. This is how it is pronounced. Over the years, I have learnt that spelling my first name as Mah-tote seems to help people say it closer to its Ge’ez pronunciation.
I am an architect, urban planner, educator, and social-science researcher. In July 2022, I began my appointment as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change in Toronto.
Most of my research focuses on Uber and Lyft and transportation equity in relation to people with disabilities and low-income earners. I also do research on extreme weather and other unusual events and Uber and Lyft.
Outside this topic I have research and/or industry experience in the following:
- Disabled accessibility in information and communication technologies (Human-computer interaction)
- Smart mobility (smart cities) policy and governance
- Accessibility in urban design and architecture
- Platform/sharing economy in the transportation sector and broadly
My research involves design and/or emerging technologies and equity.
I do both qualitative and quantitative research. When the research question calls for it, I do mixed methods research – I am very passionate about it. It is my belief that the complexity of urban problems necessitates an approach that allows for the mixing of methods (qualitative and quantitative) in collecting and analyzing data without the constraints of philosophical assumptions.
I love teaching! I also love and respect my students. Not only do I teach them, I learn from them as well. I have been a TA, instructor of record, and instructor for many courses including architectural design, interior design, theory of architecture, environmental science, structure and forms of cities, and information technology and society, and the future of cities. At York University, I teach transportation planning, designing sustainable cities, and skills in planning research and practice.
On a non-academic note, I am a long-standing member of Toastmasters International and certified yoga teacher. I also love taking pictures of buildings and writing about their design for my blog, which I have kept since 2010. For now, it is a hobby; it will be more than that in the future. It is my strong belief that I am the biggest fan of the Montreal Jazz Festival. The city, the music, the posters, the ambience – everything.
Oh and I am a bicycle commuter. No, e-bikes for me, thank you very much. I have been fueling my own transportation for almost 15 years! Isn’t that cool? Meet my road bike, Louis, below. It flies like the wind!
And here is my other bike Latakhidan (ለተኺዳን) Matilda. It’s like your pickup truck. LM has been so reliable for over a decade, and I plan on keeping it for another. In October 2022, it was stolen from me while I was grocery shopping. Toronto is notorious for bike theft! Less than 30 hours later, I found it at a flea market ready to be sold. Yes, I am one lucky Torontonian!