Gordon Lovegrove

Associate Professor

Other Titles: P.Eng., MBA, FITE, MCSCE, MASCE
Office: EME4267
Office Hours: By Appt
Phone: 250.807.8717
Email: gord.lovegrove@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

SMARTer Growth; Sustainable community planning & design; Sustainable Transport & Safety; Hydrail powered, zero-emission regional passenger & freight rail; Affordable housing & CoHousing

Courses & Teaching

Engineering Economics and Social Cost Benefit Analysis - ENGR 305 / 505; Transportation Systems Design - ENGR 435; Go Global, study abroad of Sustainable Communities - ENGR 449; Sustainable Transport Safety Engineering - ENGR 534; Railways Systems Engineering - ENGR 437 / 537; Directed Studies Courses on various topics to supplement graduate researcher skill set preparation


Dr. Lovegrove is passionate about sustainable communities, and is one of the School of Engineering’s experts in applied sustainable civil engineering – he is Vice President of Technical Programs for the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE), and has co-authored for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) their best practise guide for practitioners and students-alike on “Engineering for Sustainable Communities”. His sustainability expertise stems from over 30 years of hands-on professional engineering experience and innovative, rigorous science-based research (Dr Lovegrove led the team that got UBC students their U-Pass!). In addition to his valuable contributions to the School’s teaching and research programs at UBCO, Dr Lovegrove works hard off campus as a volunteer to promote sustainable lifestyles, government, and built form in Kelowna and globally. He has served as a Director of Kelowna’s Fresh Outlook Foundation (freshoutlookfoundation.org), co-founder of Kelowna’s Okanagan Car Share Co-Op (OGO.ca), co-founder of Kelowna’s Christian Service Brigade boys club (christianservicebrigade.ca), and member of TRB Bicycle Committee (ANF20), among others. Dr Lovegrove’s contributions, expertise, and reputation have been recognized by his peers as worthy of several distinguished grants, including: a Natural Science & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant (2008, and renewals), a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Grant to equip his Sustainable Transport Safety (STS) Research Lab, and multiple NSERC Engage Grants to solve emerging industry problems. His STS Research Lab researches and develops knowledge based technologies and systems for more sustainable and safe communities, including ways to measure and predict sustainability metrics for community planners and engineers. Currently under development are web-based, empirical safety planning tools, and, field-based, experimental data collection and analysis tools. Of note is Dr Lovegrove’s research team efforts on Hydrail (Hydrogen fuel-cell / battery hybrid rail power), a gateway technology to convert all North American regional passenger and freight rail from diesel to zero-emission electric rail systems, at a fraction of the cost of conventional electric rail, thus helping to address our climate change challenges. Dr Lovegrove’s sustainability expertise is regularly sought after for conference plenary sessions, expert legal opinions, co-authoring sustainability texts, and governments panels and initiatives across the globe.

You will see more at Sustainable Communities Lab, meanwhile scroll down the page for more details, and opportunities for joining and/or collaborating with Dr Lovegrove’s team.  If you wish to be considered for graduate studies with Dr Lovegrove, please remember that you MUST make a formal application via UBCO’s College of Graduate Studies (COGS).


SMARTer Growth (Sustainable Communities)


PhD – Civil Engineering, UBC, 2006
Dipl - Public Admin, Cap College, 1996
MBA – Public Policy, SFU, 1993
MEng – Civil Engineering, UBC, 1988
BASc – Civil Engineering, UBC, 1982

Research Interests & Projects

Dr. Lovegrove’s research program on sustainable communities covers two streams:

1) VISION ZERO: Sustainable Transport Safety

2) SMARTer Growth: More Sustainable Development Patterns 

Sustainable Transport Safety (STS)
The burden on communities due to the enormous economic and social costs associated with road collisions has been recognized worldwide as a major problem and impacts directly on the sustainability of our society (see WHO, 2013). As 96% of collisions are due to driver error, Dr Lovegrove is pursuing ways to reduce the use of private auto’s as well as evaluate ways to create safer neighbourhoods. He is working on the following areas:

  • Sustainable Transportation Safety Evaluation Models
    Development of macro-level Collision Prediction Models (CPMs), and guidelines for their use by planners and engineers is a critical need for our community. These models predict mean collision frequency based on associations with variables from one of four neighbourhood characteristic themes, including exposure, socio-demographics (S-D), Transportation Demand Management (TDM), and network. Dr. Lovegrove and his team have developed models for Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Ottawa, in Canada. He is seeking partnerships to develop and apply his models in other cities across Canada, with the intent to plan, design, and build neighbourhoods based on his STS principles to validate his theoretical modelling results.
  • Interactive High-level Safety Planning Model (IHSPM)
    Development and use of a knowledge-based web application based on his macro-level CPMs for remote access to and reference by communities world-wide interested in planning safer, more sustainable communities. Dr Lovegrove is working with ITE, TRB, AASHTO, and FWHA colleagues towards adding an on-line safety planning module (termed the Interactive High-level Safety Planning Model, or IHSPM) to the existing micro-level AASHTO Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) on-line tool, the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM). This on-line tool, in coordination with the widely used HCM, will accelerate and automate the development and application of safety planning by practitioners world-wide to preclude safety problems from happening in the first place.
  • Sustainable Railway Technology, SoE colleagues
    A Transport Canada research service contract has been secured to pursue ways to transition North American railway technology from inefficient, energy-intensive, carbon-based technology, into more globally competitive, innovative and sustainable operations, including: ultra-capacitor driven locomotives, risk-based infrastructure management, and lighter running gear materials. Railway electrification is seen by many as a gateway technology away from current NA diesel-based freight fleets, toward quieter, cleaner, more efficient freight and passenger transport. Dr Lovegrove has built a demonstration track at UBC Okanagan for training and research of his students. He is always looking for railway industry partners to assist in guest lectures and outfitting of his railway research program.
  • Transportation Safety Management Systems
    Innovative community corridor safety management programs to reduce speeding and promote active transport use, including the City of Kelowna’s Springfield Road corridor research project. This project is analyzing the effectiveness of a multi-prong, integrated approach to manage safety on a busy city arterial, including enforcement, pavement marking, signal phasing, and information technology in real-time adaptive modes.
  • Macro-Level Bicycle Comfort and Safety Prediction Model
    Cycling is a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation. The objective of this project is to promote cycling by developing a community-based, macro-level bicycle comfort and safety prediction model. The developed model will quantify the safety and comfort levels of cycling routes and will be a tool in the planning and design of more convenient, desirable and safer bicycle facilities.

Sustainable Development Patterns
While there is a global awareness that more sustainable community development patterns are imperative, there is no science-based, empirical agreement on the impacts and benefits of those patterns. As such, Dr Lovegrove’s sustainable communities research seeks to develop reliable, predictive, empirical tools that will quantify those evaluations for community planners, engineers, and decision-makers. Several SoE and UBCO faculty collaboration opportunities have broadened his research focus from strictly transport safety, and into land use systems, as follows:

  • OVER PR (Okanagan Valley Electric Regional Passenger Rail)
    Dr Lovegrove’s research team efforts on Hydrail (Hydrogen fuel-cell / battery hybrid rail power), a gateway technology to convert all North American regional passenger and freight rail from diesel to zero-emission electric rail systems, at a fraction of the cost of conventional electric rail, thus helping to address our climate change challenges.  With results of Dr Lovegrove’s research showing an economically feasible OVER PR by 2039, the discussions and coalition of supporters grows. It is recommended that all future transportation planning in the Okanagan Valley (connecting small and rural communities along Hwy 97 between US border and Kamloops), and similar inter-urban corridors in the Fraser Valley, and on Vancouver Island Malahat corridor, not to mention national inter-urban corridors, take a multi-modal approach that includes zero-emission electric regional passenger rail ‘Hydrail’ technology as is being researched at UBC Okanagan’s Sustainable Transport Safety Research Lab.  Motivating factors drawn from research on this topic include:
    a. Social – 30% mode split overnight based on similar research; Growing segment of population that do not drive – more seniors, eco-tourists, millennials – yet who need to stay safely connected to tourist destinations, airports, hotels, wineries, healthcare, jobs, services, friends, housing up and down the entire Valley
    b. Economic – Local jobs, made-in-BC technology – Hydrogen from renewables; Fuel-cells; retrofit existing diesel locomotives (Southern Railway of BC)
    c. Construction cost – delays indefinitely the need for a 2nd crossing, at over $1/2 Billion dollar savings; less cost to build rail than to expand highways, especially since e-rail can travel along the highway corridor at hwy grades.
    d. Environment – zero emission rail; removes over 30% of cars, along with associated energy use, GHG emissions, congestion, and crashes
    e. Safety – worst 5 intersections outside of Vancouver are in Kelowna, at over $350 million/year in crash costs, injuries, and deaths.
    f. Payback – Estimated $1 billion to span 200 km Valley, including stations and modifications to existing floating bridge; payback within two years, ignoring fare revenues.
    g. Operating costs – hydrogen from renewables; system maintenance; personnel
    h. Financing – P3, using station area redevelopment opportunities to manage and accommodate future growth, as well as revitalizing local transit hubs to each station.
  • SMARTer Growth (Fused Grid) Neighbourhoods
    His research has resulted in a novel neighbourhood road pattern design – the SMARTer Growth (aka Fused Grid) neighbourhood – that suggests that over 60% of common road collisions in neighbourhoods can be eliminated. He also wishes to use his models to show the progressive improvement in road safety as more and more drivers get out of cars and onto bicycles, buses, and sidewalks. Currently, the City of Calgary is employing Fused Grid design principles in its new subdivision, which Dr Lovegrove plans to research on to confirm its effectiveness.
  • Community U-Pass (ComPASS)
    Dr Lovegrove has used various Sustainable Community Grants to conduct research into an innovative sustainable transportation program, ComPASS. Combined with an NSERC USRA student, and his NSERC Discovery Grant funds, Dr Lovegrove is researching ways to facilitate a permanent shift by residents of an existing community (Glenmore) to more sustainable transportation habits. This research will model and quantify current patterns together with a social cost benefit analysis of desired outcomes, to inform a consultative design of effective community transition strategies toward more active transportation patterns, and away from private auto use.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Books / Book Chapters

  1. On Fused Grid (Dutch Safe Systems) neighborhood safety research: “Remaking the City Street Grid – A Model for Urban and Suburban Development”, Co-Authors: Fanis Grammenos & Gord Lovegrove, McFarland Publishers, 2015. 207 pages.
  2. Mohan, Dinesh, editor (2012) Safety, Sustainability, and Future Urban Transport, Elsevier Ltd, features my sustainable road safety analyses research on Fused Grid Street Network.
  3. Lovegrove, G. (2007) Road Safety Planning: New Tools for Sustainable Road Safety and Community Development, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Berlin, Germany. 218 pages.
  4. Toor, W. & Havlick, S. (2004) Transportation & Sustainable Campus Communities, Island Press, Chapter 5 features a case study of the UBC TREK Program Centre, based on several interviews with Dr. Lovegrove. 28 pages.

Technical Reports

  1. CLASP (2014) Innovative Infrastructure Solutions for Safer Active Transport: Case Studies from Canada, Report prepared for the for the Joint Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineering (CITE) Technical Liaison Committee (TLC) / Healthy Canada by Design (Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention) CLASP Initiative, UBCO School of Engineering, Kelowna, BC. (P-I).
  2. Swanson, A., Finn, N., Drdul, R., Lovegrove, G. (2013) University of Calgary TDM Plan, DA Watts & Associates, Calgary, Alberta
  3. ITE Safety Council (2013) ITE Informational Report: School Site Selection, Design, and Transportation, ITE Safety Council, Washington DC. (co-author).
  4. De Vries, J., Barss, P. & Lovegrove, G. (2012) Promoting Safe Use of Roads & Pathways for Vulnerable Road Users: A Review of Canadian Promising Practises, Report prepared for the Public Health Agency of Canada, Kelowna, BC. (P-I) (GRL contribution 90%). [http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/engineering/__shared/assets/VRU_Research_Report29372.pdf]
  5. Hostland, C., Johnson, J., Roberts, D., Lovegrove, G. (2012) Sustainable Indoor Environments: Addressing consequential sickness from indoor mould exposure utilizing policy to effect change in the provision of health care, Report submitted January 13th, 2012 on-line to Provincial Select Standing Committee on Health, Province of British Columbia, Victoria, BC. (GRL contribution 40%)
  6. Morrison, E. & Sonmor, D. & Lovegrove, G. (2011) Sustainable Glenmore Community Research: ComPASS Phase 1 Report, September 2011. Prepared for the City of Kelowna, Kelowna, BC. 95 pages. (P-I) (Dr. Momer of UBCO Geography Department contribution 10%)

Peer Reviewed Papers

  • Hostland C, Lovegrove G, Roberts D (2015) Sustainable Home Health: An Integrated Approach to address Mold-Related Indoor Air Quality and Illness, International Journal of Engineering Technology and Scientific Innovation, Volume:01,Issue:02, November, www.ijetsi.org, pp 102-121, MIT, India.
  • Hostland C, Lovegrove G, Roberts D (2015) Economic Justification for Proactive Remediation of Private Homes of High-Use Asthmatics, International Journal of Engineering Technology and Scientific Innovation, Volume:01,Issue:02, November, www.ijetsi.org, pp 122-141, MIT, India.
  • *Masoud A, Lee A, Faghihi F, Lovegrove G (2015) Building Sustainably Safe and Healthy Communities with the Fused Grid Development Layout, NRC Press, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 42: 1063–1072, October 5.
  • *Hostland C, Sadiq R, Lovegrove G, Roberts D (2015) HEALTH2: An Environmental Assessment Lay Tool for Home Health, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 42(4), 241-249.
  • Birdsall M, Lovegrove G. (2014) Feature Article: Making the Case for Proactive Safety in Long-range Transportation Planning, Interview with Dr Gordon Lovegrove, ITE Journal, 85(1), 45-47.

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (Vice-President, Technical Programs)
American Society of Civil Engineers (Member, Committee on Sustainability)
Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (Fellow)
Transportation Research Board (Member, Bicycle Committee & Transportation Statistics Committee)


OVER PR / Hydrail research updates

Infotel Coverage November 19, 2018


Kelowna Now interview – Kent Molgat, Gord Lovegrove – 13 minutes  – November 7, 2018 https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Video/VIDEO_This_is_not_crazy_UBCO_professor_promotes_rail_transit_link_for_the_Okanagan/


Hydrail Investors Forum & Public Information Meeting – October 18, 2018 – hosted by Wheelhouse Ventures (Kelsey Helm) at the Kelowna Innovation Center – Dr Holger Busche interviewed – full interview and Q/A session on U-Tube at the following links:

Q/A Period:


Apologies, but no results were found.