• Sarah Toy

  • Theme:Transport, Behaviour and Society
  • Project:Future scenarios to predict levels of car ownership in Generation Z
  • Supervisor: Lorraine Whitmarsh ,Yixian Sun
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo

Sarah is a chartered civil engineer and started my career working on water supply systems in the UK and developing countries. She became interested in the interface between human behaviour/choices and technical solutions when working on low cost water supply and sanitation projects in Africa. This led her to question how the built environment affects the health and wellbeing of humans as part of our planetary ecosystem and she developed this interest further while working for the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Sarah has worked both in the public and private sector and, since 2015, she has worked with a number of cities (including Bristol, Bath and Liverpool) to develop visions and strategies for a resilient, net zero carbon future. This has made it clear to her that future mobility technologies and behaviours will be central to delivering the changes we need to make in our daily lives.

Sarah was attracted to AAPS by the trans-disciplinary teamwork and she is excited to be learning from others as well as sharing her own experiences. Her emerging research question is "how can future mobility technologies and policies be designed to prioritise active travel particularly for children and young people?"


  • I can swear in Finnish
  • My first car was a 1977 mini classic
  • I have cycled across southern Spain (in winter, it was disappointingly cold)
  • My mother-in-law went to cookery school with Mary Berry
  • I hate baking

Future scenarios to predict levels of car ownership in Generation Z

This aim of Sarah's PhD is to view the system of car dependency through a local, national and international lens to investigate the social, economic and built environment factors that influence car ownership amongst two age cohorts – “Millennials” and “Gen Z” – with a particular focus on gender differences. The insights from initial research will be used to generate and test a range of scenarios for future car use, ownership and travel demand.

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