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Planning for the Future of Urban Mobility: Interviews with Planning Professionals in Five Major Canadian Cities

  • Author / Creator
    Faid, Julian TW
  • Given that our urban centres have been dominated by the private car for a hundred years, this thesis asked what is next for Canadian cities. Previous research on the future of urban mobility, and specifically city planning and autonomous vehicles, has been from an American or Australian context. Working from a uniquely Canadian perspective, this thesis fills a gap in the research by analyzing data from twenty-six semi-structured interviews with Canadian planning professionals from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto. Chapter 1 examines Automobility and Social Practice Theory, which are used as theoretical frameworks for the project, contains a literature review on autonomous vehicles and city planning, and describes the research methods. The core of this thesis consists of two empirical papers based on data from interviews. Chapter 2 questions how Canadian planners are preparing for new technologies including autonomous vehicles, increased privatization, and sustainability in the mobility sector. Chapter 3 describes the differences in municipal planning cultures across five major Canadian cities. Findings suggest that planning professionals are not focused on the newest technologies and are instead advocating for space efficient, sustainable transportation. However, the planning cultures of the municipalities they work in continue to keep the private automobile as the top priority. Chapter 4 contains recommendations that will help cities navigate an uncertain future and encourages planners to become more politically involved in the city-building process. This thesis proposes new urban planning processes for the future that will require in-depth knowledge of why past planning decisions were made.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-hmqg-vj15
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.