Collaborative accessibility-based public engagement for Bus Rapid Transit in Pretoria, South Africa
Author(s)Li, Xinhui,M.C.P.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
P. Christopher Zegras.
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Tools that make use of new technologies and new media to facilitate conversations for dispute-resolution have been studied and tested in various formats in recent years. As a field constantly involved with resolving conflicting interests and seeking collaborative problem-solving, urban planning could benefit greatly from the development and deployment of such tools. CoAXs (Collaborative Accessibility-based Stakeholder Engagement) is an interactive planning tool intended to enhance public participation in planning public transport systems. It has been implemented in different contexts in the United States and in Chile. This thesis presents adaptation and deployment of the tool in a context with distinct political, cultural, and economic characteristics - Pretoria, South Africa. With an ambitious plan to expand its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, but facing constrained road space, Pretoria is two years behind its BRT development plan because of unresolved conflicts between private vehicle users and public transport riders. Using an adapted version of CoAXs that allows users to create scenarios by selecting BRT route options, four public engagement workshops were conducted in July 2018 in Pretoria. The workshops were designed to help learn about the suitability of the tool in a new context, as well as its effectiveness in changing participants' perceptions and attitudes, fostering empathy between interest groups, and supporting meaningful conversations among stakeholders. Using a survey of participants and observations during the workshops, this study finds that CoAXs moderately broadened users' scope of expected impacts and prompted different user groups, especially private vehicle users, to empathize with users of other transport modes. CoAXs was effective in facilitating and supporting public engagement conversations, although more understanding and consideration of the specific cultural context will be helpful in the future.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-82).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.