Opening the door to social equity: local and participatory approaches to transportation planning in Montreal
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Purpose: Transportation systems play a key role in providing individuals with a diversity of means to access their desired destinations and have significant impacts on their quality of life. The social perspective of mobility is, however, marginalized in the current model of transportation planning and significant changes are called for. This study aims to identify the barriers and opportunities of local participatory approaches to trigger changes in transportation planning in Montreal, drawing on the concept of social learning. Methods: A case study approach is selected and the participatory processes of two Local Transportation Plans (LTPs) are analysed. Data is collected through document analysis and semi-structured interviews with local transport planners and representatives of community groups. A qualitative content analysis is conducted to assess the outcomes of public participation, the quality of the processes and the perspectives of participants. Results: The results highlight the narrow contribution of the participation of local communities and community groups in the development of LTPs. Furthermore, the participatory process assessed in this research allows for a limited integration of social aspects in the planning process. The main barriers lie in the broader planning context and the organizational structure at the borough level as well as the lack of expertise of the community groups. Nevertheless, LTPs provide a window of opportunity for addressing transport-related social aspects. Conclusion: In order to take advantage of this opportunity and foster social learning towards the desired changes, the process requires the inclusion of clear social equity goals at the metropolitan level. Furthermore, the presence of a skilled facilitator is key to support the integration of diverse perspectives on transportation planning. It is also essential to provide community groups with resources to meaningfully participate in the process, thereby promoting social equity. In sum, LTPs have the potential to further include the social dimension of transport, but further steps are required to foster an equitable and sustainable transportation system. This research is of relevance to researchers and planners wishing to better understand the challenges associated with participatory processes and social equity in transport planning.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Journal||European Transport Research Review|
|Publication status||Published - 2017 Sep 1|