Skip to content

What is the future of transportation planning and public participation?

Transportation behavior is becoming ever-more complex as digital information serves to moderate travel behavior and research has shown that community based digital tools can be effectively used to shape the built environment for walking and biking (Riggs and Gordon, 2015). This proliferation of geospatial information provides an additional tool for influencing behavior through mobile frameworks and through digital representation tools. For example, tools like SeeClickFix and StreetMix have been used to do conceptual design of sustainable streets.  Likewise tools like Mindmixer have been shown to increase public participation (Evans-Cowley, 2015) and be supportive of community-based and participatory planning (CBPP) methods (Leung, et al 2003). In academic circles this has given rise to the idea of urban informatics and quantified activities; or the ability for individuals to know and disseminate their location-based-information including built environment attributes, perceptions and observations, activities conducted, trip times and type, money spent, etc. (Carrel, Ekambaram, Gaker, Sengupta, & Walker, 2012).  This geo-spatial information, which is already being used to influence behavior in other fields, can be applied to planning and environmental design, and therein lies the goal of this project – to combine digital tools with participatory methods and facilitate collaborative design of the built environment for walking and biking.