An examination of Downtown Vancouver streets: does pedestrian-oriented design actually foster increased pedestrian usage?

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This research paper examines and compares Downtown Vancouver’s premier streets and the relationship between pedestrian-oriented design and pedestrian use. This study aims to determine whether streets that possess more pedestrian-oriented design features result in higher pedestrian counts than streets with fewer such features. In addition, the study tries to determine what specific types of pedestrian-oriented features are present on streets with higher pedestrian counts that were not present on streets with lower counts. Data were collected by conducting pedestrian counts for the streets studied and by an observational checklist of pedestrian-oriented design features present on each street. The results of this study provide insight on the relationship between street character and pedestrian-oriented amenities and how this relationship influences pedestrian use. The research determined that the quantity of amenities is not important but the types of amenities available in relation to the role of the street were important factors.

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Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)