The conscious city I: traffic congestion and change toward sustainability in Greater Vancouver

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Using collaborative, grounded theory research, this study explores the relationship between traffic congestion and change toward sustainability in Greater Vancouver. The paper draws on document analysis and nineteen elite interviews to assess how traffic congestion has served as a catalyst for change through the development of a social consciousness of sustainability. The research finds that traffic congestion can be a powerful force for change. However, the nature of this change is subject to the two distinct and incompatible mental models that shape perspectives and behaviour in the region. The models break down mainly along urban and suburban boundaries, creating a major split in the region and significant variation in social consciousness. The paper concludes that future development in the region?and ultimately progress toward sustainability?will depend on the mental model of the dominant actors. Future research is needed to determine the applicability of the research to other metropolitan regions


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Document type: 
Meg Holden
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.