UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Promoting sustainable and equitable access to parks : a study of transit-to-parks initiatives and user perceptions Wang, Yiyang


In response to increasing sustainability challenges and the critical need for equitable park access, this thesis investigates the development of Transit-to-Parks (T2P) initiatives that link public transit to natural areas across Canada, and analyzes factors influencing park visitors' transportation choices in Metro Vancouver. The thesis employs a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative insights gathered from semi-structured interviews with ten Transit-to- Parks (T2P) initiative practitioners and quantitative analyses of 430 park-user survey responses. The research uncovers three motivations for T2P initiatives: parking and traffic congestion, environmental impacts of traffic, and equity considerations. It highlights key facilitators such as policy advocacy, partnerships, and community engagement in the successful implementation of T2P initiatives while also pointing out challenges, including limited funding and labor shortages, inadequate infrastructure, and siloed agencies. Furthermore, analysis of park visitors' mode choices indicates that socio-demographic and trip-related factors significantly influence the decision to use sustainable transport options for park visits. These findings suggest that targeted infrastructure improvements, policy interventions, and planning efforts are essential to reducing car dependency and fostering a shift toward more sustainable transportation modes. This thesis contributes to the discourse on urban planning, green equity, transportation equity, and recreational management, offering practical insights for transit agencies, urban planners, and policymakers aiming to improve park accessibility through sustainable transportation. It advocates for the integration of transportation planning with park access strategies to foster more sustainable, equitable urban environments.

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