Department of Geography and Planning Graduate Projects

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 218
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    Reimagining the Right-of-Way: Opportunities for Enhancing Urban Agriculture in Toronto’s Hydro Corridors
    (2023) Khan, Safia
    Urban agriculture is increasingly recognized for its social, environmental, and economic benefits. However, the urban agriculture movement and its practitioners encounter several barriers and challenges, including accessing land for food production, obtaining financial capital, and navigating municipal obstacles. These issues are particularly prominent for individuals in marginalized communities. There is an opportunity to improve policies and decision-making processes to integrate healthy food and farming more effectively into the urban fabric and cultural practices of cities. One-way municipalities are actively supporting urban agriculture is by reimagining and repurposing vacant or underutilized public spaces for urban food production. The City of Toronto’s transformation of hydroelectricity corridors into productive farmland through the Community Engagement and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED) Garden program is a notable example of this effort. Although community and allotment gardens have existed in these corridors for years, the CEED Garden program stands out as an innovative, partnership-focused, and community-driven urban agriculture model within hydro corridors. For the first time, food grown in the corridors owned by Hydro One, the provincial electricity company, will be made available for sale within the community through market gardens. The primary objective of this report is to identify ways of enhancing urban agriculture opportunities in hydro corridors, using the City of Toronto as a case study, with emphasis on the CEED Garden program. It examines the key factors that hinder or enable the integration of food production in these urban spaces. A series of recommendations are proposed to guide future policy, program, and plan improvements to facilitate the practice of urban agriculture in right-of-ways.
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    Reconstruction Ahead: School Streets and Street Reclamation in Ontario
    (2023-04-28) Koenig, Nico
    This report investigates the implementation of Schools Streets in Ontario to reveal the implications for broader street reclamation efforts. School Streets are a type of street experiment that restricts vehicles on the street in front of a school at the start and end of the school day to create a car-free environment. Stakeholders involved in every known School Street in Ontario and other relevant interest groups were interviewed as part of this research. The findings of the research highlight barriers that hinder School Streets’ establishment, scale, and sustainability; propose recommendations for municipalities to establish, scale, and sustain School Streets in Ontario; and name long-term implications for contemporary street reclamation efforts.
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    Assessing Millennial Travel Behaviour and the Implications of Gender: A Case Study of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Ontario
    (2023-06-27) Rasheed, Fathimah Tayyiba
    In the past decade, as Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000) reached adulthood they were observed to utilize sustainable modes of transportation more frequently than previous generations. This trend is viewed positively as it results in lower rates of automobility among this generation and is seen as a step towards achieving broader environmental sustainability and traffic reduction objectives. However, prior research has not tested whether these observed sustainable travel behaviour characteristics are manifest equally among males and females within the Millennial generation. Especially, because women face significant travel barriers due to economic, cultural, physical, and/or psychological factors, and their mobility needs differ from those of men. This research examines differences in travel patterns of males and females from the Millennial generation using travel survey data from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Millennials are divided in four age groups: 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, and 31-35. The analysis focuses on variables such as the number of daily trips, driver’s license or transit pass possession, Vehicle Kilometers traveled (VKT), and auto/public-transit trip mode shares. The analysis provides insights into the differences in travel behaviour between male and female Millennials in the GTHA and ways to make the transportation systems in the region safer and more sustainable. In addition to observable differences in automobility trends between Millennials and the preceding generations, the analysis confirms that there is an association between gender and travel behaviour. In the GTHA, women tend to make more daily trips than men, particularly among older Millennials. Additionally, women have substantially lower driver’s license ownership rates than men. Among younger Millennials, women have higher rates of possession of transit passes as well as public transit usage. Further, while full-time employment was found to be associated with higher auto dependency, part-time and being not employed were associated with higher daily trip numbers among older female Millennials in the GTHA. The findings of this study suggest that women have a greater need for flexibility in travel than men, and tend to create multi-modal mobility patterns. The potential increase in automobile dependency among Millennials as they age and the existence of gendered differences in travel behaviour highlight the need for policymakers, including transportation demand management professionals and planners, to take action. This report provides recommendations to respond to these concerns and to ensure that mobility modes are more efficient, safe, reliable, and sustainable. These recommendations include 6 targeted policy recommendations and 3 broad strategies. While the targeted policy-based recommendations speak in detail about the following: 1) Enhance transportation mode options for older female Millennials; 2) Flexible transportation options such as discounted shuttle services for part-time workers; 3) Improve public transportation infrastructure in suburban areas; 4) Increase transit pass affordability, especially for part-time females workers; 5) Gender-inclusive transportation campaigns at the municipality level; 6) Conduct regular gender impact assessments of transportation plans/programs. The broad strategy-based recommendations involve: 1) Prioritization of context-specific research and data collection on gender and mobility; 2) Addressing specific mobility needs of women in the implementation of plans (especially by urban planners and urban designers); 3) Enactment of women-friendly transportation policies at the local and federal levels.
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    How the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation Influenced Suburban Community Planning and Design in Post-WWII Canada
    (2023-05-05) Harding, Matthew
    The Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC – now the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), a federal agency, was instrumental in Canada’s suburbanization. The immediate post-WWII period of 1945-1969 saw many suburban communities planned and designed by CMHC, while the Corporation also consciously influenced the private development industry to adopt CMHC’s community design standards. What were these community design standards and elements, and what ideas influenced CMHC in creating these standards? This report highlights CMHC’s role in suburban neighbourhood development in postwar Canada by analyzing the neighbourhood design patterns seen throughout the Corporation’s neighbourhood planning programs. The design pattern and elements are key in Canada’s suburbanization since they stress reliance upon private automobiles while the communities themselves were, at the time, on the fringes of established urban centres. The project used archival research with primary documents to illustrate the community design standards used by CMHC in their suburban community planning programs during the immediate postwar era in Canada. Archival research took place at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, ON, and involved analyzing thousands of pages of primary documents and examining thousands of original photographs and plans in the CMHC and Wartime Housing Ltd. fonds. This report answers the research question “what were the suburban community design elements that the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation utilized and promoted in post-WWII Canada?” This research discovered that CMHC made extensive use of design principles found in Perry's neighbourhood unit concept when planning and designing suburban communities in post-WWII Canada.
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    COVID Commuting: Examining the Commute Patterns of Queen's University Employees Throughout the Pandemic
    (2023-04-21) Holmes, Keith
    The COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered commute patterns across the world. Employees started working from home, avoiding transit, and walking and biking for recreation. Queen's University in Kingston, ON is no exception to this event, and it provides an optimal case to study COVID-19's effects on a mid-sized city which have been largely excluded from academic literature. To study these effects, this report asked how and why COVID-19 changed employees' commute patterns, and how sustainable commuting (using transit, walking, and biking) can further be promoted in a post-pandemic context. The report used a two-phased explanatory mixed-methods study with an online survey and follow-up interviews with survey respondents. The results found that almost half of employees (46.7%) started working from home in 2020 compared to only 1.3% in 2019, transit experienced the largest mode share decline among all modes, working from home remains a common commute mode in 2022, and employees now travel to campus less frequently than they did prior to COVID-19. In response to these results, this report offers three recommendations for Queen's University and three recommendations for the City of Kingston to promote sustainable transportation in a post-COVID-19 context. Queen's University should preserve and promote its hybrid work arrangement for employees, conduct a parking study of its existing parking policies and supply, and increase the number of secure bike storage facilities. The City of Kingston should improve the cycling infrastructure surrounding campus, adopt the PRESTO transit pass, and better promote voluntary masking on transit.