Social path dependence in public transport planning in Auckland (13416)
The failure to build a high quality public transport system in Auckland has its origins in institutional challenges. One dimension of institutional challenges is limited opportunities for genuine public involvement in defining transport problems and its solutions which create barriers to transformative change – a change in the policy path. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential for transformative change by exploring community perspectives on public transport in Auckland.
The research employs the concept of path dependence and development to identify current challenges and possible future institutional change for the development of public transport policies in Auckland. The social dimension of path dependence and development investigate the legitimacy of the planning process in order to explore how marginal communities (ethnic, low socio-economic, aging and disabled communities) and oppositional actors (environmental groups) are involved in the preparation of the Auckland Plan. The social path dependence and development will explore to what extent marginal communities’ voices have been accommodated in different stages of transport planning and their aspiration for public transport solutions as generally they exhibit different travel patterns.
The data collection includes review of submissions by marginal communities and environmental groups in the preparation of the Auckland Plan. The review will be followed by open ended short interviews with marginal families and groups to explore their everyday experience of public transport in Auckland based on the Q-methodology. The research will identify the consultation, communication and perception gaps between users of existing and future public transport systems and institutional practices. The research will elucidate the socio-institutional context by analysing the communities’ involvement in the different stage of public transport policy making process and by documenting their aspirations based on everyday experiences.