Xinhui Li

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Collaborative Accessibility-based Public Engagement for Bus Rapid Transit in Pretoria, South Africa

As a field constantly involved with resolving conflicting interests and seeking collaborative problem-solving, urban planning could benefit greatly from tools that make use of new technologies to facilitate conversations for dispute-resolution. CoAXs (Collaborative Accessibility-based Stakeholder Engagement) is an interactive planning tool intended to enhance public participation in planning public transport systems. It has been implemented in the United States and in Chile. This thesis presents adaptation and deployment of the tool in a context with distinct political, cultural, and economic characteristics – Pretoria, South Africa. Using an adapted version of CoAXs that allows users to create scenarios by selecting BRT route options, four public engagement workshops were conducted in July 2018 in Pretoria. The workshops were designed to help learn about suitability of the tool in a new context, as well as its effectiveness in changing participants’ perceptions and attitudes, fostering empathy between interest groups, and supporting meaningful conversations among stakeholders.

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