Katherine Mitchell MFA Collaborative Design Practicum 2018

knowing/doing: value alignment in transportation mode choice

The impacts of driving, and all transportation mode choices, affect our urban society in both obvious and hidden ways. The environmental consequences of driving may be a more readily understood result of driving, but the relationship between driving and social equity is often less apparent. Personal car reliance negatively impacts social equity by increasing the cost of housing and development. Furthermore, the infrastructure built for cars limits the comfort, safety, and efficiency of alternate, and more affordable, transportation modes. This paper will focus on one element of driving, parking, as an illustration of the influential role transportation plays in the land use and function of the city.
Parking provokes intense emotional responses, revealing core beliefs and expectations that may be in direct conflict with a driver’s purported values, directly affecting the livelihood of others. My research will include a prompted travel diary asking Portland residents, with access to a car and alternate modes of travel, to provide qualitative data on individual decision making processes and the weight of values versus convenience in different demographic groups. With this inquiry, I will attain and synthesize insights on value alignment in travel mode choice. I will prove that our actions and values often misalign and propose an app, LetsGo, to empower users to self-initiate behavior change through social pressure and gamification.

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MFA in Collaborative Design Capstone Works