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Unlocking Transport Innovation: A Sociotechnical Perspective of the Logics of Transport Planning Decision-making Within the Trial of a New Type of Pedestrian Crossing

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This paper investigates the architecture of decision-making that influences delivery and outcomes of urban environments.

It uses the case study of a new style of pedestrian crossing proposed for Massey Road in Mangere, Auckland. Local traffic concerns impeding walking and cycling were identified through a community engagement process. A neighbourhood-scale intervention was designed and constructed. Residents’ transport behaviour was measured before and after, along with the potential benefits of replicating similar projects in other areas. The proposal was subsequently rejected. The research found: innovative proposals must capture and address clear policy problems to convince key decision-makers of their value; the ‘ownership’ model can engender resistance to innovation; precise technical design standards can make innovation seem risky; and a highly structured decision-making hierarchy leaves limited scope for adaptability to local contexts.

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