Suburbs Research Proposal Today, more than half of the Canadian population lives in the suburbs, and this population is still gradually growing since the end of World War 2. According to the article Defining Suburbs: Representation and Symbolic Violence Just Outside the City by Chris Richardson, he maintains while spaces that are suburban have existed for centuries, these spaces expended exponentially in Western metropolises after the second world war (Richardson 2). Expansion of economies and increasing population after the war increased demand for new houses in the nation. In most cases, homes in suburbs take up more space than compared to homes in cities. Suburbs have loosely packed structures. therefore, suburbs tend to need more transportation, sewer lines, power lines, and roads when compared to cities. There is no doubt that suburbs are less energy efficient and sustain ecosystems at a reduced amount than cities. Therefore, increasing suburbs could mean that people’s ecological footprint is increased as they develop new suburbs. In the article, Hyper Development- Nothing to Do Urban Planning in Toronto’s In-between City by Douglas Young, he claims that less ecological sustainability within suburbs (Young 4). This claim is supported by Brugmann’s comments, New homes were located ever farther away from employment areas, increasing their owners’ mobility cost. As a result, households had to increase the size of their automobile fleets. Although, there are many factors that influence the increasing ecological sustainability in the suburbs, transportation is the one of the main factors that increases ecological footprints. In most cases within suburbs, distance to grocery stores or other facilities from home is not quite walkable, for example, in cities because the towns are structured very far from one another. Therefore, people need whichever transportation to move from one place to another, and people living in the suburbs typically choose to drive their own cars instead of using public transportation. This is problematic in the suburbs, and in Canada’s ecological sustainability. This is because, according to statistics by Canadian environment, if one person travels 20km in a day by driving a car, it will associate the ecological footprint by 0.51 hectares, but if a person uses public transportation, one can decrease the ecological footprint by 0.49 hectares (Statistics Canada 3). Since I am currently living in Oakville, and it is one of the suburbs with high ecological footprint, I am going to focus particularly on Oakville’s transportation system. Oakville’s footprint is 9.0, and this is even higher than Canadian average, which is 7.2. The Town of Oakville, Ecological Footprint Report maintains, The other key contributing factor is a larger personal transportation footprint, which is primarily due to higher commuting distances (Statistics Canada 5). The personal transportation footprint cannot be avoided because only 14% of the people living in Oakville use public transportation system, and 73% of the people drive their own vehicles. According to Statistics Canada, the mode of transportation utilized to work for Oakville seems a very small amount, when a person is associated with his or her ecological footprint. When added up, the 75% footprint amount will be enormous for people who transit instead of commuting by car (Statistics Canada 6). Therefore, in Oakville, which has the largest ecological footprint in the country, public transit use should be more encouraged even within the Oakville area. However, despite the existence of the ecological sustenance advantage of using public transit, I found that most times, using Oakville transit is so frustrating since transit does not come quite regularly. Depending on the area and time in Oakville, the bus will come every hour or every half an hour. This means that if a person misses one bus, the person will take 30mins or even an hour to take the next bus, commuting time is longer. Some areas, after a certain time, which I found too early to end their services, do not serve the bus anymore, making it hard for one to use public transit. Although, I do not have a car, I am not willing to use public transit. Then how could a person who has a car, be willing to take the bus? Consequently, for this project, my research question is What can be changed in the Oakville transit routes, or schedule to encourage people who drive their own cars, to use public transit. Using cars requires high maintenance, but people willing to use them do so because they allow them to go anywhere whenever they want, and they will get them there quicker than public transit. To overcome advantages of driving cars, public transit needs to come up with a quicker and convenient effective way of providing. Works CitedRichardson, C.Defining Suburbs: Representation and Symbolic Violence Just Outside the City. Public Journal. 2011. Statistics Canada. Place of Work, and Commuting to Work: Statistics from the 2006 Census for Waterloo Region Statistics. Statistics Canada. 2006.Young, D. Hyper Development- Nothing to Do Urban Planning in Toronto’s In-between City. Public Journal. 2011.
Suburbs research proposal