Theses Doctoral

Multi-scalar Deliberative Transportation Planning: How London and Paris Made Way for Buses

Ray, Rosalie Singerman

This dissertation asks how activists, planners, and politicians reshaped transport institutions to prioritize buses over cars in London and Paris. The policy studied in both cities is the creation of a network of bus priority, known as the Red Routes and London Bus Priority Network in London and the Mobilien network in Paris. Using media analysis, archival research, and 30 interviews across the two cities, it traces the process of change in both cities and maps the deliberative system, the actors engaged in the decision-making process. It finds that empowered but not autonomous local governments—the boroughs in the case of London and the city of Paris in the case of Paris—were major actors in the change process, putting forth alternatives and deliberating with regional bodies to shape policies that took into account a variety of competing needs. It also finds that public conversation, debate, and conflict were essential to the process of institutional change, through which road governance was decentralized and local actors were empowered to control their own streets. These findings follow Iris Marion Young’s proposal that empowered but not autonomous local actors, subject to regional governments, is the most just model of urban governance.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Sclar, Elliott
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 26, 2020