Framework for integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge for transportation planning in developing countries

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University of Alabama Libraries

Conventional transportation planning is developed based on theories that originate from industrialized countries and is based on the rational/comprehensive model, which is an exercise in data manipulation. The basic requirements of the process are the availability of large amounts of good data and analytic capabilities. These are readily available in industrialized countries, but often lacking in developing countries, hence the need to explore other non-traditional methods for project evaluation. This research documents a framework suggested for screening urban transportation projects in developing countries to reflect local issues relevant to sustainability. The framework is based on the integration of indigenous and scientific knowledge to reflect the sustainability of candidate projects. This is achieved through a transactive or dialogical instrumentalism and social learning, to integrate inputs from system users and providers to produce a term defined as the Localized Sustainability Score (LSS). This is a method that readily identifies with the consensus building tradition of local communities in developing countries. The LSS of the projects are then used to produce a relative ranking of potential projects, for use as a decision support for project screening and selection. The proposed method was developed through a case study in Accra, Ghana and the results indicate that the framework adequately represented local sustainable transportation needs, priorities and perceptions. The LSS determined for some selected projects maintained the original relative rankings that were already derived using conventional methods. The LSS also has the added advantage of evaluating projects of different scales.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Civil engineering, Transportation planning, Sustainability