Next-Generation Transportation for Regions and Cities

Current practice for transportation planning and design uses a set of well-established practices and tools that strive to maximize traffic speeds, minimize congestion and reduce crash rates. Unfortunately, this has led to a bias toward roadway expansion and a slate of problems associated with auto dependency.

Multi-modal transportation is an emerging approach that aims to provide greater modal choice and foster a more balanced transportation system. In the face of issues such as energy and climate, changing demographics, economic and cultural shifts, and both infrastructure and funding gaps, multi-modal transportation offers the promise of supporting transportation solutions and communities that will be more resilient in the face of uncertainty and change.

This is the first of two courses on multi-modal transportation that will focus on regions and networks. You will learn principles and practices of multi-modal transportation planning at these higher scales in order to promote transportation systems that effectively balance and integrate roads with freight, transit, bicycles and pedestrians and support more liveable and resilient communities.

Case studies will help us explore policies and practices that resolve conflicts and trade-offs between different modes. We will emphasize how plans and strategies at the regional and network scales interact with one another and can support multi-modal transportation solutions at lesser scales such as neighbourhoods, corridors and sites

Prerequisites: Next-Generation Cities and Transportation and Next-Generation Tools of the Trade.

Currently not available for registration.

Schedule clarification: Online courses begin on the first date listed and end six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:

Regional planning for sustainable transportation

  • Demonstrate your understanding of common regional issues such as congestion and sprawl and how they are distinct from municipal issues.
  • Compare and contrast the purpose and key components of regional land use strategies versus regional transportation strategies and identify the links between them (both complementary and conflicting).
  • Demonstrate your comprehension of a range of strategies in the regional planning toolbox and analyze their strengths and limitations in different contexts: e.g., growth boundaries, legislation, regional plan, smart growth, transportation demand management, etc.
  • Assess how adjustments to plans and strategies at the regional level will have flow effects at lesser scales such as the neighbourhood and sites.
  • Identify ways to advance win-win solutions in order to support next-generation transportation at multiple geographic scales.
  • Critically review best-practice case studies for regional transportation planning such as those from Portland, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Metro Vancouver for the strategies and tools employed, as well as the governance and planning process.
  • Consider how to apply best practices to your work and region.

Multi-modal network design

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the main types of transportation networks—pedestrian, bike, road, transit and goods—and their classification systems.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the geometry of transit as a fundamental structure-forming component of multi-modal networks.
  • Critically assess how transit geometry impacts policy choices about transit (e.g., coverage versus ridership) as well as how it interacts with urban form.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the principles of network design for each mode—transit, pedestrian, bike, roads and goods—as well as the key conflicts between modes and opportunities for successful integration.
  • Analyze examples of multi-modal network plans, particularly in terms of the choices made to resolve key trade-offs between modes, as well as the flow effects for different geographic scales.
  • Articulate policies and strategies that better achieve multiple objectives and more effectively support durable and sustainable transportation systems and communities.

See a sample course agenda (PDF)

How will I learn?

This is a 12-week online course. You will work within scheduled start and end dates, as well as assignment timelines. In some cases, your study schedule will be entirely up to you. In other instances, you may need to meet online with your class at a specific time.

Expect to spend approximately six to eight hours per week on coursework, which will consist of the following:

  • Reading online material
  • Watching pre-recorded lecture videos
  • Real-time lectures and discussions
  • Asynchronous discussions
  • Small-group projects
  • Independent assignments

How will I be evaluated?

Your grade will be based on exercises, active participation in discussions, individual and group assignments, and a final assignment. All assignments will build upon the real-world experience mid-career professionals like you bring to continuing education.

Textbooks and learning materials

Most course materials will be available online. We will send you information about course access on the first day of the course.  

Hardware and software requirements

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

Professional development credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.

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