Modelling stakeholder participation in transport planning

Public Participation in transport planning is often regarded as a formal compulsory phase of the decision-making process and it lacks in its real purpose, i.e. engaging people to find the most shared solution in the shortest time, in order to make the process effective and (cost) efficient. The need to include the public in transport planning and decision-making leads to the effort to understand how to design and speed up the process of taking a public decision and to find out if the communication among stakeholders can influence the process of governance. In this paper an agent-based model is presented as a contribution to build new tools to support decision-makers and practitioners in designing and guiding effective participation processes. The model reproduces the interaction process in a network of stakeholders by means of a multi-state opinion dynamics and bounded confidence model as a basis to investigate the consensus formation phenomenon. The participatory decision-making process about the acceptability of a parking management strategy inside a University campus in Catania (Italy) was simulated to see to what extent interaction among stakeholders can foster the emergence of consensus. A better parking management is one of the priorities for sustainable mobility proposed by the mobility management office of the University. Results show that many links can help the opinion exchange process and the convergence of opinions and that the final outcome (i.e. approval or disapproval of the parking management strategy) is highly influenced by the initial distribution of opinions. This suggests that having a preliminary knowledge of stakeholders’ opinions can be helpful to arrange the participation process and repeated interaction opportunities contribute in smoothing diverging opinions.


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  • Accession Number: 01610932
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 6 2016 4:07PM