Toward a Framework for Assessing the Fair Distribution of Space in Urban Streets

The increasing popularity of street redesigns highlights the intense competition for street space between their different users. More and more cities around the world mention in their planning documents their intention to rebalance streets in favor of active transportation, transit, and green infrastructure. However, few efforts have managed to formalize quantifiable measurements of the balance between the different users and usages of the street. This paper proposes a method to assess the balance between the three fundamental dimensions of the street—the link, the place, and the environment—as well as a method to assess the adequateness between supply and demand for the link dimension at the corridor level. A series of open and government georeferenced datasets were integrated to determine the detailed allocation of street space for 11 boroughs of the city of Montréal, Canada. Travel survey data from the 2013 Origine-Destination survey were used to model different demand profiles on these streets. The three dimensions of the street were found to be most unbalanced in the central boroughs of the city, which are also the most dense and touristic neighborhoods. A discrepancy between supply and demand for transit users and cyclists was also observed across the study area. This highlights the potential of using a distributive justice framework to approach the question of the fair distribution of street space in an urban context.


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  • Accession Number: 01767590
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 9 2021 7:05AM