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When: Monday, August 29, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Where: 211 New East Chapin Reading Room, UNC-Chapel Hill

Alainna Thomas
Lecturer – Department of Urban Planning and Design
Xi’an-Jiaotong Liverpool University

158822976xbe.c7c0fcedIn parallel with China’s rapid urbanization has come greater demand for mass transit. Bus Rapid Transit, with its subway-like speeds and high carrying capacity, is a popular mass transit option across China. Yet, many of these BRT systems suffer from slow speeds, low capacity, and/or limited networks. These are often assumed to be technical issues and thus technical solutions are prescribed (e.g. improve signal timing, expand networks, improve siting of stations, etc.) By examining the knowledge transfer process in two Chinese cities—Jinan, Shandong, and Kunming, Yunnan— I found these issues were often organizational rather than solely technical. Methods used for this research included in-depth interviews, participant observation, site visits and document analysis. In this talk, I will discuss the case of Jinan and how its experience with adapting BRT is an example of knowledge transfer as a “contested process”. I will also discuss the spatial implications and how this led to the marginalization of other modes, such as biking and walking.

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