How does wet weather and surface flooding impact urban mobility for people with limited walking?

Posted by on 30 January 2023

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Summary of Research - December 2022

by Emily Ward, University of Canterbury

Supervisors: Dr Lindsey Conrow and Professor Simon Kingham

22 Ward PhotoThis report details progress towards my Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal. Originally, my focus was about the barriers created by surface water. I have extended this to wet weather, as people often experience poor weather and surface flooding together. My main research question has been iterated from Equitable access in the event of flooding for people who face mobility barriers to be: How does wet weather and surface flooding impact urban mobility for people with limited walking? I conducted nine interviews with 15 people, with varying age and physical impairments in the Christchurch district. Key findings have been identified.

Spatial analysis areas of higher vulnerability identified areas within Christchurch City Council Coastal Hazards Adaptation Planning Areas that may be more susceptible to the barriers raised in the interviews. Also shown spatially that populations older than 65 years are growing in the Sumner Coastal Area, which is an area that may see earlier coastal flooding as it is located on the coast.

Relationship of bus shelters to ridership on rainy days

In interviews, many participants commented on the lack of bus shelters and described they were more likely to use a route if they knew there was a shelter nearby. This analysis determines if similar patterns were observed in bus patronage data. During July 2021 - September 2022, in the Heathcote and Sumner area, the difference between patronage on days with and without rain were compared for all bus stops in the adaptation area of Heathcote and Sumner. On average, stops without shelter had a greater reduction of ridership than stops with shelter, indicating the presence of shelter can help enable bus journeys on wet days.

Equitable availability of bus shelters across all of Christchurch district

Area with bus shelters were reviewed with a lens of assessing if shelters were installed in areas with a greater dependence on the bus. Findings suggest areas with a higher deprivation index had more bus shelters per population. This is positive as people living in areas with higher deprivation may not own a car. Also, shelters in areas with a high deprivation index had higher ridership during the above time period than those in wealthier suburbs, meaning where there is greater number of shelters, those stops have a higher ridership.

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