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Carfree Careers

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  • Lanyon, Ryan
    ... Hi Robert. I like to think that my chosen career path has lead me to make the world (er, Ottawa) a little more carfree. I work in a new field known as
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2002
      > Message: 1
      > Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2002 21:07:30 -0400
      > From: Robert Hines <robhines@...>
      > Subject:
      > Next year I will be attending Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto for an
      > urban planning degree. I'm very much interested in carfree cities and
      > would like some advice on getting a job that would benifit
      > the carfree
      > movement in Canada.

      Hi Robert. I like to think that my chosen career path has lead me to make
      the world (er, Ottawa) a little more carfree. I work in a new field known
      as transportation demand management, or TDM. It's a different approach to
      transportation planning where the demand side of the equation is targetted
      for change, instead of just accomodating demand by increasing supply (i.e.
      building new roads). In our area, the need for this has grown from the
      recognition that we can't keep building and widening roads - it's too

      The essence of what we do is work to shift people from driving alone to
      other modes of transportation, or no transportation at all (telework). We
      also seek to shift demand away from peaks by changing work hours,
      instituting flex-time (work an extra hour a day for eight days and then get
      the 9th day off), and other options. We also have two viewpoints -
      short-term, which is more operational and involves marketing, communication
      and incentives, and long-term, which takes a closer look at land use,
      infrastructure and priorities.

      So far I am unaware of any cities in Canada where
      > carfree has a movement besides the Glebe in Ottawa.

      I'm not sure about political movements, but a number of cities in Canada
      have started or are about to begin TDM programs in one way, shape or form -
      Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto,
      Ottawa, and Montreal. If you're interested in some Toronto contacts for
      summer jobs or co-ops, contact me off of the list and I'll provide the info
      to you - or there may be opporunities in Ottawa, too.

      There's also quite a bit of work in the non-profit sector to get people out
      of their cars, especially around the Commuter Challenge and Active and Safe
      Routes to School (for elementary schools). Go for Green (www.goforgreen.ca)
      is the national champion for both of these programs. In Toronto, Pollution
      Probe and Greenest City (www.greenestcity.org) have been busy as well.

      The Canadian Urban Transit Association (www.cutaactu.ca) is also working to
      get more people on public transit, with offices in Toronto and Ottawa. In
      fact, they're organizing a Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation to be
      held in Ottawa this May. Transportation and attendance is FREE, and
      applications are due by February 15. The Summit is open to Canadians aged
      17-24, and more info is available from
      http://www.goforgreen.ca/youth_summit/index.htm. It should be a great
      opportunity for you to get involved in the field!

      As for education, I haven't found much that addresses all the issues in
      sustainable transportation. I completed my undergraduate degree in urban
      studies at Carleton, which allowed me to take courses from various
      disciplines including geogrpahy, engineering, economics, sociology and
      political science. Right now I'm working on a certificate in Marketing from
      Algonquin College. I'm still interested in doing a masters degree, but
      haven't found the right school and program yet. I think it may be a matter
      of selecting an approach, i.e. from planning/urban design, economics or
      engineering, and then following through with a carfree bent to research.
      Let me know if you hear of any good programs!


      PS - I work in a cubical, but I get to criticize the subdivisions. :)

      Ryan Lanyon
      Transportation Demand Management Program
      City of Ottawa

      I'm also
      > wondering
      > where I can take a masters in sustainable transportation? I
      > haven't yet
      > been able to find any such programs. Hopefully there are options out
      > there, it would be a total nightmare to be sitting in a cubical
      > approving subdivisions.
      > I've been reading this group now for about 2 weeks and it is so
      > refreshing to hear so many great ideas on how things ought to be.
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