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Modelling and Measuring Reactions to a Road Construction Project Under Uncertiantly and Multi-Dimensions of Impact

Hopkinson, P.G. and Pearman, A.D. (1988) Modelling and Measuring Reactions to a Road Construction Project Under Uncertiantly and Multi-Dimensions of Impact. Working Paper. Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds , Leeds, UK.


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The construction of a new road can affect the lives of different people in many ways. The ways in which those people evaluate a new road scheme and how this relates to actual changes in physical environmental conditions is clearly important for those involved with the selection, design and management of such projects. For information concerning the views people hold towards a new project to be useful and effective, it should be gathered in a way that relates to specific decision-making objectives.

The aim of the project on which this report is based is to develop approaches to the measurement of individuals' evaluations of the constructional and operational consequences of a road scheme which meet these requirements. Two particular research themes form the background to the project. The first is to provide a fuller conceptual analysis of the ways in which people evaluate the good and bad aspects of major new road schemes. In particular, the project sought to examine the role of beliefs and micro-social processes in the formation of the attitudes which people hold and how these relate to their actual experiences of the road scheme. From this perspective an individual's "evaluation" of a road scheme can be theorized at many levels, from the merely physical, such as the annoying effect of noise, to the role of friends and neighbours in influencing the status of different forms of information or the formation of views held. Considering both the physical and social factors underlying evaluation provides greater scope for explaining the variability of reactions to environmental disturbances as well as suggesting more realistic measures for dealing with people's anxieties and concerns. Secondly the project as a whole will provide the necessary time span to examine both residents' prior and posterior weights for a number of environmental attributes related to the road scheme in operation. From this it should be possible to begin to formulate guidance for planners on how to incorporate prior subjective views into project evaluation in a way which allows for known relationships between prior and posterior views.

In view of the exploratory nature of the investigation, and the absence of well defined methods for identifying and measuring the different processes and mechanisms of interest, considerable effort was spent in undertaking in depth interviews with residents. These were carried out firstly to establish whether the theoretical concepts initially considered relevant to the study were so in practice and secondly, if they were, how they could be structured within formal survey methods. Accordingly, a substantial part of this report is concerned with the content and issues raised by those interviews.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright of the Institute of Transport Studies, University Of Leeds
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 15:22
Published Version: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/
Status: Published
Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Identification Number: Working Paper 265
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2293

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