Getting from Here to There:
Mainstreaming Wildlife Crossing Structures Through Transdisciplinary Design Approaches To Collaborative Planning
Arleigh Hack, a graduate of the the Master of Planning in Urban Development (2018) program at Ryerson University and a former research assistant at the Ecological Design Lab (EDL). Arleigh’s Major Research Paper was developed in collaboration with the EDL and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The study examined the planning process for wildlife crossing infrastructure using a case study in the context of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and explored the potential of transdisciplinary collaboration and design thinking to enhance landscape connectivity. The study followed an iterative design research method incorporating knowledge from literature review, policy analysis and subject matter professional expertise derived through participant observation through work with the TRCA. This supported the development of a conceptual framework for actionable research to encourage the co-creation of practical knowledge and specific planning solutions. The study concluded with the recommendation that the EDL in collaboration with the TRCA apply the CoLaboratory model as a transdisciplinary design approach to collaboration in the context of York Region to both better understand the process barriers to the application of wildlife crossings in the region as well as the creation of physical site-specific design solutions. More broadly, the study contributes valuable insight to the broader literature of sustainable landscape planning, road ecology and transportation planning.
This work was presented at the North American Congress for Conservation Biology conference July 2018 in Toronto. The full report can be found here.