Exploring local variations during the transition from a multimodal to a unimodal transit network in mid-twentieth century Edinburgh
Cunningham, Angela R
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In the 1950s, Edinburgh transitioned from a multimodal public transit system based on buses and electric trams to a system based solely on the former. This dissertation examines the implications of this change at a local level. There are two different but interrelated issues in examining local variations: inter-neighbourhood and intra-neighbourhood variation. Identifying two pairs of neighbourhoods with comparable initial transit and socioeconomic states, known divergences in transit modality and measurable end states, this study sought to illuminate these variations using a two-pronged methodology, a syncretic approach which allowed each line of inquiry to strengthen the other. While the use of intersections, GRID analysis and self organising maps for visualisation were largely successful, the use of robust statistical methods for formal hypothesis testing proved problematic. Statistics were ultimately used in an exploratory manner alongside the other techniques to elucidate the city’s relationship with public transit in general and with the trams in particular. Considering rent as a measure of locational desirability in comparison with alterations in accessibility, how were Edinburgh’s neighbourhoods impacted by the replacement of trams by buses? While certain patterns of socioeconomic and accessibility variables were found to coincide, no effect of the modal change could be definitively perceived within the studied time frame.