Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

Major Professor

Tracy Moir-McClean

Committee Members

John McRae, Bruce Tonn


How is the urban landscape experienced? Can an assessment of experiential perceptions of specific user groups be beneficial for urban design and planning purposes? The approach presented in this thesis includes a subjective analysis based on perceptions of bicyclists that entail a cognitive mapping exercise and surveys; and an objective analysis based on a visual assessment of routes documented by survey respondents. The intent is to identify perceptual qualities that incite a behavioral response based on physical characteristics of the urban landscape. Three behavioral responses are ubiquitous within the bikeability literature, i.e. ease of access, sense of comfort or safety and attractiveness of a place or “sense of place.” These responses are documented to impact decisions associated with route choice preference. However, this research, which involves cognitive map theory and a community participation planning process to a localized bikeability assessment, fills a missing gap in current methods utilized in the U.S. Tapping into the individual strengths of these existing methodologies as well as incorporating a “real-time” analysis of experiential perceptions could produce a more accurate picture of bikeability to assist with redesigning our cities on a human scale.

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