Cognitive Agents and Pedestrian-Oriented Redevelopment
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Walking is one of the most commonplace forms of human expressions, yet the forms, motivations, and practices of walking vary greatly and are often at odds with dominant discourses in urban and transportation planning. As interest in pedestrian-oriented studies continues to grow, there is danger that dominant discourses will continue to reinforce the framing of pedestrians and the practices of walking as slower moving versions of the private automobile and ignore deeply embedded emotional, personal, and cognitive aspects. As such, understandings of pedestrian transportation and human agency during walking must be explored in increasingly human-centered terms in order to understand how changes to the material environment actually impact people and daily practices. The purpose of this dissertation is to give considerably more attention to the human elements of walking by creating a set of new theoretical and practical frameworks for deeper representations of the pedestrian in the urban space and within a larger transportation system. The three articles presented in this dissertation outline an alternative, human-centered representation of the pedestrian, providing theoretical, methodological, and practical solutions to conceptualize how soft variables such as emotion, motivation, and especially cognition influence the practices of walking.