A GIS approach for improving transportation and mobility in Iqaluit, Nunavut Territory




Copithorne, Dana

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Planning for transportation within northern Canadian communities presents unique challenges, but new research tools offer opportunities for testing potentially innovative solutions that might help improve mobility within these communities. In particular, problem solving has been enriched in recent years by using the spatial modeling methods offered by Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This thesis first reviews various GIS methods before applying one method – the ‘Route Utility Theory’ – to a newly-developed set of metrics for determining the cost of alternate modes of intracommunity transportation. This set of metrics is applied to a data set that represents the trips or journeys made by non-car users in Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut Territory. GIS data on roads, walking trails, land contours, and public and residential neighbourhoods are analyzed. The results facilitate comparisons between road options and trail options for improving the movement of people within Iqaluit. Five bus routes were then custom designed and compared using the study’s metrics. The study found that increasing bus and trail options within Iqaluit would provide more efficient options for non-car users. It is argued that the study’s metrics can be adapted for application in other northern communities, and possibly in other isolated and rural communities in different world situations.



Geographical Information Systems, Geography, Geomatics, Canada, Northern Studies, Nunavut, Iqaluit, Urban Design and Planning, Urban Geography, transportation engineering, Sustainablility, Python Programming Language, public transit, pedestrians, bus, Open Source Software