As you might know, I’ve been studying the Next-Generation Transportation Online Certificate Program of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University for 1.5 years and successfully completed the program at the beginning of this year. Today, I am happy to be one of the program’s first graduates and to give you a short insight into the program as well as an incentive to pursue it as well.
An innovative, interdisciplinary and global program
The program is “designed to help mid-career professionals use next-generation transportation strategies to advance livable and sustainable cities of the future”. With renowned instructors — experienced, fresh-thinking sustainability leaders, policy-makers, planners and decision-makers — and a diverse group of students from North America and beyond, the program allowed me to study innovative best practices from around the world, to learn from my fellow participants’ expertise, ideas and experiences, and to enlarge my global and interdisciplinary network of transportation and city-building professionals.
The list of instructors includes leading transportation practitioners such as Jarrett Walker (Human Transit), Charles Marohn (Strong Towns), Todd Litman (Victoria Transport Policy Institute), Jeffrey Tumlin (Nelson\Nygaard), Kobus Mentz (Urbanismplus), Daniel Firth (City of Stockholm) or Darren Davis (Auckland Transport) as well as City of Vancouver Director of Transportation Lon LaClaire, former City of Vancouver Chief Planner Brent Toderian or former TransLink Director of Strategic Planning and Policy Tamim Raad. The program is comprised of four courses:
- Next-Generation Cities and Transportation: This course provides a foundation in the principles and practices of next-generation transportation and its role in advancing liveable and sustainable cities of the future. Next-generation transportation advances multi-modal solutions that balance mobility and accessibility for people and goods.
- Next-Generation Tools of the Trade: This course reviews the strengths and limitations of conventional economic, financial and technical tools and contrasts them with an emerging range of next-generation tools. These tools are being developed to help support win-win solutions that achieve multiple objectives such as congestion reduction strategies that also reduce parking problems; increase affordability; and improve access for walking, biking and transit.
- Next-Generation Transportation for Regions and Cities: This is the first of two courses on multi-modal transportation that will focus on regions and networks. You will learn principles and practices of multi-modal transportation planning at these higher scales in order to promote transportation systems that effectively balance and integrate roads with freight, transit, bicycles and pedestrians and support more liveable and resilient communities.
- Next-Generation Transportation for Corridors and Neighbourhoods: This is the second of two courses on multi-modal transportation that will focus on neighbourhoods, corridors and sites. You will learn principles and practices of multi-modal transportation planning at these three scales in order to promote transportation that balances and integrates roads with freight, transit, bicycles and pedestrians.
A format that meets the scheduling needs of a working professional
Despite already living in a city with one of the world’s best transportation systems, the insights gained through the program allowed me to critically assess Vienna’s transportation challenges and develop strategies that can make this city even more livable and sustainable (see also my case studies on Vienna’s Mariahilferstrasse Shared Space, Parking Management Strategy, and Regional Transportation Strategy). Moreover, as co-instructor of a Vienna Case Study, I could give an insight into the city’s three-tier planning hierarchy, its innovative and multimodal transportation policies, its strengths in accessible public transit, affordable housing, and integrated land use and transportation planning as well as the challenges it faces (in particular on the regional level).
With four 12-week courses including weekly video lectures, readings, videos, live chats and online discussions as well as all course materials being available 24/7, the structure and format of this online program also made it possible to have a flexible study schedule that fits my European full-time work schedule. While our cohort lived in different time zones around the globe, the live chats and online discussions allowed me to interact with other students and to benefit from the real-world experience that everyone brought to the program.
Interested? Save CAD 400 on the first course!
The first course in the program, Next-Generation Cities and Transportation, starts September 26 and can be taken individually without committing to the entire certificate. Save CAD 400 on this course if you register before September 9 with the promo code “Lindinger”. Questions? Contact SFU’s City Program Coordinator Frank Pacella at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at +1 778-782-5079.
Finally, here’s Gordon Price, Director of the SFU City Program, with his fresh perspective on Next-Generation Transportation: