Passing the Community Test- A co-benefits approach to evaluating the case for light rail in Canberra, Australia

Andrew MACKENZIE, Milica MUMINOVIC, Rachel DAVEY, Vincent Lernihan

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


The city of Canberra (Australia national capital), is in the early phases of the design and implementation of a light rail rapid transit (LRT) system for this predominantly suburban community of approximately 350,000 people. In an effort to sustain community support, this project is being promoted as having far greater impacts outside the direct benefit to future commuters; especially its potential to change urban form, connectivity, accessibility and behaviour change, as well as attracting economic investment. This paper reports on the development of conceptual framework to identify the potential impact of LRT on the Canberra community using a co-benefits approach. The paper uses concepts developed by Walker and Salt (2012) as an organising principle to identify key variables of concern for the Canberra community with regards to the introduction of the LRT. This proposed conceptual model uses a matrix to identify the tangible (e.g. intermodal) and intangible (i.e. social and cultural) connections that are important to transforming people’s behaviour, perceptions and expectations with respect to the LRT in Canberra. We establish a systematic approach to identifying the potential co- benefits and unintended consequences of LRT projects in the published literature. We argue that by adopting a conceptual framework based on resilience theory, researchers are better able to engage with the issues that are of most concern to the Canberra community. As part of a larger research project, this paper seeks to identify specific emergent impacts resulting from the development and early adoption of LRT in Australia's National Capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015: Refereed Proceedings
EditorsPaul Burton, Heather Shearer
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Cities Research Network
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781925455038
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015 - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201511 Dec 2015


ConferenceState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015
CityGold Coast


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