What do students perceive to be the social, economic and environmental benefits of making Dalhousie’s Studley campus car-free?
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Dalhousie University has published several statements and plans to promote sustainability on campus. In Dalhousie’s recent campus master plan, there is a proposal to remove on-street parking along University Avenue to make room for bicycle lanes and to encourage students to cycle to school. Many other universities across Canada are also partaking in similar practices, and are even transforming into car-free zones and pedestrian thoroughfare. With the removal of parking spaces on Dalhousie campus, this report examines Dalhousie students’ desirability of car-free campus. The desirability was determined by several survey questions outlining the social, economic and environmental concerns surrounding cars on Studley Campus. Our survey included a combination of qualitative and quantitative research questions. A total of 199 surveys were completed by students using haphazard and snowball sampling techniques. Our survey has determined that students at Dalhousie University see some benefit from the elimination of cars on Dalhousie’s Studley campus. Our literature has determined that car-free zones contribute to the overall social, economic and environmental well-being of a population. Although, our survey results have concluded that students at Dalhousie University see only social and environmental benefits. We recommend using the information to further investigate the desirability and feasibility of making Studley campus car-free with the hopes of increasing Dalhousie’s reputation as a sustainable university. It is important to note that students are not getting the maximum amount of enjoyment from their social and environmental experience on campus. A majority of the students surveyed in this study see a benefit from car-free campuses, therefore we believe Dalhousie University should further investigate into this topic.