The phenomenology of being a female pedestrian in an African and an Asian city: A qualitative investigation

All authors:
Seedat, M., MacKenzie, S., Mohan, D.
Host organisation: CoE New Delhi, India
Country: India, South Africa
Publication year: 2006
Published in:
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 9, 139‐153.
Research theme: Mobility and Access, Walking and Cycling
pedestrian behaviour, pedestrian
Research article
Building on our current knowledge about pedestrian behaviours, we present the details of a phenomenological investigation into the experiences of female university students in the African city of Johannesburg and the Asian city of Delhi. Data were collected by means of individual semistructured interviews in the two cities. We delineated and organised the emergent essences within an interpretive framework that focused our attention to the gendered, safety and transportation dimensions of the students  pedestrian experiences and revealed the restricting effects of their respective transport cultures and social environments on their space, mobility, energy, time, social bonding opportunities and sense of identity as women. We detected broad similarities in the students  pedestrian experiences across the two cities. Whereas the Johannesburg participants foregrounded their experiences of inaccessibility, crowding and their fear of crime that tended to limit their mobility, the Delhi participants emphasised their exposure to crowding, congestion, air and noise pollution and sexual harassment. The outcomes of the analysis are used to formulate recommendations for further large-scale investigations and draw attention to the need for integrated transportation planning and crime prevention systems.
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