Cat Silva

mobil.LAB Coordinator and Doctoral Fellow

Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation

Email: cat.silva[at]tum.de  

 

Research Focus:

  • non-motorized infrastructure design
  • public life study
  • grounded theory driven observation

 

Vitae:

Cat Silva earned earned master’s degrees in Public Administration and Urban Planning, focusing on urban design, at the University of Washington in 2015. During her master’s studies, she worked as a consultant for the Right Size Parking project to influence residential parking policy in King County, as a transportation planning intern for the City of Bellevue where she focused on projects related to bicycle mobility, and as a student assistant for the UW Department of Urban Design and Planning to manage the process for gaining reaccreditation for the Masters of Urban Planning degree program. Following her graduation, Cat worked as a Land Use Planner for the City of Issaquah reviewing development permits with a focus on urban design. Cat joined the Spatial Mobility Research Group as an associated member in 2017 when she began her doctoral research on bicycle infrastructure, supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Moeckel. Her primary appointment at the Technical University of Munich is within the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group housed in the Chair of Urban Structure and Transport Planning, funded by the Hans Boeckler Foundation. In 2018 she joined the SUPER Lab at Portland State University, directed by her second supervisor Dr. Kelly Clifton. She became the Coordinator of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Reserach Group in 2020.


PhD Project Description

Informing bicycle infrastructure design through Grounded Theory observation of behavior and interaction –
A case study of two types of bicycle lanes in Munich, Germany

The bicycle lanes provided along Munich’s urban streets are either painted on the vehicular roadway or constructed at-grade with the sidewalk. While providing a dedicated space for bicycle riding on urban streets, both types of bicycle lanes leave bicyclists unprotected from the adjacent travel lanes. Bicycle lanes painted on the vehicular roadway are criticized for exposing bicyclists to vehicular traffic and the bicycle lanes at-grade and those at-grade with the sidewalk are criticized for exposing bicyclists directly to pedestrian activities.

These criticisms and recommendations proposed in international design guides  for bicycle facilities are, often informed by people’s reports of their behavior, interactions, and preferences as well as police traffic reports and hospital records. Such  data sources provides valuable information, but do not sufficiently describe how bicyclists actually behave and interact on streets with these two types of permeable bicycle lanes in place. When observational approach is used, studies are regularly count-based and document expected variables but typically exclude recording unexpected variables or observations that do not fit into a predetermined data collection form. As much as we do understand about people’s preferences for and experiences using these different types of bicycle lanes, existing data and research is unable to provide clear insights into the unplanned, unexpected ways that people actually behave and interact on streets with types of bicycle lanes in place.

Responding to this gap in our knowledge, this thesis puts forth a new mixed-method Grounded Theory-driven observational approach for inductively identifying and quantitatively analyzing the types of interactions that bicycle riders are involved in while traveling on streets with different types of bicycle lanes. Based on a quantitative analysis of the nature  of observed interactions, the performance of the transportation facility can be evaluated and mitigation measures for facility design or traffic regulations can be developed to avoid undesirable interactions.


Teaching

Courses at TUM:

Semester Course Title Offered at TUM by
SUM 2021 Urban Mobility PhD Colloquium - registration open! Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
SUM 2021 Urban and Regional Planning Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
WIN 2020/21 Regional Governance and Planning Policies Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
WIN 2020/21 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
SUM 2020 mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group Colloquium Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
WIN 2019/20 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
WIN 2018/19 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
WIN 2017/18 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility

 

Guest Lectures:

Semester Course title and presentation topic Course offered by
SUM 2021 Transportation Demand Management
Topic: Bicycle infrastructure design
Chair of Urban Structures and Transport Planning
Technical University of Munich
WIN 2021 Implementation of sustainable modes of transportation
Topic: Grounded theory-driven public life studies
Faculty of Planing, Architecture, Arts, and Design
Universite Laval
WIN 2019 Urban and Regional Planning
Topic: Perspective onn professional land use planning

Chair of Urban Structures and Transport Planning
Technical University of Munich

 


CV

Since 2020 Coordinator of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group
Since 2017

PhD fellow at the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation

2017-2020

Co-Instructor of the “Research Design: How to Tackle a Master’s Thesis” course for the Masters of Science in Transportation Systems at the Technical University of Munich
2015-2016

Assistant Planner for the Development Services Department at the City of Issaquah, Washington (USA)

2015

Campaign Manager for City-Wide Seattle City Council Position (USA)
2015 Associate Planner for the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington (USA)
2011-2015 Master of Urban Planning with an Urban Design Specialization from the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington (USA)
2012-2015 Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington (USA)
2014-2015 Accreditation Manager for the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington (USA)
2013-2014 Guest Mobilities Design Research Intern for the Center for Mobilities and Urban Studies at Aalborg University funded by the Valle Scholarship Program (Denmark)
2012-2013 Graduate Transportation Planning Intern for the Transportation Department at the City of Bellevue, Washington (USA)
2012 Data Collection Consultant for the “Right Size Parking Project” Funded by King County Metro (USA)
2010-2011 Administrative Assistant for CollinsWoerman Seattle Architects (USA)
2008 Minority Studies and Danish Language Student at the University of Copenhagen funded by the ScanDesign Foundation Fellowship Program (Denmark)
2005-2008

Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Danish Language and Minor in Scandinavian Area Studies from the Department of Scandinavian Studies and a Major in History from the Department of History at the University of Washington (USA)


Publications

Silva, C., Moeckel, R., and Clifton, K. 2020. Proof of Concept for a Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Interactions Occurring on Bicycle FacilitiesTransportation Research Record. August 2020.

Llorca C., C. Silva, N. Kuehnel, A. Moreno, Q. Zhang, M. Kii, R. Moeckel. 2020. Integration of Land Use and Transport to Reach Sustainable Development Goals: Will Radical Scenarios Actually Get Us There? Sustainability. 2020; 12(23):9795.

Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. 2019. What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197.

Silva, C., K. Clifton, and R. Moeckel. 2019. Observational Method and Coding Framework for Analyzing the Functionality of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. Transportation Research Procedia, 41, 559-571. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Munich, DE.

Silva, C. 2019. Capitol Hill Racial Restrictions. University of Washington’s Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. 

Silva, C. 2015. Bicyclists’ Stopping Behavior: An Observational Study of Bicyclists’ Patterns and Practices. Masters Thesis. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.

Silva, C. 2009. Racial Restrictive Covenants: Enforcing Neighborhood Segregation in Seattle. Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, University of Washington.

Presentations

2020

  • Silva. C.What types of interactions do bicyclists experience in Munich’s bicycle lanes? Changing Unsustainable mobility Cultures: The Final Virtual conference of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group. 2020. (video)
  • Silva. C.: A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Bicyclists’ Interactions on Unprotected Facilities: A Proof of Concept from Munich, Germany. Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C., USA.

2019

  • Silva, C.: A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Bicyclists’ Interactions on Bicycle Lanes: Proof of Concept for a New Observational Method. Cycling Research Board. Technical University of Delft, NL. (Recipient of Award for the Most Innovative Use of Data)
  • Silva, C.: Coding Road Users’ Interactions on Streets with Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. German National Cycling Congress. Dresden, DE. (Invited Speaker and Panelist)

2018 

  • Silva, C.: Understanding the Functionality and Safety of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes: Observational Coding Framework and Preliminary Results. Cycling Research Board. Amsterdam, NL. (Recipient of Award for Best Conference Contribution)
  • Silva, C.: Coding Road Users’ Interactions on Streets with Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. Pegasus Jahrestagung. Munich, DE.
  • Silva, C.: Coding Interactions on Street Segments with Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. Cycling and Society Symposium jointly held with the European Cyclist Federation’s Scientists for Cycling Colloquium. Bristol, GB.
  • Silva, C.: Observational Method and Coding Framework for Analyzing the Functionality of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Munich, DE. 
  • Mögele, M., L. Nitschke and C. SilvaThe Role of Materiality and Culture in Transport and Mobilities Research. Neue Kulturgeographie Konferenz. Freiburg, DE. (workshop)

2017

  • Silva, C.: Understanding Road Users’ Behavioral Interactions with Unprotected Bicycle Infrastructure. Mobility@TUM Mobilitätstag. Munich, DE. 
  • Silva, C.: Defining a Realistic Bicycle Utopia. Mobile Utopia: Past, Present, Futures. Lancaster, UK. 
  • Silva, C.: Informing Bicycle Facilities Design through Observational Research. mobil.LAB Autumn Seminar: Poster Session. Munich, DE. 

2012

  • Mayock, M., C. Silva and J. Morrison Winters: “Regional Center Planning in the Central Puget Sound.” Washington State Department of Transportation Public Transportation Conference. Bellevue, Washington, USA.

Completed Projects

  • Self-Study Report of the Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Washington submitted to the Planning Accreditation Board, 2015.
  • Factoria Trail Connection Bicycle Wayfinding Project completed as a Graduate Transportation Planning Intern for the City of Bellevue Transportation Department, 2012-2013.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Count Report completed as a Graduate Transportation Planning Intern for the City of Bellevue Transportation Department for the Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, 2012.
  • Bicycle Parking Installation Project completed as a Graduate Transportation Planning Intern for the City of Bellevue Transportation Department, 2012.
  • “Regional Growth Center Planning for the Central Puget Sound” produced as a group for the Puget Sound Regional Council for a Second Year Urban Planning studio project for the Master of Urban Planning Program at the University of Washington, 2011-2012.
  • “Future Employment Opportunities in the Rainer Valley: An Analysis of Strategies to Promote Job Growth in Southeast Seattle” produced for the Southeast Effect Development as a group project for the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Washington, 2013.
  • Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Eatonville, Washington produced as a group First Year Urban Planning Studio project for the Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Washington, 2011-2012.
  • “The Style and Themes of Simon Fruelund: A Critical Analysis of Borgerligt Tusørke” produced as a Senior Project for the Department of Scandinavian Studies’ Danish Language Major program at the University of Washington, 2008.

Voluntary Activities

2020 Lead Member of the Organizing and Design Committees for the Final Conference of them mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group
2018-2020 Core Team member of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group at the Technical University of Munich funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation
2018 Member of the Organizing Committee for the Pegasus Jahrestagung held at the Technical University of Munich
2018 Member of the Design Committee for the mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport organized by the Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Munich
2018 Member of the Scientific Committee for the mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport organized by the Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Munich
Since 2018 Member of the SUPER Lab at Portland State University (USA)
Since 2017 Member of the Modeling Spatial Mobility research group at the Technical University of Munich
Since 2017 Member of the Hans Böckler Stiftung Stipgruppe München
Since 2017 Volunteer Peer Reviewer for the Applied Mobilities
Since 2017 Volunteer Peer Reviewer for the Transportation Research Board Committee for Bicycle Transportation
2010-2017 Maison Jiselle Homeowners Association President (2015-2017), Vice President (2013-2015), and Secretary (2010-2013) (USA)
2011-2017 Member of the American Planning Association (USA)
2016 Phone Bank Volunteer for the Washington State Democrats (USA)
2015-2016 Member of the Society of Experiential Graphic Design (USA)
2015-2016 Member of the American Bicycle League (USA)
2014 Wayfinding Volunteer for the Seattle Design Festival (USA)
2012-2013 Graduate Urban Planning Student’s Representative and Council Secretary on the Built Environments Student Council for the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington (USA)
2013-2014 Second Year Planning Student Liaison on the Planning Student Association for the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington (USA)
2012-2013 President of the Planning Student Association for the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington (USA)
2013 Organizing Committee Member for the Built Environments Career Fair at the University of Washington (USA)
2012 Organizing Committee Member for the Department of Urban Design and Planning’s Recommencement Event at the University of Washington (USA)
2012 Organizing Committee Lead for the Open House for Prospective Students to the Department of Urban Design and Planning’s Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Washington (USA)
2009 Bushfire Relief and Fence Building Volunteer for the Victorian Farmers Federation (Australia)
2006 University of Washington Pipeline Program Classroom Volunteer at T.T. Minor Elementary School (USA)
2006-2008 Member of UNITE HERE Local 8 Hospitality Union of the Northwest (USA)