In mid-October, in between the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference in Minneapolis and a much-anticipated trip to Spain, I had the pleasure of witnessing the final doctoral exam of Ugo Lachapelle. Ugo came to SCARP under the supervision of Dr. Larry Frank, our Bombardier Chair of Sustainable Transportation. Ugo started his PhD the same year that I started my Masters at SCARP (2005), so it was particularly exciting to witness his exam and to hear that he passed and will graduate in the Spring of 2011.

Ugo chose to write his dissertation in the format of three papers, which could be published separately. His research focuses on the travel behaviour of public transit users and the relationship between transit and walking. Interestingly, the three-paper dissertation format, a relatively new innovation at UBC, has now been discontinued, making Ugo’s the only dissertation ever produced at SCARP to be published in this format. The dissertation, “Public transit use as a catalyst for an active lifestyle: mechanisms, predispositions and hindrances”, can be read here.

Ugo’s other work has been published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, in an article that examined whether people with employer-sponsored transit passes got more than the minimum recommended level of physical activity through walking. Ugo also published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last year on how public health and transportation researchers study non-motorized transportation. His work, along with others spanning urban planning, public health and urban design, is a great example of the interdisciplinary nature of our research at SCARP.

Dr. Lachapelle is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University in the company of noted researchers Robert Noland, John Pucher and Devajyoti Deka. I’m sure he is also madly publishing his results, in between conference presentations at ACSP and the Transportation Research Board. Congratulations Ugo!

Update: Ugo will begin teaching at Université de Québec at Montréal, Département d’études urbaines et touristiques (Department of Urban Studies and Tourism) in Fall 2011.

One Response to “Congratulations Dr. Ugo Lachapelle!”

  1. Ugo Lachapelle says:

    Hello Ren, thank you for your mention! The thesis title is:

    Public transit use as a catalyst for an active lifestyle: mechanisms, predispositions and hindrances

    The thesis is archived in the UBC cIRcle repository under the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+ collection. You can access it by going to this url address:

    http://hdl.handle.net/2429/30239

    Hope you enjoy it!

    As for the issue of manuscript-based thesis, UBC’s Faculty of Graduate Studies has recently stopped making the distinction between traditional thesis and manuscript-based thesis and has adopted a more flexible “hybrid” model that can combine elements of both formats:

    http://www.grad.ubc.ca/current-students/dissertation-thesis-preparation/structure-ubc-theses-dissertations

    This document was changing as I was writing the thesis and it seems like new changes have been introduced ever since.

    A final note: the two papers you refer to were not actually part of the thesis. They were rather side-projects that were carried out before I began writing the thesis. They are both nonetheless quite relevant to the study of the relationship between the use of public transit, walking and physical activity, an issue that I explored in more depth as part of my thesis by introducing, amongst other things, the concept of transit-dependence.

    Regards,
    Ugo Lachapelle

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