Cat Silva

Doctoral Research Fellow
Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation
ORC ID: 000-0002-8107-0451
Google Scholar: Cat Silva
Cirriculum Viate

Email: cat.silva@tum.de

Research Interests:

  • bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure design
  • urban design and mobility
  • public life study
  • direct observation
  • method-methods innovation

Vitae

Cat Silva earned earned master’s degrees Public Administration and Urban Planning from the University of Wasington in 2015, specializing in Urban Design and an undergraduate background in History, at the University of Washington. 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 Travel Behavior Group as an associated member in 2017 when she began her Doctorate of Engineering 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.

Date
Degree
2017-2022 (exp.)

Doctorate of Engineering Candidate
School of Engineering and Design, Technical University of Munich, DE

2011-2015

Master of Urban Planning
Department of Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, USA
Specialization: Urban Design

2012-2015

Master of Public Administration
April 2015  Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington, USA

2013-2014

Valle Scholar (Visiting Graduate Student)
Center for Mobilities and Urban Studies, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Aalborg University, DK

2006-2008

Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude
Department of Scandinavian Studies and Department of History. University of Washington, USA
Dual Major: Danish; History  |  Minor: Scandinavian Area Studies

2008

ScanDesign Fellow (Visiting Undergraduate Student)
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, DK

 

GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSEWORK AT TUM:

Semester Course Title Offered at TUM by
SUM 2021 Urban Mobility PhD Colloquium Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
SUM 2021 Urban and Regional Planning Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
SUM 2020 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility (Now: Travel Behavior)
WIN 2020/21 Regional Governance and Planning Policies Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
SUM 2020 mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group Colloquium Urban Stucture and Transport Planning
SUM 2020 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
SUM2019 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
SUM 2018 Research Design: How to Tackel a Master's Thesis Modeling Spatial Mobility
SUM 2017 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

Date Position
May 2020 - Sept 2021 Coordinator of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group

Chair of Urban Structure and Transport Planning, Technical University of Munich, DE

Nov 2015 - Dec 2016

Assistant Planner
Development Services Department, City of Issaquah, USA

May 2015 - Aug 2015

Campaign Manager
Seattle City Council, Position 9, USA

Feb 2015 - May 2015

Associate Planner
Green Futures Lab, Department of Landscape Architecture, Unifersity of Washington, USA

Apr 2014 - Feb 2015

Graduate Student Assistant
Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, USA

July 2012- Sept 2013

Graduate Transportation Planning Intern
Transportation Department, City of Bellevue, USA

Apr 2012 - July 2012

Data Collection Consultant
Right Size Parking Project, King County Metro Transit, USA

Feb 2010 - June 2011

Administrative Assistant
CollinsWoerman Architecture, Design and Planning, USA

 

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 assessed and mitigation measures for facility design or traffic regulations can be developed to avoid undesirable interactions.

Awards:

  • Award for Most Innovative Use of Data at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Cycling Research Board held at the Technical University of Delft, NL. (2019)
  • Award for Best Contribution submitted to the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Cycling Research Board held at the University of Amsterdam, NL. (2018)

Date Course
Oct 2021

TRAIL International PhD Autumn School on Cycling in Cities
Research School for Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics at the Technical, University of Delft, NL

June-July
2018

Planning the Cycling City
Cycling Research Institute, University of Amsterdam, NL

Mar 2017

Doing Mobilities Research: A Focus on Methodology and Research Design
mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group, Technical University of Munich, DE

 

Academic Works

PhD Thesis

  • 2022 (forthcoming): C. Silva. Informing bicycle infrastructure design through Grounded Theory observation of behavior and interaction: A case study of two types of bicycle lanes in Munich, Germany. PhD Thesis. Munich, DE: Technical University of Munich. Supervisors:  Dr.-Ing. Rolf Moeckel, Technical University of Munich and Dr. Kelly Clifton, Portland State University

Master’s Thesis

  • 2015: C. Silva. Bicyclists’ Stopping Behavior: An Observational Study of Bicyclists’ Patterns and Practices. Master’s Thesis. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. Supervisors:  Dr. Christopher Campbell and Dr. Ann Bostrom, University of Washington. http://hdl.handle.net/1773/34214.

Bachelor’s Theses

  • 2008: C. Silva. Racial Restrictive Covenants: Enforcing Neighborhood Segregation in Seattle. Bachelors’ Thesis. Seattle, WA: Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project , University of Washington. Supervisor: Dr. James Gregory, University of Washington. 
    https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants_report.htm. (Special Note: This work is regularly cited in policy documents, books, newspaper articles as well as a case heard by the Supreme Court of the U.S. in 2019.)
  • 2008: C. Silva. The Style and Themes of Simon Fruelund’s Literature: A Critical Analysis of “Borgerligt tusmørke”. Bachelors’ Thesis. Seattle, WA: Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Washington. Supervisor: Dr. Jan Krogh Nielsen, University of Washington.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • 2022 (Under Review, copy available upon request): C. Silva, R. Moeckel, and K. Clifton. “Comparative Observational Assessment of Bicyclists’ Interactions on Urban Streets with On-Street and Sidewalk-Level Bicycle Lanes.” Transportation Research Record.
  • 2020: C. Silva, R. Moeckel, and K. Clifton. “A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Bicyclists’ Interactions on Unprotected Facilities: A Proof of Concept from Munich, Germany.” Transportation Research Record. October 2020. 2674(10): 94-104. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198120943588.
  • 2019: Llorca, C., C. Silva, N. Kuehnel, A. Moreno, Q. Zhang, M. Kii, and R. Moeckel. “Integration of land use and transport to reach Sustainable Development Goals: Will radical scenarios actually get us there?” Sustainability 2020, 12(23): 9795. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239795.
  • 2019: Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. “What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group.” Sustainability 2020, 12(1): 197. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010197.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Paper

  • 2018: Silva, C., K. Clifton, and R. Moeckel. “Observational Method and Coding Framework for Analyzing the Functionality of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes.” Transportation Research Procedia, 41: 559–71. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trpro.2019.09.100.

Non Peer-Reviewed Research Papers

Unpublished Research Reports

  • 2011: Mayock, M., J. Morrison Winters, E. Ringstrom, E. J. Shin, C. Silva, and M. Whitfield. Regional Center Planning in the Central Puget Sound. Graduate Planning Studio Project. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. Client: Puget Sound Regional Council.

Invited Lecture

  • May 2019: Silva, C. Coding Road Users’ Interactions on Streets with Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. German National Cycling Congress. Dresden, DE.

Conference Presentations

  • Oct 2021: Silva. C. Are yesterday’s bike lanes meeting today’s goals? Cycling Research Board Annual Meeting. Technical University of Denmark, DK.
  • July 2021: Llorca, C. and C. Silva. Integration of land use and transport to reach Sustainable Development Goals: Will radical scenarios actually get us there? World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research. Portland State University in Portland, OR, USA.
  • Sept 2020: Silva. C. What interactions are happening in Munich’s bicycle lanes? (And the role of facility design and human behavior). Final Virtual Conference of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group. Technical University of Munich, DE.
  • Jan 2020: 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.
  • Nov 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 Annual Meeting. Technical University of Delft, NL.
  • Nov 2018: Silva, C. Understanding the Functionality and Safety of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes: Observational Coding Framework and Preliminary Results. Cycling Research Board Annual Meeting. University of Amsterdam, NL.
  • Nov 2018: Silva, C., S. Nello-Deakin and J. Dick. PhD-Master Student Roundtable: A Workshop for Fostering Cycling Research and Academic Collaboration. Cycling Research Board. University of Amsterdam, NL.
  • Oct 2018: Silva, C. Coding Road Users’ Interactions on Streets with Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. Pegasus Jahrestagung. University of Munich, DE.
  • Sept 2018: 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. University of West England, GB.
  • June 2018: Silva, C. Observational Method and Coding Framework for Analyzing the Functionality of Unprotected Bicycle Lanes. mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport. Technical University of Munich, DE.
  • Jan 2018: Nitschke, L., C. Silva, and M. Mögele. Workshop on the Role of Materiality and Culture in Transport and Mobilities Research. Neue Kulturgeographie Konferenz. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, DE.
  • Nov 2017: Silva, C. Defining a Realistic Bicycle Utopia. Mobile Utopia: Past, Present, Futures Conference. Lancaster University, GB.
  • Aug 2012: Mayock, M., J. Morrison Winters, and C. Silva. Regional Center Planning in the Central Puget Sound. Washington State Department of Transportation Public Transportation Conference. Bellevue, WA, USA.

Poster Session

  • Jan 2022 (accepted): Silva. C. Comparative Observational Assessment of Bicyclists’ Interactions on Urban Streets with On-Street and Sidewalk-Level Bicycle Lanes. Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C., USA.
  • Oct 2017: Silva, C. Informing Bicycle Facilities Design through Observational Research: Motivation, Methods, and Purpose. mobil.LAB Autumn Seminar. Technical University of Munich, DE.

Professional Deputations

  • March 2013: Silva, C. Downtown Bellevue Bicycle Parking Program. City of Bellevue Transportation Commission. Bellevue, WA, USA.
  • Oct 2013: Silva, C. Downtown Transportation Planning Update: Downtown Pedestrian Facilities. City of Bellevue Transportation Commission, USA. Bellevue, WA, USA.

Date Role, Academic Event
2020

Lead Organizer, Graphic Designer
Final Virtual Conference of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group, Munich, DE

2017-2018

Organizing Committee
Pegasus-Netzwerk Konferenz, Technical University of Munich, DE

2018

Logo Designer, Design Committee, Scientific Committee
mobil.TUM International Scientific Conference on Mobility and Transport Technical University of Munich, DE

2017

Organizing Committee
mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group Autumn Seminar, Technical University of Munich, DE

2013

Organizing Committee
College of Built Environment’s Annual Career Fair, University of Washington, USA

2012

Lead Organizer
Open House for Prospective Students to the Master of Urban Planning Program, University of Washington, USA

Conference Session Moderation

  • Nov 2019: Bike Sharing Session II. Cycling Research Board, Technical University of Delft, NL.
  • Nov 2018: Cycling Space vs Car Space. Cycling Research Board, University of Amsterdam, NL.
  • 2018: Sharing is Caring: Concepts and Policies for Car Sharing. Pegasus-Netzwerk Konferenz, Technical University of Munich, DE.
  • 2018: Poster Session. Pegasus-Netzwerk Konferenz, Technical University of Munich, DE.

Society Memberships

Date Role Organization
Since 2019 Steering Committee Member Cycling Research Board
2020 - 2021 Coordinator Management Committee of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group
2018 - 2019 PhD Representitive Management Committee of the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group
Since 2018 Member European Cyclists’ Federation Scientists for Cycling
2017 - 2020 Member Hans Böckler Stiftung Stipgruppe München
2012 - 2013 Planning Student Rep., Secretary Built Environments Student Council, University of Washington
2012 - 2014 President, Liason Planning Student Association, University of Washington  
2011 - 2017 Member American Planning Association
2007 - 2008 Member Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
2006 - 2008 Member UNITE HERE Local 8 Hospitality Union of the Northwest
2006

Member

Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization