Planning for sustainable accessibility: Developing tools to aid discussion and decision making

All authors:
Curtis, C., Scheurer, J.
Host organisation: CoE Melbourne, Australia
Publication year: 2010
Published in:
Progress in Planning, Vol. 74 (2): 53—106.
Research theme: Mobility and Access, Policy and Planning, Public Transport
sustainable transport, public transport, acessibility
Research article
Planning policy goals now emphasise the need to plan for accessibility and it is clear that increasing the mode share of public transport is a key requirement. One of the enduring issues has been how to embed these policy aspirations into mainstream planning practice. There is considerable diversity of approach to measuring accessibility with no single perfect accessibility measure. Applications of accessibility tools in planning practice have tended to be single issue focussed. There remains a gap in accessibility tool development capable of providing a multi-focus perspective both on land use and transport integration, which also consider accessibility as a citywide application where access from every centre to every other centre is considered. In addition to these shortcomings, there is also a strong need for accessibility tools that can enhance the understanding of land use transport integration, not only for professional practitioners, but for a wider range of stakeholders. To achieve this, the inputs and outputs of accessibility tools need to be communicated in an 'accessible' way too. This paper demonstrates the application of a new accessibility planning tool and the way in which it has functioned as a transdisciplinary communication tool to demonstrate the integration between land use and transport in a way that practitioners and stakeholders can fully understand. We show that it is critical to apply several measures in combination in order to present the necessary information to inform debate and deliberation. The most important driver, however, will be to apply measures framed around the way individuals make decisions in their travel plans-particularly in choosing between car and public transport. We argue that the dissemination of accessibility measures through visually well-represented media can significantly enhance understanding, making a contribution towards a productive discourse on future directions for urban form and mobility.
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