Sustainable Transport and Land Use Planning



Sustainable Transport and Land Use Planning

Authors

R Ries, Former Mayor of Strasbourg, FR

Description

Abstract

I would like to address in this intervention three main aspects, which concern the problems of land use planning in its relation to the mobility policy.

The first point concerns the risks involved by a policy without clear objectives and without an overall vision. We know the tendency of the political leaders elected for a fixed term to please as many citizens as possible to ensure their re-election.

Unfortunately this deviation of democracy often leads to the adoption of "clientelist" policies deprived of clearly stated objectives and of a genuinely contradictory public debate, where sustainable development issues are clearly stated.

The will, within urban mobility policies, to encourage both the use of public transport and the development parking places in a dense urban environment leads to contradictions, which casts doubt on the efficiency of the investments accepted by the community.

Similarly, the will to develop the use of soft methods (bicycle, walking) without a reduction of the space devoted to car is meaningless.

The second point concerns the definition of an overall and coherent policy of urban mobility. From this point of view, the concept of "free choice in the mode of transport" inherited from the 1960s must obviously be called into question. Although citizens should be able to choose their method of transport, it is obvious today that our town centres must be preserved of the uncontrolled unfurling of cars. New concepts must therefore be developed: positive discrimination for public transport to compensate its disadvantages compared to cars, extension of pedestrian areas, the speed-limited areas, the relay-car parks...

In addition, this mobility policy has to be articulated with an urban development model. Today's ever-expanding city was based on the easiness of car transportation. Obviously, this urban model, which ends up in urban sprawl and in a year after year increase of general mobility, must urgently be called into question (in Strasbourg, there has almost been a 25% increase of the mobility in less than 10 years, from 1988 to 1997).

The third point concerns the decision-making process for mobility policy. In the dialogue between technicians, elected representatives and citizens, it is essential that fully informed citizens have their say. The emergence of a collective consciousness, sensitive to sustainable development problems must be facilitated. Policies merely based on the smallest common denominator between sectoral interests must be avoided. The general interest cannot be defined by the mere addition of individual interests. regression models will be applied with a correction for sample selection bias. The reason for addressing this bias is that it is not unlikely that individuals who feel mismatched are more inclined to refrain from a certain type of travel in addition to the distance they travel. For example, an urbanite-at-heart living in a suburb may be less willing to drive a car than other suburbanites, and switch to the usage of other modes.

The results of this study will shed new light on the effectiveness of tackling transportation problems with land use alternatives. If it turns out that the influence of the built environment overrides the impact of people?s predisposition toward traveling, transportation planners are encouraged to pay more attention to land use based solutions. If, on the other hand, the study shows that the influences of preferences is stronger, then land use policies appear to be less effective policy tools. In that case, these policies should at least be supplemented with policies to attract the right people to new high-density, mixed-use developments.

References

Bagley, M.N., Mokhtarian, P.L., 2002. The impact of residential neighborhood type on travel behavior: a structural equations modeling approach. Annals of Regional Science 36, 279-297.
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Kitamura, R., Mokhtarian, P. L. and Laidet, L., 1997. A micro-analysis of land use and travel in five neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Transportation 24, 125-158.
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Rajamani, J., Bhat, C.R., Handy, S., Knaap, G., Song, Y., 2003. Assessing the Impact of Urban Form Measures in Nonwork Trip Mode Choice after Controlling for Demographic and Level-of-service Effects. Paper presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 13-16, 2003, Washington, D.C. Schwanen, T., 2003. Spatial Variations in Travel Behavior and Time Use: The Role of Urban Form and Sociodemographic Factors in Individuals? Travel and Activity Patterns in the Netherlands. Ph.D. Dissertation, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F. M. and Dijst, M., 2003. Car use in Netherlands daily urban systems: does polycentrism result in lower commute times? Forthcoming in Urban Geography.
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factors to the explanation of mode choice becomes considerably smaller. An further group of studies questioning the role of the built environment are those that also consider lifestyle and personality dimensions in the research design. Kitamura et al. (1997) and Bagley and Mokhtarian (2002) have demonstrated that such dimensions had a greater impact on travel demand than built environment indicators. The conclusion of these researchers is that the commonly observed correlations between land use configuration and travel behavior do not so much reflect direct causality, but complex relationships of these factors with others.

Although studies like Kitamura et al. (1997) have touched upon the associations between individuals? preferences regarding land use and travel and their actual travel behavior, little is known about the travel-related implications of a mismatch between the preferred type of residential neighborhood and residents? actual neighborhood. For example, does an urbanite-at-heart living in a suburb have a travel pattern that differ from a ?true? suburbanite living in the same suburb? Or do these individuals exhibit roughly the same travel behavior despite their different preferences?

An investigation of residential mismatch could offer new insight into the nature of the association of land use configuration with travel behavior. A strong similarity of the travel behavior of mismatched and well-mismatch residents within a given neighborhood would provide some support for the contention that the land use configuration itself is able to elicit certain travel behavior, even if individuals predisposition towards traveling is different. If, on the other hand, travel patterns between dissonant and consonant residents within the same (type of) neighborhood follow their respective predisposition and hence differ significantly, the effectiveness of land use based policies to reduce car travel is questioned.

Using data from 1,358 commuting workers living in the urban neighborhood of North San Francisco or the suburban communities of Concord or Pleasant Hill, this study assess how the travel behavior of mismatched residents in urban or suburban neighborhoods differs from that of (1) well-matched residents in the same type of neighborhood, and (2) well-matched residents of the desired type of neighborhood. Five measures of residential mismatch have been defined. These indicators all contrast people?s (dis)favor (?affect?) for high-density living, as reflected by their response to statements like ?I like living in a neighborhood where there is a lot going on? and ?I like to have a large yard at my home?, with their actual type of neighborhood. The mismatch indicators differ in terms of whether they are discrete or continuous, and whether they account for attachment to their current residential neighborhood. Two dimensions of travel behavior will be investigated ? trip frequencies and distances traveled ? disaggregated by trip purpose (commuting, work-related/school, grocery shopping, eat a meal, entertainment, servings passengers and other purposes), as well as by transportation mode (private car, bus, train/BART/light rail, walking/jogging bicycling, other modes).

In addition to descriptive analysis for both dimensions of travel behavior, we present a series of models that determine the influence of residential dissonance on travel patterns, while accounting for the influence of (1) sociodemographic factors and mobility constraints including the length of stay in the neighborhood of residence; (2) personality and lifestyle factors; (3) travel-related attitudinal factors. Because trip frequencies are ordinal in nature, we will use binomial probit models. For distance traveled, Tobit against the aims of sustainability - people in selecting their living environment, fail to reconcile their lifestyle and travel patterns with sustainable travel behaviour.

Key results relating to comparisons between settlement classes will be described in the paper. Length of residency, for example, provides key policy insight; newcomers and established residents in Belfast?s brownfield sites behave more sustainably than their peers within the edge of city, the outer city and beyond.

It is anticipated that among the outcomes arising from this research, are those informing debate on such policy considerations as village suburbanisation, edge of town developments and the greenfield versus brownfield development issue. The research also provides insights into the implication of the distribution of activity centres/attractors in the design of new housing areas.

Publisher

Association for European Transport