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About this book

Our economic welfare and social well-being depend on our mobility. But our means of travel threaten the planet's sustainability. In this innovative text, Luca Bertolini shows how mobility planning - which takes seriously the demands of both urban and transport planning - offers solutions to transport challenges in the 21st Century.

Table of Contents

1. Planning the Mobile Metropolis

The world we are presently in is the result of a dual, breathtaking process of rapidly increasing urbanization and mobility. The unprecedented opportunities and equally unprecedented threats this has brought about can only be confronted if the deep intertwining of these two processes is acknowledged. This chapter is dedicated to articulating and supporting this point. It starts by discussing why contemporary societies and metropolises should be characterized as intrinsically mobile. It then introduces and explores the key dilemma that this condition brings about. It concludes by sketching how the rest of the book will offer conceptual tools and practical experiences to help planners cope with this dilemma. Mobile societies Mobility has become an intrinsic component of everyday life in contemporary urban societies. Each day adults work, shop, spend leisure time, meet family and friends; kids go or are taken to school, out-of-school activities, friends; all in different locations. As a result, each day households must juggle complex mobility routines: a child needs to be taken to daycare before the trip to work and picked up on the way back;
Luca Bertolini

2. Transport and Cities: Mapping the Links

This chapter will dwell more deeply on the relationships between cities and transport, places and flows, activities and mobility. First, it will map out some basic relationships between transport and land use features. It will show how and why transport speed and capacity are related to land use density and diversity. Based on this, it will identify which are more, and less, synergistic combinations of transport and land use developments and policies. Second, the chapter will disentangle the dynamics underlying these synergies. It will introduce a transport land use feedback cycle, and it will discuss some of the research exploring two more specific, topical relationships: how the built environment influences mobility behaviour, and how transport influences area development. Policy implications will be illustrated by means of a discussion of the compact city policy and the urban development impacts of high-speed railways. The basic relationships: speed and diversity, capacity and density When one looks at the evolution of the transport and land use characteristics of cities, some recognizable patterns emerge (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999; Muller, 2004). Prior to the Industrial Revolution, transport options in cities were confined to human power and some animal traction.
Luca Bertolini

3. Urban Planning as if Mobility Mattered

Transport (including ‘virtual’ transport through telecommunications) connects people inhabiting cities. It gives urban households essential access to jobs, services and social contacts; it gives urban firms and other organizations essential access to employees, consumers, business relations and goods. It thus holds the spatially fragmented everyday world of urban households and organizations together and is an essential component of their social emancipation and economic prosperity. Accordingly, the attractiveness of cities and neighbourhoods as places to live, work and spend leisure time also and fundamentally depends on the quality of the access they give to other places. The accessibility provided by transport and telecommunications is therefore also an essential ingredient of the quality of place. Urban planning has tended to see places as selfenclosed and to engage with their permanent populations (such as residents). However, the intrinsically mobile nature of our societies and cities requires urban planning to see places as open and also to engage with their temporary populations (such as commuters and other visitors). This chapter introduces conceptual and practical tools for this purpose. The de-coupling of civitas and urbs The object of urban planning is, by definition, ‘the city’. Today, however, we need to ask: what, where and when is ‘the city’?
Luca Bertolini

4. Transport Planning as if Places Mattered

Twentieth-century urban transport planning has typically held narrow definitions of problems (e.g. alleviating congestion) and solutions (e.g. increasing road capacity). In some respects, this has allowed for unprecedented effectiveness and efficiency, but in other respects it has generated new and apparently intractable problems. The deep intertwining of transport with everyday life in cities, and its implications for the quality of places and for the quest for sustainable development, require a broader focus for transport planning in the twenty-first century. In particular, the role of transport in making or breaking places should be acknowledged. In today’s urban world this means, on one side, finding ways of connecting increasingly spatially dispersed and temporally variable places of activity, and on the other side finding ways of bringing the negative impacts of transport on liveability and the environment down to sustainable levels. The urban transport planning that can deliver this is one where each transportation means (e.g. the car, public transport, biking and walking, but also digital ‘virtual’ transport by means of telecommunication) is used for what it can do best; where different transportation means are integrated with each other; where infrastructure (including large-scale infrastructure) enhances rather than harms the urban fabric; and where innovation is stimulated on all fronts.
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5. Integrating Urban and Transport Planning

Chapters 3 and 4 aimed at nurturing the awareness of, respectively, transport implications in urban planning and quality-of-place implications in transport planning. This chapter looks to both at the same time in order to try and develop an integrated transport and urban planning approach. Of course, many of the approaches and cases discussed in the previous two chapters have already documented a certain degree of integration. However, in this chapter the case for a full-fledged merger between transport (including telecommunications) and urban planning will be made. Cities and transport are one and the same in the daily experience and perception of contemporary urban households and organizations, and planners have to be able to deal with this fact head-on. The key challenge of transport and urban planning integration is providing accessibility conditions for an increasing and dynamic diversity of social and economic activities in cities, while at the same time ensuring that the resulting impacts are sustainable in both the short and the long term. In the following, the urban mobility dilemma discussed in Chapter 1 is used as the point of departure to further define this challenge and explore how it can be addressed. The more normative stance of this chapter relative to others, and the policy directions and urban form implications the chapter suggests, are only possible because of a number of assumptions which will be made explicit along the way.
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6. Planning for Transformative Change in the Face of Complexity and Uncertainty

In the metropolitan mobility system, transport and land use developments and policies, and mobility and location behaviours, continuously interact with each other and with the broader societal context in complex ways (see, in particular, Chapter 2, and therein Figure 2.3). At the same time transformative change of the metropolitan mobility system is needed, because its present configuration is deeply problematic: it makes urban households and firms dependent on mobility, but their mobility practices are not sustainable. Achieving transformative change in the face of complexity is a difficult and seemingly paradoxical task. Developments in each component of the system both enable and constrain developments in other components. Changing a single component (e.g. a transport facility, or a land use pattern) might not suffice, and will most likely result in no or marginal change, or even in unintended consequences with possibly perverse effects (i.e. effects contrary to the original intention). It may result in no or marginal change because the lack of change in other components will keep the system on its present course. Think about the development of railway infrastructure in a context where destinations are spatially dispersed and car use is unconstrained – in such a context, not many people will shift from using the car to using the train. Changing a single component may also result in unintended consequences because of repercussions on components other than those targeted. The effects can even be perverse.
Luca Bertolini

7. The Role of Spatial Analysis: From Supporting Planning for Mobility to Supporting Planning for Accessibility

The traditional urban transportation planning process has mobility at its centre: either as something to be facilitated (e.g. because it is assumed it would fuel economic growth, or support social emancipation, as in the ‘predict and provide’ paradigm) or as something to be constrained (e.g. because of negative environmental and social impacts, as in the ‘predict and prevent’ paradigm) (Owens, 1995). The process is epitomized by the so-called urban transportation modelling system (UTMS), also popularly known as the ‘four-step model’ because of the four analytical steps it entails: estimation of trip generation (how many trips?), trip distribution (from where to where?), modal choice (by which transport mode?), and trip assignment (on which routes?) (Meyer and Miller, n.d.). The UTMS has long been criticized – most notably for the lack of a sound behavioural base – but it still permeates transport demand analysis, among more complex alternative models with a more sound behavioural basis (e.g. random utility models, activity-based models). In the context of the view of urban mobility issues embraced in this book the problem with the UTMS is, however, more fundamental. Central to the approach is the notion that at the start of the urban transportation planning process should be the prediction of future mobility demand, whether it is to facilitate it (as in ‘predict and provide’) or constrain it (as in ‘predict and prevent’).
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8. Bridging the Gap Between Planning Research and Planning Practice

A key part of the work of planning academia is about generating and disseminating scientific knowledge. However, much knowledge developed by planning academics does not seem able to impact planning practice. On the other hand, the practical knowledge of planning professionals and planning stakeholders often does not seem able to match the complexity of the issues at hand. When the integration of transport and urban planning is at stake, there is the additional challenge of integrating knowledge from two disciplines and professions with very different, if not contrasting, paradigms. Finding effective ways of integrating all these different sorts of knowledge – both explicit, as in scientific models, and tacit, as in practical experience – in the development of new, effective planning knowledge, seems, nevertheless, crucial. In this chapter approaches for coping with these challenges will be proposed. First, an ‘experiential’ approach to scientific research in planning will be introduced as a general framework to bridge the gap between planning research and planning practice. Second, ways of integrating different types of insights from research in the process of improving practice will be discussed, with a successive focus on learning from theories, from formal models and from experiences in other contexts.
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9. Connecting People, Making Places, Sustaining the Planet

This book has made an argument for a planning research and practice that fully acknowledges the fact that mobility and accessibility are defining characteristics of contemporary urban societies. Conceptual tools and practical experiences for mobility and accessibility planning have been offered, and cases have been used to illustrate them. In all cases, the central challenge was that of finding ways to cope with the dilemma of urban mobility: we (people, organizations, cities) depend on mobility, but our mobility practices are not sustainable. Many issues have just been touched upon. Some can be followed in the work of others, and suggestions for further reading have been made. Much, however, remains to be done: there is a lot that we still do not understand, or do not know how to cope with. But hopefully, the reader has also been provided with just enough motivation and intellectual ammunition to be willing to join the journey and help find ways of coping with the dilemma of urban mobility! This last chapter will do three things to wrap up. First, it will synthesize and activate the knowledge offered in this book in the form of a hands-on planning process framework connecting the issues and tasks discussed in each chapter.
Luca Bertolini
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