Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How Urban Design Affect Personal Activity and Travel Choice - An Analysis of Travel Data from Sample Communities in Adelaide

Ali Soltani

Recently, there has been increasing academic and governmental support for improvements to the quality of the walking and bicycling environment in Australian cities, expressed in higher attention in policy-making planning manuscripts encouraging of such travel. Several local, regional, and state authorities are starting to advise to how non-motorised transportation may help address sustainability concerns with car dependency, air quality, health, safety, and the social activity of suburban residents. Australian New Urbanism advocates have supported this idea by emphasising on ‘micro-design’ aspects of local communities and street design, thus providing design guidelines and encouraging urban policies that reduce the need for motor vehicle transportation (Hall and Porterfield 2001; Scheurer 2004).
Despite efforts undertaken in policy, the importance of urban design factors in determining travel behaviour is not fully understood in Australian context, thus that effective policies influencing travel patterns are difficult to formulate. An important question is that by what extent, providing bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure and programs can affect the level of walking and bicycling activities? Answering this question needs much empirical quantitative and qualitative investigation which is in general a poorly developed subject at least in Australia.
This paper first discusses theoretical frameworks that guide the travel effects of community design. Second, it reports on methods and measures used to characterise built environments with emphasis on urban design concepts. Third, employing discrete choice models explains the influences of urban factors on travel choices in four cases study suburbs in Adelaide. Discussions follow regarding the different aspects of built environment in explaining the differences of choice modes taken especially walking and bicycling. Finally, suggestions about directions for future research are made.

Adelaide, by yksin
more posts about urbanism in Australia:

Evaluating urban transport and land use policies through the use of an accessibility modelling framework

Affordable Housing - theoretical utopia or achievable reality

Australia Looks at Sustainability as Guide to Country-wide Urban Planning

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