Table of Contents

Handbook on Transport and Development

Handbook on Transport and Development

Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister

This Handbook provides an extensive overview of the relationships between transport and development. With 45 chapters from leading international authors, the book is organised in three main parts: urban structure and travel; transport and spatial impacts; and wider dimensions in transport and development. The chapters each present commentary on key issues within these themes, presenting the debate on the impacts of urban structure on travel, the impacts of transport investment on development, and social and cultural change on travel. A multitude of angles are considered – leaving the reader with a comprehensive and critical understanding of the field.

Chapter 30: Accessibility: theory and practice in the Netherlands and UK

Karst Geurs and Derek Halden

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, environmental economics, transport, environment, environmental economics, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


Accessibility is a concept that has become central to physical planning during the past 50 years; improving accessibility is an aim that has now made its way into mainstream transport planning and policymaking throughout the world. Batty (2009) traces the origins of the concept back to the 1920s. It was used in location theory and regional economic planning, becoming important once transport planning began, mainly in North America where it was associated with transport networks and trip distribution patterns. Its conceptual basis dates back further. Hansen (1959), in his classic and much cited expose, ‘How accessibility shapes land use’ rolled out our first real definition: the potential for interaction (based on the notion of potential traced back to the social physics school in the nineteenth century). Several authors have written review articles on accessibility measures, often focusing on a particular category of accessibility, such as location-based accessibility (Martin and Reggiani, 2007; Reggiani, 1998), person-based accessibility (e.g., Kwan, 1998; Pirie, 1979) or utility-based accessibility (e.g., Koenig, 1980; Niemeier, 1997). Here we use the review of Geurs and van Wee (2004), as a point of departure to look at accessibility measures from different perspectives (land use, transport, social as well as economic impacts). We also use the typology of accessibility measures developed by Halden, which classified accessibility measures according to the ways in which they had been successfully used (Halden, 2003).

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