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 33: Telecommunications and travel

Galit Cohen-Blankshtain

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


The relationships between transport and information and telecommunications technologies (ICTs) have received much attention over the past four decades. As both technologies facilitate remote activities, there has been much interest in the potential substitution of tele-activities for physical travel. However, alongside the substitution effects between transportation and ICTs, there is considerable evidence suggesting stimulation or generation effects as well. In other words, ICTs can stimulate more physical travel. Moreover, ICTs can change travel behaviour, not just the decision about the travel itself. ICTs are not considered just as possible substitutions for physical transport. They can offer tools to increase the quality of transportation networks and services. This, in turn, may have an additional, indirect effect on travel behaviour. Bearing in mind these relationships (substitution, generation and modification) the expected effects of ICTs in the transportation system become complex and multifaceted. In addition, the rapid and continuous technological developments have challenged scientific efforts to test such relationships as research has difficulties keeping up with the developments. The next section examines the potential for a substitution effect, followed by a review of other possible effects of ICTs on human activities in general and travel behaviour in particular.

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