Table of Contents

Handbook on Transport and Urban Planning in the Developed World

Handbook on Transport and Urban Planning in the Developed World

Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou

This Handbook provides comprehensive coverage of all of the major factors that underpin our understanding of urban and transport planning in the developed world. Combining urban and transport planning in one volume, the chapters present the state of the art as well as new research and directions for the future. It is an essential reference to all the key issues in this area as well as signalling areas of concern and future research paths. Academics, researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners will find it a constant source of information and guidance.

Chapter 4: The role of accessibility in urban and transport planning

Bert van Wee and Karst Geurs

Subjects: environment, transport, geography, cities and urban geography, human geography, transport geography/mobilities, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, transport, urban studies, planning


Accessibility is a key concept in transport and urban planning. The key aims of transport policies, not only at the urban level but also at the supra-national (for example, European Union), national and regional level, are to improve accessibility. But what is accessibility? Several policy documents do not specify what they mean by accessibility, but only through specific aims or policy measures does it becomes clear what they mean. For example the policies may aim to reduce congestion on roads. We think it is important to define accessibility, to avoid miscommunication and to make explicit what policies could, or even should, focus on. Above we give the example of congestion, an important topic in many policy plans, and we do not want to argue that reducing congestion is not important, but in this chapter we adopt a broader perspective. Following our previous work we define accessibility as ‘the extent to which land-use and transport systems enable (groups of) individuals to reach activities or destinations by means of a (combination of) transport mode(s)’ (Geurs and Van Wee 2004, p. 128).

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