Incentives, Regulations and Plans

Incentives, Regulations and Plans

The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece

This unique book allows readers to compare analyses of how North American states and European nation-states use incentives, regulations or plans to approach a core set of universal land use issues such as: containing sprawl, mixed use development, transit oriented development, affordable housing, healthy urban designs, and marketing smarter growth.

Chapter 8: Transit-oriented Urban Environments Reduce Travel – A Fairytale?

Harry Timmermans

Subjects: urban and regional studies, urban studies


Harry Timmermans There is a tendency among professionals of different feathers to overrate the impact, importance and relevance of their decisions. Urban planners and designers are no exception in this regard. The underlying thrust of many planning concepts is that morphology and urban form have a strong influence on human behaviour. This premise seems to have dominated the evolution of many concepts. The recent discussion on sustainability and smart growth is no exception. There is a belief that transport-oriented urban environments with mixed land use, high density and high quality public transport will reduce car use and mobility and hence increase the market share of slow modes of urban transport. Fortunately, in addition to pure beliefs, this topic has generated a substantial amount of empirical research which examined the relationship between urban form and mobility patterns. For example, several authors have reported positive effects of neo-traditional and related designs on mode choice, mostly in the United States: Friedman et al. 1994; Cervero and Gorham 1995; Cervero 1996; Nasar 1997 and Florez 1998. Other studies, both in the United States and Europe, report empirical evidence of the relationship between mode choice and higher densities or mixed land use: Handy 1993; Frank and Pivo 1994; Næss et al. 1995; Næss and Sandberg 1996; Schimek 1996; Kitamura et al. 1997; Jacobsen 1997. Other studies on the influence of urban form on travel behaviour in North America and Europe include: Breheny 1995, Owens 1996, Giuliano and Small 1993,...

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