Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 30: Accessibility: theory and practice in the Netherlands and UK
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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