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