Skip to main content

Land Use Planning Topics: Planning-Accessibility (scholarly references)

Land Use Planning Topics

Planning: Accessibility

References that have links are freely available on the internet.

Geurs, K. T., & van Wee, B. (2004). Accessibility evaluation of land-use and transport strategies: review and research directions. Journal of Transport Geography, 12, 127-140.

A review of accessibility measures is presented for assessing the usability of these measures in evaluations of land-use and transport strategies and developments. Accessibility measures are reviewed using a broad range of relevant criteria, including theoretical basis, interpretability and communicability, and data requirements of the measures. Accessibility impacts of land-use and transport strategies are often evaluated using accessibility measures, which researchers and policy makers can easily operationalise and interpret, such as travelling speed, but which generally do not satisfy theoretical criteria. More complex and disaggregated accessibility measures, however, increase complexity and the effort for calculations and the difficulty of interpretation. The current practice can be much improved by operationalising more advanced location-based and utility-based accessibility measures that are still relatively easy to interpret for researchers and policy makers, and can be computed with state-of-the-practice data and/or land-use and transport models.

Halden, D. (2002). Using accessibility measures to integrate land use and transport policy in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Transport policy, 9(4), 313-324.

To ensure more effective integration of development and transport planning, new national planning policy guidance in the UK requires greater consideration of accessibility issues. Although quantitative accessibility analysis is common in research, the practical application of these techniques in land use planning has been rare, and assessment has been restricted to qualitative considerations. The strong policy focus on accessibility increases the need for robustness, but practical quantitative techniques are still evolving. This paper describes a structured approach to accessibility analysis, as part of the development of a new structure plan for Edinburgh and the Lothians, and demonstrates how an 'integration index' can be developed from accessibility measures to help compare alternative approaches.

Handy, S. (2005). Smart growth and the transportation-land use connection: What does the research tell us? International Regional Science Review, 28(2), 146-167.

The connection between transportation and land use lies at the center of efforts in the United States to combat sprawl through smart growth strategies. Proponents of smart growth commonly make several specific propositions about the relationships between transportation and land use: (1) building more highways will contribute to more sprawl, (2) building more highways will lead to more driving, (3) investing in light rail transit systems will increase densities, and (4) adopting new urbanism design strategies will reduce automobile use. This article explores how well the available evidence supports these four propositions and provides an overview of the theory, research efforts, and current debates associated with each of these propositions. This overview shows that the four propositions have not yet been fully resolved: researchers have made more progress on some of these propositions than others, but even in the best cases, our ability to predict the impact of smart growth policies remains limited.

Hansen, W. G. (1959). How accessibility shapes land use. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 25(2), 73-76.

An empirical examination of the residential development patterns illustrates that accessibility and the availability of vacant developable land can be used as the basis of a residential land use model. The author presents an operational definition and suggests a method for determining accessibility patterns within metropolitan areas. This is a process of distributing forecasted metropolitan population to small areas within the metropolitan region. Although the model presented is not yet sufficiently well refined for estimating purposes, the concept and the approach may be potentially useful tools for metropolitan planning purposes.

Ingram, D. R. (1971). The concept of accessibility: a search for an operational form. Regional Studies, 5(2), 101-107.

The importance of the concept of accessibility in the literature of urban studies requires that a method be found of describing quantitatively the accessibility at a point. The paper is concerned with, firstly, a set of definitions related to the concept of accessibility. A distinction is made between the relative accessibility between two points and the integral, or total, accessibility at a point. Secondly, various operational forms of these definitions are illustrated with reference to the Hamilton, Ontario, urban area. The derivation of the various measures that are developed is discussed. A measure based on the normal, or Gaussian curve is recommended as the most suitable form for determining the integral accessibility at a given point.

Martínez, F. J. (1995). Access: The transport-land use economic link. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 29(6), 457-470.

The notion of access has evolved from a physical measure of trip interaction to a more economic concept associated with transport benefits. This paper follows the economic interpretation forward in order to understand the potentiality of access as a consistent economic link between the land use system and the transport system. Consistency is achieved in an economic approach based upon the argument that trips are made only if the benefit derived from making contact with other activities exceeds the transport generalized cost. This framework provides economic measures of access, as evidence of impact on origin and destination of trips, which can be calculated from the analysis of the transport system in some relevant cases. This paper analyses how to calculate measures of access from transport demand models and how to allocate transport benefits to the origin and destination activities. Finally, it describes the use of herein proposed access measures in land use-transport interaction modelling.

Vandenbulcke, G., Steenberghen, T., & Thomas, I. (2009). Mapping accessibility in Belgium: a tool for land-use and transport planning? Journal of Transport Geography, 17(1), 39-53.

This paper compares the spatial structure of car accessibility to towns and to railway stations during peak and off-peak hours in Belgium for the country's 2616 municipalities. A clustering method is applied. It is shown that in a highly urbanised country, the situation is far from being spatially equitable in terms of accessibility, and some areas are more favored than others. Congestion increases spatial inequalities, differently according to absolute or relative measures of change. By means of examples, this paper shows that even simple accessibility indicators could be useful to support decisions taken by planners and politicians (e.g. as regards the development of residential, industrial and business park areas). Maps indicate the spatial inequalities in terms of accessibility to urban centers and transport nodes, and the impact of congestion on these inequalities. The absolute and relative time losses due to congestion affect different areas in different ways. The location of new developments further increases the congestion problem and the spatial disparities. This paper also insists on the caution that should be adopted when measuring and interpreting "accessibility", its measurements, its inputs, its temporal changes in absolute and relative terms as well as the need for spatially disaggregated data.

Wegener, M. (2004). Overview of land use transport models. In Handbook of Transport Geography and Spatial Systems (pp. 127-146). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

The previous chapters in this handbook have shown that spatial development, or land use, determines the need for spatial interaction, or transport, but that transport, by the accessibility it provides, also determines spatial development. However, it is difficult to empirically isolate impacts of land use on transport and vice versa because of the magnitude of concurrent changes of other factors. This poses a problem if the likely impacts of integrated land use and transport policies to reduce the demand for travel are to be predicted. There are principally three methods to predict those impacts. The first is to ask people how they would change their location and mobility behavior if certain factors, such as land use regulations or transport costs, would change (“stated preference”). The second consists of drawing conclusions from observed decision behavior of people under different conditions on how they would be like to behave if these factors would change (“revealed preference”). The third method is to simulate human decision behavior in mathematical models. This chapter reviews recent developments in the field of operational integrated land use transport modes, with special emphasis on their ability to test both land use and transport policies and to assess their impacts.