RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2012

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239 Transport in the City: Scales and Perspectives (2)
Affiliation Transport Geography Research Group
Convenor(s) Robin Hickman (University College London, UK)
Peter Jones (University College London, UK)
Chair(s) Robin Hickman (University College London, UK)
Peter Jones (University College London, UK)
Timetable Thursday 05 July 2012, Session 2 (11:10 - 12:50)
Room David Hume Tower - Room 12.18
Session abstract Travel in cities is influenced, alongside wider issues, by various aspects of urban structure and design. The built environment influence on travel can be understood at different scales, from the global city, to the city-region, the city, neighbourhood and street. There are also wider issues concerning relationships with attitudes to travel and urban life, and the context in terms of the economic, social and cultural functioning of the city. This session seeks to understand and bring together new insights, from various geographical perspectives, to help understand how transport systems are used and work – and might work in the future – and their various influences and impacts, at different scales. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Urban structure, density, diversity and design, and travel
• Transport investment, city and neighbourhood renewal
• The street and travel
• Attitudes to travel and urban living
• The functioning of the urban area and the role of travel
• Achieving sustainable transport futures
Linked Sessions Transport in the City: Scales and Perspectives (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2012@rgs.org
Residential Car Reduction, Modal Share and Urban ‘Operating Systems’
Iqbal Hamiduddin (University College London, UK)
From the pedestrian-oriented medieval city to modern-day automobile based suburbia, transportation exerts a critical shaping force on space. In the urban context, the dominant transport mode has traditionally influenced urban layout, density and physical qualities of space – factors which produce self-reinforcing controls on the way that people travel and behave. In the latter half of the twentieth century, car dominance has become an issue of increasing concern due to a broad range of perceived negative impacts including emissions produced and both individual and community well being. Residential car reduction strategies have attempted to limit the impact of cars around the home environment and to curb car use overall in schemes that have ranged from ‘car-free’ to ‘car-reduced’. By presenting evidence from residential developments in the cities of Freiburg and Edinburgh, this paper argues firstly that a ‘neighbourhood-first’ approach to residential car-reduction can be problematic for reasons of exclusion and undue self-selectivity on mobility grounds, if schemes are not sensitive to the overall context. From this initial critique the paper secondly explores the notion of context by examining the concept of the urban ‘operating system’ and a typology of different ‘systems’ that may be determined from an identifiable range of factors that influence mobility behaviour. The final part of the paper argues that the manner in which residential car reduction is undertaken should correspond to each city’s operating system, by following the historic logic of urban form following the overall urban transport function.
What are the Health and Greenhouse Gas Implications of Travel Patterns in Different European Settings?
James Woodcock (University of Cambridge, UK)
T. Götschi (-)
T. S. Nielsen (-)
T. Schwanen (-)
Modelling studies have indicated the potential for substitution of car use with walking and cycling to achieve both large health benefits and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. There is considerable variation in walking, cycling, car and public transport use between different European settings. However, there has been limited rigorous investigation of the impact of these differences on health and greenhouse gas emissions.
In this paper we present modelled results on what would be the health and greenhouse gas implications if a setting with high levels of car use and low levels of cycling (urban population in England and Wales outside London) had the same travel patterns as people in other more active European locations. These comparator locations were the Netherlands and Denmark (noted for their high cycling), Switzerland (high walking and public transport use) and London (much higher public transport and low car use than in the rest of the UK).
Travel patterns by age group and gender were estimated using national travel surveys and the London travel demand survey. The analysis was differentiated by gender and age. Health (physical activity, air pollution and road traffic injuries) and greenhouse gas modelling were conducted using ITHIM (Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling tool).
The analysis suggests that differences in travel patterns are making an important contribution to population health but that lower transport related greenhouse gas emissions do not always coincide with greater active travel. Policies should be carefully designed and evaluated to try and achieve both health and climate goals.
Spaces of Travel as New Types of Urban Centres
Anna Nikolaeva (Aarhus University, Denmark / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
During the last couple of decades large international airports and train stations have developed into new types of built environments. They may incorporate shopping galleries and entertainment facilities accessible for everyone – as well as amenities accessible upon certain conditions. The famous Marc Augé’s critique (1995) of ‘non-places’ has been challenged by geographers, sociologists and urbanists who have argued that an airport can be a place as meaningful and inspiring for social interactions as an urban square (Gottdiener, 2001; Sudjic, 1992). Based on fifty interviews with planners, architects and managers in Amsterdam and New York the paper argues that despite certain restrictions, originating mainly in security concerns and commercial interests, such hybrid spaces have potential to become new urban centres. Comparing two cases – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport in New York – the paper explores which conditions are favourable for the spaces of travel to develop new functions and social meanings. Whereas Schiphol is a famous example of an AirportCity working as a destination for travelers and non-travellers alike, JFK Terminal 4 has not become a destination for non-travellers although it was co-developed by a public-private partnership in which Schiphol Group played a key role, advancing the concept of AirportCity among other ideas. Thus, the paper explores the attempts of converting a travel space into a diversified urban space and a destination in two different contexts and analyzes possibilities and problems that arise in these situations.
The seamless public transport journey: instrumental and affective
Robin Hickman (University College London, UK)
Iqbal Hamiduddin (University College London, UK)
Peter Jones (University College London, UK)
This paper revisits the urban structure and travel topic, in the light of aspirations to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the city level. Almost all cities are experiencing increasing emissions in transport and the private car is the mainstream mode of travel: current and prospective. Our travel behaviours are in crisis, yet it appears intractably difficult to envision and deliver alternative futures.
This paper considers the different baselines, projections and opportunities for two very different contexts: from London (UK) and Jinan (China), drawing on two previous modelling studies carried out by the authors. The likely possibilities for reducing transport CO2 emissions are examined relative to the aspirations of the IPCC (2007) and Stern (2007, 2009). The IPCC’s central scenario (A1F1), assuming high economic growth and increased globalisation, estimates resultant world temperature increases of 4°C-6.4°C and expected sea level rises of up to 59cm, with hugely variable impacts globally. A central issue, therefore, is in the gap between the current business as usual (BAU) projections for transport CO2 emissions and the strategic policy ambitions to reduce the likely impacts of climate change. Scenarios are developed, assuming an equitable 0.5 tCO2 per capita in transport CO2 emissions, for each city by 2050.
The role of the built environment is critical to achieving greater sustainability in travel, providing the physical ‘envelope’ for travel, and supports efforts to increase patronage in public transport, walking and cycling (Hickman et al., 2009). Yet urban structure remains: (1) an under-utilised policy tool; poorly understood in view of (2) the wider rationale for travel (socio-economic and attitudinal aspects); and (3) the potential for heterogeneity in design options by different contexts. The paper concludes by developing sustainable transport futures for London and Jinan to 2030, with urban structure utilised as a key element alongside wider behavioural and technological policy options.