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Illich was one of the first to recognize technologically driven exclusion of alternatives to the automobile as a radical monopoly Newman et al, Location and equity of access Although a substantial portion of auto-ownership costs are fixed, most transportation costs vary with distance travelled. Notwithstanding differences across income groups, all will contain some households who must travel longer distances than others. Location is critical in determining this and, generally speaking, those living in outer and fringe urban zones will be spending more on transportation than those living closer to urban centres.

An Introduction to Sustainable Transportation: Policy, Planning and Implementation

For wealthier households, who choose more remote locations for the sake of environmental amenity, this may not be a problem. But for poorer households, who may be going into debt to make ends meet, it can seriously exacerbate the difficulties and stresses of more generalized financial hardship and the relative deprivations described above Newman et al, Speaking from an Australian point of view in the s, to emphasize the longstanding nature of the whole equity problem of automobile dependence, Morris , p39 states:. Transport assumes a larger share of total household spending in non-metropolitan centres and especially in the outer suburbs of large cities increased transport spending has significant effect on household finances, particularly in outer suburban areas where families tend to be on low to middle incomes and are already faced with heavy cumulative commitments, such as housing and hire purchase payments.

Analysis of fuel consumption patterns in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth strongly confirms these observations Newman et al, Per capita fuel use is significantly different between individual suburbs. The variables are:. The amenity- and transit- rich, high-value, culturally attractive and now high-income inner areas of Australian cities have a very low vulnerability to mortgage costs, fuel prices and inflation risks.

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Wealthy people who have the greatest capacity to pay for accessibility and mobility now live in areas where transportation needs are at a minimum and are thus highly privileged. Lower- Figure 1. The only variant to this pattern is along the suburban rail lines, which have fingers into the far outer suburbs. Location near these lines lessens ones vulnerability.

An Introduction to Sustainable Transportation

Summary This discussion of equity in relation to auto dependence has highlighted three dimensions of transportation disadvantage and inequitable access in cities:. Lower-income households able to reach across the threshold of auto- ownership may experience greater strain and be forced to make greater sacrifices than those enjoying higher incomes. Those living closer to city centres and significant sub- centres around cities, especially those built around rail stations where access to a rich array of services is highest, are significantly better off in all income groups, whether they depend on automobiles or on centralized transit systems.

Such issues in the US often have an added racial dimension that urgently needs to be addressed. Some key questions arise from all this. How close to universal auto-ownership can we realistically go, given the more or less intractable individual human limitations of income, age, physical and mental ability and so on? Conversely, how large is the population of those unable to use automobiles likely to be in the future?

In the US and Australia during the early s, around half the population did not have motor vehicle licences Zuckerman, , so the idea of a unitary common good, often cited in the s and s about the benefits of new roads and more automobiles, hardly can be justified now or, indeed, then.

An Introduction to Sustainable Transportation : Preston L. Schiller :

It is perhaps finally worth drawing attention to the fact that many households do not have access to two or more automobiles. In urban Australia, for example, less than about half of the households enjoy the luxury of two or more autos. When one adds vulnerable individuals in one- auto households to the half million or so households who have no automobile, the problems of equitable access loom much larger.

Certainly, significant vulnerable populations the young, the old and disabled and, in some cases, significant proportions of the female population are often very disadvantaged in automobile-dependent cities.

These groups are frequently also poor and are likely to be permanently excluded from ready access to important activities or locations Newman et al, Importantly and, finally, even if it were possible to achieve universal auto- ownership, the other environmental, social and economic costs of auto dependence are so great that urban systems cannot sustain endlessly expanding private mobility. Everything then points to the fundamental need for a radical rethink of the urban transportation issue and its basic tenets a sustainability- driven approach. Conclusions This chapter has analysed several of the key issues and challenges for ST.

The sheer magnitude of travel and freight movement in everyday life, its impacts and benefits and the consequences of overdependence on automobility, with its accompanying inequities experienced under BAU transportation, mean that sustainable transportation has its work cut out for itself.

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The next chapter is an exploration of the car culture, the system of beliefs and values that maintain hypermobility, automobile dependence and inequity. Questions for discussion Discuss the strengths and limitations of the definition of sustainable transportation. How might you change it? Is transportation planning and provision infrastructure, transit, etc. Cite examples. Identify and discuss some examples of automobile dependence and hypermobility in your community and daily life. Also, Morgan Spurlocks television series 30 Days dealt with this issue in the first episode of the first season, where he attempted to live on minimum wage for 30 days, using mass transit to get to several jobs from his out of the way apartment.


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References and further reading Adams, J. Paper 8, www. Schiller, P. Whitelegg and G. Wohlwill and W. Introduction The previous chapter provided definitions of sustainable transportation ST and explored two of its major challenges: automobile dependence and equity, and inequity in transportation. This chapter explores how cities evolved from walking cities to automobile cities and how a car culture developed, along with greater dependence on automobiles.

The chapter investigates several facets of the car culture and contrasts two versions of everyday life: an automobile- dependent family and neighbourhood is compared with the life of a car-free family in a traffic-calmed neighbourhood. Walking cities, transit cities and automobile cities1 Walking cities Urban life extends back thousands of years and over this long period of time all cities were basically dependent upon walking for their circulation needs Kostof, Many walking cities were also walled cities and all growth had to be accommodated by increasing densities and intensifying the mixture of land uses.

In Europe, the walking city was dominant up until around , when walking or, at best, horse-drawn transport was the chief means of movement.

The cities therefore remained small and dense, with highly mixed land uses. The surrounding countryside was preserved for farming or natural open spaces such as wood lots and forests Newman and Kenworthy, Walking cities are conceptualized in Figure 2. The walking city was characterized by narrow, often winding streets and provided for an inherently egalitarian transport system.

Some people had horses and carriages; but the advantages afforded by this were more related to comfort. Chapter 2. No one in a walking city was locationally disadvantaged in a transport sense, which cannot be said for cities today, designed around the automobile. As described in Chapter 1, in automobile cities, many people who live in the outer suburbs and urban fringe in order to find cheap land discover that their access needs are difficult to meet by any mode apart from the car.

Such people live with enforced car ownership due to their location within the city and are especially disadvantaged with respect to walking Newman et al, The Chinese city is still today largely a walking and cycling environment; but this is changing very dramatically as millions of people avail themselves of cars, and the environment for pedestrians and cyclists is severely disrupted Kenworthy and Hu, ; Kenworthy and Townsend, Today there are many examples from around the world of walking cities that became overrun with cars during the s and s, but which, over a period of time, have gradually reclaimed their walking qualities e.

Freiburg and Munich in Germany and Copenhagen in Denmark. In , Copenhagen began to gradually remove a few per cent of central city parking spaces every year until they had transformed their city centre back into its traditional walking city form Gehl and Gemze, Transit cities The transit or public transport city emerged in the industrial world around with the advent of new transport technologies namely, the revolutionary steam train and electric tram. Preceding these modes were the horse-drawn tram operating on wooden tracks and the steam tram, pulled by chains, which were powered from a stationary steam engine.

These cities, therefore, still had quite high densities of land use and there was a well-defined edge to urban settlements nodes around rail stations and tight corridors around tramlines. A high-density, mixed-use urban form also meant that there were still a very large number of trips that could be conveniently accomplished on foot or bicycle, and the public environments of cities their streets, squares and other places were still very people oriented Newman and Kenworthy, Figure 2.

This type of city gained ascendancy in the industrial world, and during the period from about to it tended to be the dominant type of city form in industrialized countries. In other less developed parts of the world where new technologies did not take off in the way in which they did in the Western world, the walking city remained dominant. These cities have had a less well- defined period of public transport development, if any.

Certainly, most of them have not been shaped significantly by a period of extensive and enduring urban rail development trains or trams , although some, such as Bangkok, did have these modes Poboon, ; Barter, Rather, in recent years from about.

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In the process, the rights of pedestrians and cyclists have been trampled on through the removal of footpaths for widened roads, the severance of neighbourhoods by freeway and toll road infrastructure, and the creation of a hostile, highly dangerous public realm dominated by traffic Kenworthy, The influence of transport technologies on the quality of public spaces in cities and the nature of social relations is clearly seen in the kinds of attractive and interactive public realms that have been created in many cities where transit systems have been given priority in city development.

For example, in Zurichs Bahnhofstrasse, and in many other cities, urban space is shared between trams and pedestrians and private space spills out into the public realm. Transit, by its nature, involves people mixing together in shared space and is an important factor in helping to shape social relations. Automobile cities Whatever ones particular outlook is on what the automobile has done for urban societies, it is universally agreed that it has brought enormous change.

The automobile facilitated the uninhibited outward expansion of the city because people and businesses were no longer constrained to the fixed-track public transport systems or walking-scale environments of earlier times. Development became footloose and could occur anywhere that a section of black top could be laid down. The automobiles much greater speed allowed the city to get much bigger again, and densities of development dropped dramatically.