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Transport and Sustainability: The Role of the Built Environment

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New Urbanism attempts to promote ‘greener’ travel through physical design: especially through the provision of compact, walkable neighbourhoods served by transit. Achieving the desired environmental benefits effectively hinges on reducing auto trips, by encouraging people who currently travel by car to switch to walking for short trips and transit for long trips. However, while these aims may be simply asserted, the extent to which they are achievable is complex. The sustainability debate now goes well beyond merely technical discussions of environmental impacts to tackle the stickier political economy of how cities can be made to work in terms of accessibility, how environmental costs and benefits are distributed, and the concept of ‘environmental justice’. Who goes where, based on where they live and work, and the land-use levers available to affect why, have become the core policy focus. In order to understand the extent to which New Urbanism can contribute to sustainable transport and development, it is necessary to consider how different social groups using different modes of transport are related to the design of the built environment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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