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Urban Space Distribution and Sustainable Transport

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In many cities of the world, road space is increasingly contested. Growing vehicle numbers, traffic calming and the development of new infrastructure for more sustainable transport modes such as bicycles have all contributed to pressure on available space and conflicts over the allocation of space. This paper provides the first assessment of urban transport infrastructure space distribution, distinguishing motorized individual transport, public transport, cycling and walking. To calculate area allocation, an assessment methodology was developed using high-resolution digital satellite images in combination with a geographical information system to derive area measurements. This methodology was applied to four distinctly different city quarters in Freiburg, Germany. Results indicate that space is unevenly distributed, with motorized individual transport being the favoured transport mode. Findings also show that if trip number to space allocation ratios are calculated, one of the most sustainable transport modes, the bicycle, is the most disadvantaged. This suggests that area allocation deserves greater attention in the planning and implementation of more sustainable urban transport designs.
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Keywords: Transport and society; space allocation; sustainable transport; transport justice; urban transport

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, 391 82, Kalmar, Sweden 2: Human Geography, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Werthmannstr. 4, 79085, Freiburg, Germany 3: Environmental Governance, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106, Freiburg, Germany

Publication date: September 2, 2016

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