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Car-Free Urban Areas: A Radical Solution to the Last Mile Problem or a Step Too Far?

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This paper suggests an alternative and, arguably, more comprehensive definition of the last mile as a personal travel concept. This characterization of the last mile is used as a catalyst for discussion of a radical urban car-free vision to explore how such urban areas might operate in practice. A range of international examples of places where substantial change in urban transport has occurred are included to illustrate the potential for change, how this has been brought about and how close different areas are to achieving very different urban transport futures. The overwhelming argument is that such urban areas can work and in the context of the last mile concept provide a neat solution to many of the associated issues and problems. It is shown that a number of urban areas appear to be moving towards such car-free futures and others might be expected to follow once the benefits become clearer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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  • 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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