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Transport Disadvantage, Car Dependence and Urban Form

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Abstract

In a more mobile world, the ability to cover greater distances and access to motorised means of transport are increasingly important for access to services and opportunities and, as a result, for social status and inclusion. In this chapter, we put forward an integrated conceptualisation of transport disadvantage, based on an extensive literature review and on insights from our own research. Given the dominance and the structuring power of car-based mobility in developed societies, we sketch a typology of different forms of car-related transport disadvantage, which allows us to show how access problems vary considerably in relation to car ownership and use. Given the important relationships between transport disadvantage, urban structure and the built environment, we then illustrate the spatial dimension of all forms of car-related transport disadvantage and demonstrate the role of urban socio-spatial configurations (i.e. patterns in the distribution of different social groups within metropolitan areas) in compounding or alleviating these issues. In the concluding section, we briefly review the policy options to tackle transport disadvantage, providing concrete examples of the measures proposed and implemented in a number countries.

Keywords

  • Transport disadvantage
  • Social exclusion
  • Car dependence
  • Urban form
  • Accessibility
  • Transport policy

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Fig. 1
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Notes

  1. 1.

    Debates around the precise definition of social exclusion are reviewed in Levitas (2006).

  2. 2.

    Significantly, these are also the social groups generally considered more at risk of social exclusion more broadly, as well as the most likely not to own cars (Mattioli 2014a).

  3. 3.

    There is value, however, in explicitly considering the similarities and interrelationships between questions of affordability in the transport and domestic energy sectors (see Mattioli 2015).

  4. 4.

    Beyond its original understanding, the notion of car dependence is used in a variety of different ways in transport research (Mattioli et al. forthcoming).

  5. 5.

    However, this conclusion crucially depends on the assumption that workplaces and services are strongly concentrated in inner cities. Where this does not apply, as in American cities, the inner city poor suffer from a spatial mismatch between housing and job opportunities, as well as from an automobile mismatch, whereby they are unable to afford the cars required to access them (Taylor and Ong 1995).

  6. 6.

    See e.g. http://womo.mvv-muenchen.de/, http://womo-rechner.hamburg.de/, www.e-mob.fr, http://www.mobilitaetsausweis.at/.

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Mattioli, G., Colleoni, M. (2016). Transport Disadvantage, Car Dependence and Urban Form. In: Pucci, P., Colleoni, M. (eds) Understanding Mobilities for Designing Contemporary Cities. Research for Development. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22578-4_10

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