The Socioeconomic Equity Dimensions of a Transition in Suburban Motor Vehicle Fuel and Technology

  • Jago DodsonEmail author
  • Terry Li
  • Neil Sipe
Part of the Theory and Practice of Urban Sustainability Transitions book series (TPUST)


This chapter investigates the social and spatial equity implications of a transition to high fuel efficiency fossil-fuel vehicles or to non-fossil-fuelled vehicles for urban travel in Australian cities. The chapter draws on empirical work undertaken by the authors that reveals that the advantages of high fuel-efficient vehicles will largely be disproportionately captured by wealthier households. Given the spatial structure of Australian cities, these households also typically reside in areas well served by public transport and where cycling and walking are relatively more prevalent. The consequences of this connection between technology, socioeconomic patterns and urban structure are that a transition to high fuel-efficient vehicles will likely have adverse socioeconomic consequences for highly car-dependent low income households in the outer suburbs of Australian cities. Policy that can better manage the transition to a lower carbon urban transport system through more systemic reform than market-led vehicle fuel efficiency improvements will be needed if we are to avoid regressive socioeconomic outcomes. The chapter will place this discussion within the context of the wider transitions literature.


Mobility Transport Socioeconomic equity Fuel efficiency Suburbs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Urban Research, RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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