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Handbook to reach a sustainable transport paradigm


Exploring the need for a sustainable transport paradigm, which has been sought after by local and national authorities internationally over the last 30 years, this illuminating and timely handbook offers insights into how this can be secured more broadly and what it may involve, as well as the challenges that the sustainable transport approach faces.

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The Handbook of Sustainable Transport is edited by Carey Curtis, who is Professor of City Planning and Transport at Curtin University, Australia, and guest researcher at the Unit for Human Geography at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg. The Handbook offers readers a holistic understanding of the paradigm by drawing on a wide range of research and relevant case studies that showcase where the principles of sustainable transport have been implemented. Its 47 chapters cover a wide range of interesting and current topics in the field of mobilities and spatial planning.

Erik Elldér and Anders Larsson, both Associate professors in Human Geography at the University of Gothenburg have contributed with a chapter each.

To travel, or not to travel? Telecommuting, teleshopping, and avoiding the need to travel

Erik Elldér

This chapter outlines travel-based activities with potential for ICT-based substitution, summarizes the results of empirical studies, and reflects on the potential contribution to sustainable transport policy and planning. It aims to give a nuanced examination of substitution effects by detailing the circumstances in which the substitution potential of ICT is and is not triggered. Activities for which the empirical evidence leans towards substitution effects are commuting to work and school, telemedicine, telebanking, and several other services. Common to these activities are that they are often done of necessity, and not for pleasure. Some studies have also illustrated how telecommuting makes room for increased cycling and active travel. But care should be taken when applying policies that encourage ICT-based substitution as there are also circumstances and activities when ICT risks generating additional travel, such as shopping and leisure trips.

Integrating land use and transport: understanding the dynamics of proximity

Anders Larsson

This article compares the views of planners and citizens regarding what is important to have located near the place of residence. The concepts of sustainable accessibility and proximity is used to put focus on the individual and her everyday life. The analysis draws on a series of workshops with planners and a specific survey on proximity. The results indicate that planners and citizens agree that grocery shopping is the most important local service/function to have near the home. One mismatch between planners’ and citizens’ views can be found in the way planners fail to identify proximity to nature as a key function. One conclusion is that planning processes should ensure that discussions are held based on a common language, for example with accessibility in the centre since it provides a devise for a much-needed integration and shift of focus towards the social and the human scale.