Accessibility Instruments in Planning Practice

Angela Hull (Editor), Cecilia Silva (Editor), Luca Bertolini (Editor)

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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    Accessibility is a fundamental attribute of a well-functioning city or urban region. In particular, the concept of accessibility provides a framework for understanding the reciprocal relationships between land use and mobility. Accessibility, however, encapsulates more than a measure of vehicle speed; it is a measure of opportunity or ease of access for people, with different attributes, to the activities they wish to engage in. The concept, thus, incorporates a focus on the proximity of origins to destinations, the concentration or spatiality of activities, the quality of mobility systems available to overcome spatial separation, and the perceptions, interests and preferences of people who live and work there. Such a framework has important potential advantages when transferred to the realm of urban planning. However, despite the large number of accessibility instruments available in the literature, they are not widely used to support urban planning practices.
    This report represents a review of accessibility instruments and of the use of accessibility concerns in planning practice. It starts with an overview of the concepts and theory concerning the measurement of accessibility followed by a review accessibility concerns and measurements in current planning practice. The report also provides a compendium of examples of accessibility planning instruments developed in several European Countries: the planning problem addressed by these instruments and how the instruments influence practitioners and decision-makers. It, thus, offers a detailed understanding and comparison of accessibility instruments across Europe and further afield in order to launch a wide debate on their purpose and operational detail and to foreground ways of improving their potential for use in practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBrussels
    PublisherCOST European Science Foundation
    Number of pages384
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • accessibility
    • tools and instruments
    • useful to planning practice


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