Modalities’ impact to urban structure
Wednesday, 6 November; 13;20
Urban structure has a pivotal impact in residents’ mobility choices. Dense urban structures where diverse functionalities prevail attract more walking and cycling, while longitudinal structures support efficient public transport and therefore transit usage. Low density areas increase the use of the car. The planning community has a good understanding of the underlying theory.
Mobility choices’ impact on urban structure is less discussed however. Empirical studies suggest that we are living in a time of hypermobility: in the last 5 decades the number of person kilometres travelled daily have increased drastically. In the same period the number of trips remain constant, suggesting that, while residents enjoy an increasing quantity and quality of mobility choices, they tend not to decrease the time spent daily on mobility. The growing land-use demand suggests that travellers chose activities ever further when mobility allows it.
In this presentation Peter will discuss how different transport modes impact the urban structure typology. Car use requires ample space before, during and after usage and therefore their users seek activities in less dense areas, enhancing urban sprawl. Transit use, leads to structured urban sprawl, often discussed as “transit-oriented development”. Cycling on the other hand tends to densify urban structures, thanks to energy utility of the users. The discussion ends with the description of the integrated bike-transit modality. Beside the positive effect to transit system efficiency and positive societal externalities, bike-transit improves urban topology, by enabling existing urban sprawls to organically develop new city centres.