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Special Issue "Urban Mobility and Active Transport Transition"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 2999

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ioanna Spyropoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Zografou, Greece
Interests: traffic engineering; intelligent transport studies; traveler behavior; active transport
Prof. Dr. Aoife Ahern
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
Interests: sustainable transport; transport exclusion; public transport; active transport
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Houshmand Masoumi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Center for Technology and Society, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
2. Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
Interests: urban travel behavior research; urban land-use/transportation interactions and modeling; human perceptions, lifestyles, and preferences regarding mobility; residential location choices; urban sprawl and travel behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 1960s and 1970s, car ownership was an indicator of wealth and was limited to households with significant disposable income. Technological advances and economic growth increased car ownership, with the majority of households in developed countries owning at least one car. To cater to issues relevant to car use, transportation planners and practitioners suggested the design and construction of new roads. The transportation system became car-centric, forming a car-dependent population in urban areas. The effects of congestion, traffic accidents, urban sprawl, and environmental pollution caused a shift in national policies. The term “integrated”, introduced in the 1980s, was replaced by the term “sustainable” in the 2000s, while today, researchers and policy and decision makers seek to create smart, equitable, and green cities. A major component of such cities is active transport, i.e., walking and cycling. The benefits of its uptake for utilitarian, but also for recreational trips include congestion reduction, improved safety, energy, pollution and cost reduction, and physical and mental health improvement. The question is whether the transition to active transport has been realized in urban areas in an effective manner. In particular, have cities been promoting active transport, and to what extent has it been adopted by travelers?

The scope of this Special Issue is to shed light on how the transition toward active transport in urban mobility can be realized for the citizens of urban areas. Case studies displaying the successful transition to active modes, utilizing data that demonstrate this effect, are of interest. In addition, examples demonstrating the failure of a society to promote active transport modes and highlighting the reasons behind this failure are also highly relevant. Comparative studies between success and failure stories are considered to be highly instructive.

A significant element considering the design of active transport is that it should be all-inclusive. The majority of studies, however, consider the population of healthy adults. Within this issue, studies focusing on different traveler categories, as opposed to only healthy adults, are invited. Examples include adolescents, elderly citizens, individuals with impairments, immigrants, and so on.

Contributory factors promoting active transport relevant to the built environment, trip characteristics and individual perceptions, attitudes, and sociodemographic characteristics have been thoroughly explored, providing an overview of active-transport-friendly environments and travelers. However, during the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, a substantial increase in active transport modes was observed, even in hostile environments where citizens normally use their private car. This indicates that other factors, in addition to the ones already established, relevant to a hectic lifestyle and the stress levels that it entails may be more important when it comes to mode choice. Studies contributing to our broader understanding of what the key elements are considering urban mobility and the transition to active transport, elaborating the new status quo, are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Ioanna Spyropoulou
Prof. Dr. Aoife Ahern
Prof. Dr. Houshmand Masoumi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • active transport
  • green transport
  • walking
  • cycling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
The Land Use and Individual Correlates of Pedestrian Commuting: Who Walks to Their Work or Place of Study in the Large Cities of the MENA Region?
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106377 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 441
Abstract
The body of research on the determinants of pedestrian commuting and the characteristics of on-foot commuters at the international level and especially in the Global South is inconsistent; hence, this study focuses on this topic with the case of megacities in the Middle [...] Read more.
The body of research on the determinants of pedestrian commuting and the characteristics of on-foot commuters at the international level and especially in the Global South is inconsistent; hence, this study focuses on this topic with the case of megacities in the Middle East and North Africa. The study is based on 8284 face-to-face interviews with respondents in the three cities, 4543 of whom worked, and of those 4543, 658 individuals walked to their work or place of study. By using binary logistic regression, the determinants of walking to work were identified. Age, household car ownership, last relocation time, intersection density, number of accessed facilities from home, average walking accessibility to neighborhood amenities, and commuting distance are the significant determinants of on-foot commuting. The study identifies younger commuters with fewer cars or no driving license living in neighborhoods with connected street networks as the walkers. The results of the Mann–Whitney U Test show that there is a significant difference between the values of these determinants for walking commuters and those who commute by other modes. Based on these findings, this paper encourages urban planners and decision-makers of the MENA region to use urban land use, including street networks and access to local facilities, to motivate commuters to commute on foot, especially those who work within a walkable distance to their work or place of study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mobility and Active Transport Transition)
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Article
The Determinants of Walking Behavior before and during COVID-19 in Middle-East and North Africa: Evidence from Tabriz, Iran
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3923; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073923 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 557
Abstract
To support the global strategy to raise public health through walking among adults, we added the evidence on predictors of walking behavior in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by emphasizing the mediator—COVID-19. During the COVID-19 outbreak, public restrictions to encompass [...] Read more.
To support the global strategy to raise public health through walking among adults, we added the evidence on predictors of walking behavior in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by emphasizing the mediator—COVID-19. During the COVID-19 outbreak, public restrictions to encompass the spread of the disease have disrupted normal daily lifestyles, including physical activity and sedentary behavior. It was proposed that tremendous changes have occurred on predictors of physical activity in general and walking behavior in particular for three types of walking, including commute, non-commute, and social walking compared to pre-COVID-19 time. This study aimed to identify the determinants of the walking types mentioned above, including subjective and objective variables before COVID-19, and compare them during the COVID-19 period in a sample from Iran, which has not yet been addressed in previous research. Adults (N = 603) finalized an online survey between June 5 and July 15, 2021. This group reported their individual/socioeconomic locations (e.g., home/work) and perception features before and during COVID-19. The paper developed six Binary Logistic (BL) regression models, with two models for each walking type (commute, non-commute, and social walking). For commute trips before COVID-19, the findings showed that factors including BMI, residential duration, p. (perceived) neighborhood type, p. distance to public transport stations and job/university places, p. sidewalks quality, p. facilities attractiveness, p. existence of shortcut routes, commute distance, building density and distance to public transport were correlated with commute walking. At the same time, such associations were not observed for BMI, p. distance to public transport and job/university places, p. facilities attractiveness, building density, and distance to public transport during COVID-19. The variables include age, possession of a driving license, number of family members, p. neighborhood type, p. distance to grocery, restaurant, parking, and mall, p. existence of sidewalks, land-use mix, and distance to public transport indicated correlations with non-commute before COVID-19. However, p. distance to groceries and malls and the p. existence of sidewalks did not correlate with non-commute walking during COVID-19. Ultimately for social walking, age and income variables, and the considerable proportions of subjective variables (e.g., p. distance to services/land-uses, security, etc.), health status and building density were correlated with social walking before COVID-19. Nevertheless, most of the mentioned variables did not explicitly correlate with social walking during COVID-19. As for the implication of our study, apparently, special actions will be needed by urban authorities to encourage adults to enhance their walkability levels by fully considering both objective and subjective indicators and walking types, which will result in healthier lifestyles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mobility and Active Transport Transition)
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Article
A European-Wide Study on the Effects of the COVID-19 Threat on Active Transport Modes
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063482 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 449
Abstract
In the past year and a half, we have been forced to make many major changes which, besides other issues, have led to considerable changes in transport mode choices. While we observed an increase in the share of cars as a mode of [...] Read more.
In the past year and a half, we have been forced to make many major changes which, besides other issues, have led to considerable changes in transport mode choices. While we observed an increase in the share of cars as a mode of transport, we also observed an increase in the level of engagement in other active mobility modes, such as walking and cycling. Relevant literature shows that although the restrictions adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic have effects on people’s mobility behaviour, they can be viewed as a catalyst for positive changes as far as active forms of mobility are concerned. This work focuses on the thorough understanding of the changes in citizens’ needs and attitudes toward mobility and transport mode choice during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach this aim, we analysed the responses to an interview consisting of eight open-ended questions about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic threat and situation of citizens in selected European countries and Russia. In total, 497 respondents participated by responding to an online questionnaire. The conclusions of this study confirmed that active traffic modes could benefit from the momentum generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this can only happen if appropriate preconditions can be provided, which is not the case so far. To prevent a massive return of private motorised vehicles into urban centres, we must focus on support for active traffic modes, specifically on the improvement of the preconditions, especially as far as traffic infrastructure is concerned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mobility and Active Transport Transition)
Article
Students’ and Parents’ Perceptions of Barriers to Cycling to School—An Analysis by Gender
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313213 - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Internationally, there is increased emphasis on the need to reduce dependency on cars and to encourage more sustainable forms of travel, including active travel. To encourage increased levels of cycling, the focus has generally been on improving cycling infrastructure and on making cycling [...] Read more.
Internationally, there is increased emphasis on the need to reduce dependency on cars and to encourage more sustainable forms of travel, including active travel. To encourage increased levels of cycling, the focus has generally been on improving cycling infrastructure and on making cycling safer. While cycling rates have increased in many countries, including Ireland, women are often less likely to cycle than men. While there are some notable exceptions to this (for example, in the Netherlands) this phenomenon of lower cycling rates amongst women is common and research shows that the differences between male and female cycling rates can be seen from an early age. This paper explores the reasons why women are less likely to cycle than men, by examining the modal choices of school-going students, and the attitudes of their parents/guardians to their modal choices. The survey was conducted in the city of Limerick in the midwestern region of Ireland. The results show multi-factorial barriers to cycling to school for girls compared to boys. Uniforms, traffic concerns, physical efforts of cycling, effects on personal appearance, and peer-influences were factors affecting girls more than boys. Male parents/guardians did not significantly differentiate by the gender of their children in relation to factors associated with cycling to school, unlike female parents/guardians who were found to be significantly less supportive of their daughters than their sons. Additionally, parents/guardians were generally more likely to afford their male children greater independence in their school travel choices. While there are many considerations that would affect students’ perceptions towards cycling, an adjustment to the school uniform policy would, at least, remove the most significant barrier for girls. Further research must be carried out to determine how to shift the perceptions of the efforts associated with cycling, especially among girls, and how to encourage female parents/guardians to better support their daughters to cycle to school. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Mobility and Active Transport Transition)
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