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Sustainable Development of Urban Mobility through Active Travel and Public Transport

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 25430

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
Interests: individual perspectives; perceived accessibility; walkability; sustainable travel; wellbeing

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Guest Editor
Research Group Mobilities and Space, ILS Research gGmbH, Dortmund, Germany
Interests: walkability; urban mobility; urban design; public sapce; trans-European transport networks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A sustainable development of urban transportation relies on our ability to offer citizens reliant and attractive alternatives to car travel, such as efficient and appealing public transport services, alongside an urban environment that is stimulating for active travel alternatives, such as walking and cycling. Traditionally, transportation research and planning has focused on optimizing the efficiency of urban transport systems, relying heavily on travel times and costs as the main drivers for making public transport systems attractive to citizens. Active travel modes have only recently been given an apposite focus in urban mobility research, and still there is much to learn about how we can better understand and promote integrated urban and transport planning in order to enhance liveable and attractive travel environments that encourage multiple types of sustainable travel behaviour. Moreover, when planning and designing active and public transport systems within existing and complex urban environments, we also need to take into consideration the diversity of citizens living in these areas. Thus, a greater focus on the needs and priorities of different travelers is necessary for a successful and all-inclusive sustainable transport system that encourages sustainable travel behaviour.

The focus of this Special Issue is to illuminate insights into successful and innovative solutions and developments of urban mobility towards a transition to sustainable travel by active or/and public transport modes. We welcome high-standard original empirical papers, including case studies, methodological papers, and review papers that shed a light on current issues and solutions related to the development of urban mobility through active and public transport travel, such as exploring factors promoting active and public transport behaviour, urban mobility related to individual perceptions, planning practices, the built environment design or the transport system or mode per se. Studies including underresearched areas and/or vulnerable populations are especially encouraged. We also welcome interdisciplinary perspectives. The recent increase in active travel—much due to the COVID-19 pandemic—also brings up new important questions regarding key factors of travel mode choice towards sustainable travel behaviour and of new ways of living in close proximity to home.

Potential topics of the Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Promotors for active travel behaviour;
  • Active and public transport planning;
  • Land-use development and urban design;
  • Accessibility and equity in urban sustainable mobility;
  • Walkability and bikeability in urban environments;
  • Urban form and sustainable transport;
  • Urban and transport-related social outcomes such as wellbeing and quality of life.

This Special Issue will contribute to existing interdisciplinary knowledge on facilitators and consequences related to sustainable urban mobility and liveable built environments.

Dr. Katrin Lättman
Dr. Noriko Otsuka
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 2400 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

  • urban mobility
  • travel behaviour
  • active travel
  • public transport
  • interdisciplinary perspectives
  • accessibility
  • walkability
  • bikeability

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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8 pages, 204 KiB  
Editorial
Sustainable Development of Urban Mobility through Active Travel and Public Transport
by Katrin Lättman and Noriko Otsuka
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020534 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1456
Abstract
A sustainable development of urban transportation relies on our ability to offer citizens reliant and attractive alternatives to car travel, such as efficient and appealing public transport (PT) services, alongside an urban environment that is stimulating for active travel alternatives, such as walking [...] Read more.
A sustainable development of urban transportation relies on our ability to offer citizens reliant and attractive alternatives to car travel, such as efficient and appealing public transport (PT) services, alongside an urban environment that is stimulating for active travel alternatives, such as walking and cycling [...] Full article

Research

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16 pages, 1950 KiB  
Article
The Healthy and Sustainable City—Influences of the Built Environment on Active Travel
by Kerstin Kopal and Dirk Wittowsky
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914655 - 09 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
The city’s built environment and functionality play a crucial role in shaping individual mobility patterns, impacting the overall health and quality of life of its population. Understanding these influences is an important research topic, making it a central focus of this paper. This [...] Read more.
The city’s built environment and functionality play a crucial role in shaping individual mobility patterns, impacting the overall health and quality of life of its population. Understanding these influences is an important research topic, making it a central focus of this paper. This study aims to identify the factors responsible for promoting healthy mobility behavior. To address this comprehensively, a multidisciplinary empirical survey was developed based on the “Triad”—a model consisting of the built environment, mobility(-behavior), and public health. In addition to the evaluation of socio-demographic factors and activity radius mapping, statistical analyses like multiple linear regression were used. These statistical analyses allow the assessment of the impact of various independent variables on the promotion of healthy mobility behavior within urban settings. The multiple regression shows that the satisfaction with the accessibility of public transport and the sense of safety as a cyclist contribute to explaining the variation of healthy mobility. Furthermore, the satisfaction with walking in the neighborhood and the inhalation of exhaust fumes while walking also seem to have an impact. The results show the link between the Triad and make it clear that mobility planning and urban planning must take a more integrated approach to promote health and simultaneously protect the climate. Full article
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22 pages, 2981 KiB  
Article
Harnessing Systems Science and Co-Creation Techniques to Develop a Theory of Change towards Sustainable Transport
by Caitriona Corr, Niamh Murphy and Barry Lambe
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14633; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914633 - 09 Oct 2023
Viewed by 986
Abstract
Integrated transport and land-use planning and reduced car dependency proffers a pathway to mobility justice and reduced transport poverty, whilst providing opportunities for potential health benefits and reducing carbon emissions. In spite of this, smaller cities and towns face opposition to the reallocation [...] Read more.
Integrated transport and land-use planning and reduced car dependency proffers a pathway to mobility justice and reduced transport poverty, whilst providing opportunities for potential health benefits and reducing carbon emissions. In spite of this, smaller cities and towns face opposition to the reallocation of road space away from the private car. Traditionally, transport measures have been responsive to growing car-use. To accelerate a behavioural shift to sustainable modes, an evidence-based, transformative approach is required that is consultative in nature, and inclusive of all relevant stakeholders and nurtures innovation. The study aims to achieve this by co-creating a theory of change, with a broad group of stakeholders and the community. Systems science and co-creation techniques were utilised to enable informed decision-making and foster shared learning, resulting in a theory of change formulated by stakeholders with a shared vision. Sixteen objectives were identified under five broad categories, create sustainable systems; design healthy built environments; engage society; empower people and prioritise road safety, informed by the systems-based framework Global Action Plan on Physical Activity. Assumptions, risks and key performance indicators were key elements of the theory of change. Risks identified for successful implementation of the plan were lack of funding and human resources to deliver actions, political challenges, lengthy planning processes, entrenched social norms and resistance from the community. This process, which was adopted, synthesises scientific evidence, a participatory systems approach, informed decision making and the practical application of the embedded researcher, resulting in a pragmatic theory of change to reduce car-dependency and create a shift to sustainable travel modes. The process highlights the importance of stakeholder and community engagement, from participatory mapping of the system to the development of the theory of change to generate local solutions to identified challenges. The resulting theory of change will form the basis of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Kilkenny City. The theory of change can be adapted to new settings by the participatory processes outlined. Full article
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17 pages, 897 KiB  
Article
Transport Planning beyond Infrastructural Change: An Empirical Analysis of Transport Planning Practices in the Rhine-Main Region in Germany
by Paula Quentin, Jost Buscher and Thomas Eltner
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310025 - 25 Jun 2023
Viewed by 992
Abstract
The transport system in Germany is characterised by a dominance of individual automobility. Acknowledging the necessity of a transition in the transport sector towards a more equal and sustainable transport system, the paper takes a closer look at how local and regional transport [...] Read more.
The transport system in Germany is characterised by a dominance of individual automobility. Acknowledging the necessity of a transition in the transport sector towards a more equal and sustainable transport system, the paper takes a closer look at how local and regional transport planning actually responds to the demands of the transition. Following a practice theoretical approach, the empirical analysis of local and regional transportation planning in the Rhine-Main region aims at an understanding of planning actions that go beyond infrastructural and technological change. Based on document analysis and interviews, the analysis highlights spatial and material changes promoted by transport planning, normative aims, and assumptions followed by transport planning and skills and competencies supporting transport planning in the Rhine-Main region. The paper identifies two overarching transport planning practices that shape the way the transport transition is addressed in the Rhine-Main region: the expansion of sustainable transport networks and the redistribution of road space. The empirical results are discussed with regard to the potential for change in local and regional transport planning. Full article
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12 pages, 4162 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Improvement of Public Transport in Hillside Cities Considering the Impact of Topography on Walking Choices
by Gen Hayauchi, Ryo Ariyoshi, Takayuki Morikawa and Fumihiko Nakamura
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129571 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
This study examines the benefits of considering topography in the implementation of public transport systems and improving mobility in a hillside district in Yokohama, Japan. It studies the relationship between the improvement and the actual use of the service. A multinomial logit model [...] Read more.
This study examines the benefits of considering topography in the implementation of public transport systems and improving mobility in a hillside district in Yokohama, Japan. It studies the relationship between the improvement and the actual use of the service. A multinomial logit model that incorporates topography is developed to describe mode choice. Based on this model, utility-based accessibilities, which include topographical impact, are calculated, and the improvement resulting from the new service is analysed. The correlation between the improvement and the user’s log is also examined to verify their relationship and the impact of topographical factors, which are compared with and without the new service. The mode choice model revealed that topography had a negative impact on walking and bus egress trips, with a 1-m increase in topography corresponded to a 9.54-m walk. The utility-based accessibility approach accurately illustrated the impact of topography. The improvement of accessibility positively correlated with service use, which is further enhanced when considering the topography. These results demonstrate the impact of implementing the new service, highlight the importance of considering topography in hillside cities, and underscore the significance of the utility-based accessibility approach as a relevant methodology. Full article
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17 pages, 713 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Active Commuting to School in Sprawled Cities: The Case of Najran City, Saudi Arabia
by Saad AlQuhtani
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9562; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129562 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
An increased dependency on motorized modes of transportation has been noticed recently for school children commuting to school, while a major decline in walking to school has occurred. Dependency on motorized modes for commuting to school has many adverse consequences. This paper examines [...] Read more.
An increased dependency on motorized modes of transportation has been noticed recently for school children commuting to school, while a major decline in walking to school has occurred. Dependency on motorized modes for commuting to school has many adverse consequences. This paper examines determinants that can influence how children commute to schools for both boys and girls in all school stages in Najran City. Data of morning school commutes were analyzed using a multinomial logit model (MLM). Analytical results indicate that about 37% of students live at a distance of more than 2 km from school, and only 16% live within 500 m of their schools. Almost half of the respondents own more than one car. Regarding walking to school, only 19% of students walk to school, while the rest use motorized modes when commuting to school. The results of MLM show that boys are more likely to walk to school than girls. In addition, age and unemployed family members have a positive relationship with students’ odds of walking while owning cars, income, employed parents, parent education, and distance to school have a negative association with the likelihood of walking to schools. A shortage and uneven distribution of schools, lack of pedestrian infrastructure, and the higher dependency on private drivers can be considered the most important barriers to walking to schools. Thus, responsible agencies must add more schools to reduce the distance between homes and schools, implement safe, paved, and shaded pedestrian sidewalks, and educate students about walking benefits and safety principles. Full article
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18 pages, 1501 KiB  
Article
A Review of the Promotion of Sustainable Mobility of Workers by Industries
by Julio César dos Santos, Paulo Ribeiro and Ricardo Jorge Silva Bento
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8508; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118508 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
The evolution and growth of cities present considerable challenges to the promotion of sustainable mobility, namely in commuting trips. In the present and recent past, many industries and companies of the economy’s productive sector have had to move as far as possible from [...] Read more.
The evolution and growth of cities present considerable challenges to the promotion of sustainable mobility, namely in commuting trips. In the present and recent past, many industries and companies of the economy’s productive sector have had to move as far as possible from urban areas, to minimize the impact of their activities on people’s health and quality of life. In more dispersed and low-density territories, working and residential areas are very far from each other, and there is typically poor public transport service and a lack of cycling networks for commuting purposes. This scenario encourages the use of private automobiles, not only as a necessity but also often as an obligation, making the mobility system nearly unsustainable. Therefore, it has become clear that companies can play an important role in promoting more sustainable mobility by reducing car use on commuting trips and by offering employees clean and more efficient transport alternatives to promote workers’ well-being and quality of life. Through an extensive literature review, a selection of scientific articles in the last 13 years was analyzed and discussed. The results highlighted that the location of industrial areas, the supply of public transport, the usage of active modes, and shared mobility systems are key factors to reduce car usage in workers’ commuting trips. Therefore, any sustainable mobility strategies that companies adopt will minimize the respective negative externalities, helping promote more environment-friendly ways of transportation, accessibility, social equity, and inclusion in workers’ communities. This justifies the need and urgency for the development of specific sustainable mobility plans oriented for companies/industries, instead of addressing this as just another element of a conventional urban mobility plan. Since this mobility represents a high volume of trips, repeated according to very regular patterns, it must be sustainability-oriented, allowing the improvement of system, trip, and vehicle efficiency. Full article
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23 pages, 8032 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Evaluation of Walkability in Historical Cities: The Case of Xi’an and Kyoto
by Kun Yuan, Hirokazu Abe, Noriko Otsuka, Kensuke Yasufuku and Akira Takahashi
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065525 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2471
Abstract
Walkability is an important indicator of sustainable urban development, especially in fragmented historical blocks affected by modern development efforts. Xi’an, China, and Kyoto, Japan, which are among the oldest cities in Asia, have similar historical backgrounds and a grid-based street network that differs [...] Read more.
Walkability is an important indicator of sustainable urban development, especially in fragmented historical blocks affected by modern development efforts. Xi’an, China, and Kyoto, Japan, which are among the oldest cities in Asia, have similar historical backgrounds and a grid-based street network that differs from European historical cities. They also have their own distinctive development characteristics. This study uses a novel quantitative approach to identify areas for improvement in the historical built environment of the two cities that, as part of an overall effort to create a pedestrian-friendly urban center, will promote and facilitate walking activities. The proposed method combines macro- and micro-aspects to identify factors that can either improve or hinder the walking environment. It was found that to ensure a walkable environment in its historical blocks, Xi’an will need to consider the potential negative impact on walkability as it pursues increased modernization. The built environment and the infrastructure of its streets need to be improved, and its historical streetscape and vegetation characteristics need to be maintained. As for Kyoto, to ensure a favorable walking environment, the focus should be on improving the vitality of its streets. Full article
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13 pages, 867 KiB  
Article
The Path to Sustainable and Equitable Mobility: Defining a Stakeholder-Informed Transportation System
by Rita Prior Filipe, Andrew Heath and Nick McCullen
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15950; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315950 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
A transportation system should be designed considering the relevant stakeholders’ needs for a fundamental transformation in travelling behaviour. This research aims to contribute to that by characterising the future network in response to the stakeholders’ requirements, using a systematic literature review paired with [...] Read more.
A transportation system should be designed considering the relevant stakeholders’ needs for a fundamental transformation in travelling behaviour. This research aims to contribute to that by characterising the future network in response to the stakeholders’ requirements, using a systematic literature review paired with a grounded theory approach. Out of 39 reviewed publications, 13 transportation indicators were clustered into six dimensions representing stakeholders’ requirements for the transportation system. These results depict a stakeholder-informed land transportation system as a system of accessible and integrated mode services, which should be supported by policy and infrastructure, economically balanced, socially, and environmentally sustainable and rely on mobility-dedicated assisting features. Further research is proposed on (1) adapting these results to the legal, social, economic, and environmental contexts and (2) the ability of MaaS scenarios to answer the collected dimensions. This research is crucial to determine the areas of focus of a stakeholder-designed transportation system and to frame them in the mobility ecosystem, both individually and interlinked. Furthermore, its originality lies in (1) the application of this methodology to collect, analyse, and define a set of mobility investment priorities, and (2) the recognition of the relevant stakeholders in mobility considering their diverse perspectives and needs. Full article
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20 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
How Do Psychosocial Barriers Shape Public Transport Use? A Mixed-Method Study among Older Adults in Pakistan
by Muhammad Ahmad Al-Rashid, Muhammad Nadeem, Tiziana Campisi, Yong Adilah Shamsul Harumain and Hong Ching Goh
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912471 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
Transport can significantly contribute to independent and healthy ageing, but in Pakistan—as in various other countries across the globe—many older adults are dependent on others. Age-sensitive transport environments are crucial for generating positive experiences among older adults. Notably, psychosocial experiences significantly impact public [...] Read more.
Transport can significantly contribute to independent and healthy ageing, but in Pakistan—as in various other countries across the globe—many older adults are dependent on others. Age-sensitive transport environments are crucial for generating positive experiences among older adults. Notably, psychosocial experiences significantly impact public transport use. Thus, a thorough understanding of these psychological influences on public transport accessibility can encourage walkability and independent mobility. In the present research, we combine different data into a mixed-method study to investigate the psychosocial barriers to public transport use by older adults for daily travel in Lahore, Pakistan. The data include a questionnaire survey (319 older adults), semi-structured interviews (11 older adults), structured interviews with four experts and an analysis of relevant national-, provincial-, and district-level strategies and transport plans. The findings show how poorly perceived social norms, negative emotional responses, and perceived difficulty are significant barriers to using public transport services among older adults. Moreover, the existing transport plans and documents do not favour and cater to such psychosocial issues. Several strategic interventions that could promote walkability and public transport use are suggested. It includes activating social norms, raising awareness and information, providing social support, improving walking infrastructure and public transport services, pricing mechanisms, and offering specialised services. These initiatives, however, necessitate coordination among government authorities at the national, provincial, and district levels. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 5455 KiB  
Review
Bibliometric Analysis of Spatial Accessibility from 1999–2022
by Hong Zhu, Jin Li, Zhenjie Yuan and Jie Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13399; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813399 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Spatial accessibility is an essential manifestation of social equity and spatial planning. However, when examining spatial accessibility, systematic review studies dominate the literature, with fewer studies employing evaluative and relational bibliometric approaches. Thus, to provide a comprehensive overview of spatial accessibility research from [...] Read more.
Spatial accessibility is an essential manifestation of social equity and spatial planning. However, when examining spatial accessibility, systematic review studies dominate the literature, with fewer studies employing evaluative and relational bibliometric approaches. Thus, to provide a comprehensive overview of spatial accessibility research from 1999 to 2022, the works of literature referenced and analyzed by the Web of Science during 1999–2022 were analyzed: bibliometrics and scientific mapping methods using R software, the biblioshiny web program, tidyverse (ggplot2), and VOSviewer. The analysis results indicate a significant increase in the number of research papers addressing spatial accessibility throughout the research period accompanied by a continuous expansion of the research area. Collaboration and research endeavors among countries in this domain have deepened, leading to a continual improvement in the quality of papers. In addition, influential journals, authors, and articles in the field of spatial accessibility were also counted. New data, methods, and technology will become substantially more critical in accessibility research. Full article
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32 pages, 1306 KiB  
Review
How Do Urban Walking Environments Impact Pedestrians’ Experience and Psychological Health? A Systematic Review
by Catherine Sundling and Marianne Jakobsson
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10817; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410817 - 10 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2767
Abstract
Daily walks are recommended for health gains, and walkable urban environments are recommended as one strategy to combat climate change. Evidence of the relationship between physical environments and psychological health is increasing. The aim of this study was to systematically review and compile [...] Read more.
Daily walks are recommended for health gains, and walkable urban environments are recommended as one strategy to combat climate change. Evidence of the relationship between physical environments and psychological health is increasing. The aim of this study was to systematically review and compile evidence regarding micro-scale characteristics in urban outdoor environments that impacted pedestrian short-term experience and/or long-term psychological health. The databases ScienceDirect, Scopus, PubMed, PsychInfo, and Google Scholar were used. To explore the area, a large heterogeneity in publications was allowed; therefore, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. From 63 publications, data items were extracted from full text and categorized according to the main study characteristics. Environmental characteristics impacting pedestrians psychologically were identified and categorized into themes: grey, green, blue, and white areas, and weather, temporalities, topography, person factors, and safety. Environmental factors were analyzed from the perspective of the circumplex model of human affect (negative/positive dimensions and activation/deactivation). The findings included the fact that urban pedestrians need both positively activating and deactivating (restorative) areas during walkabouts. Perceived safety is essential for experiencing the positive aspects of urban environments. Some characteristics interact differently or have different importance for health in different groups. To further develop research on pedestrian environments, psychological experiences should be included. Full article
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22 pages, 1951 KiB  
Review
Perceived Accessibility and Key Influencing Factors in Transportation
by Elmira Jamei, Melissa Chan, Hing Wah Chau, Eric Gaisie and Katrin Lättman
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10806; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710806 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4517
Abstract
Accessibility is commonly assessed using indicators calculated from spatial data. Comparatively perceived accessibility cannot be adequately reflected by these calculated measures because it involves the perception to participate in spatially dispersed opportunities. This highlights the need to understand and consider perceived accessibility for [...] Read more.
Accessibility is commonly assessed using indicators calculated from spatial data. Comparatively perceived accessibility cannot be adequately reflected by these calculated measures because it involves the perception to participate in spatially dispersed opportunities. This highlights the need to understand and consider perceived accessibility for planning and evaluation of transport systems from a complementary perspective. Therefore, this study aims to offer a systematic review concerning the interpretations of perceived accessibility in transport, its concept, major social drivers, barriers, evaluation methods and key influencing factors. This review also highlights the importance of perceived safety and service quality in public transport and their relationship with perceived accessibility in daily travel. The paper argues that perceived accessibility with due consideration of perceived safety and service quality will contribute to the development from mobility-based to accessibility-based planning. Full article
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