Town Planning Review

Re-thinking accessibility planning: A multi-layer conceptual framework and its policy implications

Town Planning Review (2007), 78, (4), 429–458.

Abstract

This paper examines the concept of accessibility using a set of analytical layers. The layers address the mobility, demand-related, temporal, perceptions-related and institutional features that influence accessibility levels. These can promote specific types of accessibility that decision-makers consider the most appropriate for the characteristics of each place or group of people. The paper reviews how accessibility has been addressed in the planning literature, and points to its flaws. An alternative perspective is proposed in which the analytical layers are used in a modified sequence. This reflects the complex processes associated with accessibility agendas. The proposed alternative use of the layers is held to promote accessibility which has a number of social and environmental repercussions. These are capable of inducing more sustainable and inclusive communities. Based on these claims the authors propose a policy shift for the accessibility planning paradigm.

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Ferreira, António

Batey, Peter