Banister D, 1997, "Reducing the need to travel" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 24(3) 437 – 449
Download citation data in RIS format
Reducing the need to travel
Received 2 July 1996; in revised form 23 October 1996
Abstract. Most people value and enjoy the benefits that the use of their own car brings to their quality of life. These benefits are reflected in the increases in travel, the use of more resources, and the production of more pollution. However, this situation is not sustainable. In this paper the author argues the case for planning playing an instrumental role in achieving sustainability objectives in transport. It reviews the contributions that economics (pricing) and technological measures might have. The conclusion reached is that the scale of price increases required to achieve a reduction in car use will not be politically acceptable. Similarly, technological improvements may only give us a breathing space before more positive action is necessary. Even if the environmental problems created by the car are solved, there will always be the underlying problem of congestion. The only alternative is to travel shorter distances, to develop the potential for linking activities, and to use the car less -- this is where planning has a key role.
Three main actions are proposed to avoid the need to travel. The first is the implementation of a set of development principles through examining the role that density and settlement size might have on urban sustainability. This issue is particularly important given the current debate at all levels in the United Kingdom over housing allocations and the possibility of a new generation of new settlements. The second action explores the concept of the social audit and the social costs associated with the closure of existing facilities and the opening of new facilities, many of which are inaccessible to those without a car. There have been savings to the provider of the facility through economies of scale, but additional costs have been transferred to the users of these facilities. The social audit would examine all the costs and benefits of these decisions, with a view to subsidy to prevent closure and a tax on greenfield developments to help pay for the redevelopment of brownfield sites within urban areas. The third action is to create quality neighbourhoods in cities to maintain and promote communities with high enviromental quality and no congestion. It is only through maintaining and improving environmental quality that urban sustainability can be enhanced, as these locations must form the focus for development. They allow for the provision of clean public transport, they would promote walk and cycling, and they would reduce levels of car dependence.
Full-text PDF size: 1766 Kb
Your computer (IP address: 184.108.40.206) has not been recognised as being on a network authorised to view the full text or references of this article. This content is part of our deep back archive. If you are a member of a university library that has a subscription to the journal, please contact your serials librarian (subscriptions information).