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Urban transport, pedestrian mobility and social justice: a GIS analysis of the case of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area

Anciães, Paulo Rui (2011) Urban transport, pedestrian mobility and social justice: a GIS analysis of the case of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

Urban transport projects redistribute accessibility and environmental quality across the city, potentially creating disadvantages for some social groups. This thesis investigates whether these effects are cumulative or compensatory in the case of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, analysing inequalities in the light of competing principles of social justice. The novelty of this research lies in the interpretation of local environmental effects as factors restraining the mobility of pedestrians. We propose a series of GIS-based indicators, including community severance and noise exposure of pedestrians on the way to work and walking around their neighbourhoods. We found that projects giving priority to private transport have a disproportionate effect on the pedestrian environment of the elderly and low-qualified populations. The analysis addresses two of the most pressing issues in transport equity analysis. The first is the spatial heterogeneity in patterns of inequality. We estimate relationships between socio-economic variables and indicators of the local effects of transport using alternative comparison areas, defined in terms of centrality and commuting destinations. We found that the social distribution of those effects is sensitive to location and spatial scale. The second issue is the nature of the processes leading to inequalities. We show that accessibility and pedestrian mobility have an influence on neighbourhood socio-economic recomposition and on patterns of settlement in newly developed areas. We also analyse the implications of integrating distributive concerns in transport planning. In the design of the optimal route alignment for a new road, these concerns may increase aggregate community severance costs. In the application of traffic restriction policies, there are trade-offs between the welfare of different groups of concern in terms of time to work and pedestrian exposure to noise. In both cases, the achievement of equity may not be compatible with the party-political interests of the policy-maker.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Paulo Rui Anciães
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Atkinson, Giles
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/142

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