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Accessible Cities and Regions: A Framework for Sustainable Transport and Urbanism in the 21st Century

This paper examines both the principle and analytical possibilities of accessibility as a platform for advancing sustainable transport and urbanism in coming years and decades. Experiences with accessibility planning are first reviewed, followed by a discussion of various measurement and analytical contexts. The paper then uses various policy contexts and case settings to probe the use of accessibility for addressing contemporary urban and regional transportation and land-use themes, including: inter-modal comparisons of job accessibility and their implications for social equity and welfare-to work transitions (San Diego County); measurement of benefits based on inter-modal jobaccessibility measurement and hedonic price modeling (San Diego County); bundling of transport and housing initiatives to promote efficient travel and redress social injustices and poor living (Bogotá, Colombia); changes in accessibility associated with residents moving to transit oriented developments (San Francisco Bay Area); and comparison of job and retail-service accessibility levels and factors that account for variations (San Francisco Bay Area). The influences of accessibility on car ownership rates are also explored. Together, these empirical investigations shed light on a breadth of policy themes that are highly relevant to the future of urban and regional transport: sustainability, economic efficiency, and distribution equity. The paper ends with a discussion of the broader public policy implication of the research findings.