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Automobile dependence in cities: An international comparison of urban transport and land use patterns with implications for sustainability

Kenworthy, J.R. and Laube, F.B. (1996) Automobile dependence in cities: An international comparison of urban transport and land use patterns with implications for sustainability. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 16 (4-6). pp. 279-308.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0195-9255(96)00023-6
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Abstract

A comparison of global cities over the period 1980 to 1990 reveals large differences in automobile dependence with implications for the future sustainability of cities in different countries. Cities in the United States have accelerated dramatically in their dependence on the automobile between 1980 and 1990, whereas urban transit has remained at very low levels, though with some modest success stories. US cities in 1990 have levels of per capita auto use that are some two times higher than Australian cities, the next most auto-dependent cities in the study, and have transit use rates that are the lowest in the world by a significant margin. Toronto, European cities, and modern Asian cities on the other hand have experienced much smaller increases in automobile use with some very large increases in transit use; their car use remains much lower again than in US and Australian cities. Developing Asian cities such as Bangkok, while still at very low levels of auto use and high transit use by international standards, are experiencing rapid increases in automobile dependence, which is not explainable by rising incomes alone. This study explores some of the underlying land use, transport, and economic reasons for these different transport patterns. It briefly reviews what the sustainability agenda means for transport and land use patterns in cities and suggests a suite of targets or goals for sustainability by which cities might measure their current directions and plans.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Science and Technology Policy
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 1996 Elsevier Science lnc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19166
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