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Costs of automobile dependence: Global survey of cities

Newman, P. and Kenworthy, J. (1999) Costs of automobile dependence: Global survey of cities. Transportation Research Record (1670). pp. 17-26.


Automobile dependence is assessed in terms of its direct and indirect costs for 37 global cities. The data show that cities with the most car use, road provision, and urban sprawl have the highest road expenditure, the least transit cost recovery, the most spent on commuting, the highest external costs from road deaths and emissions, and the largest proportion of city wealth going into transportation. As well, the newly developing Asian cities are showing that their automobile-oriented planning is proving to be costly in economic and environmental terms. The costs of automobile dependence in a globally competitive urban environment cannot be simply rationalized away due to apparent or perceived benefits of automobile-based lifestyles.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Science and Technology Policy
Publisher: US National Research Council
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