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The paradox of intensification

  • Melia, Steve
  • Parkhurst, Graham
  • Barton, Hugh
Registered author(s):

    Urban intensification as part of a smart growth strategy can facilitate low-energy transport modes and reduce overall car use, with benefits to the global environment, but evidence suggests the effect will be less than proportional. Hence, in locations where intensification occurs, greater concentrations of traffic tend to occur, and this worsens local environmental conditions. This phenomenon is defined below as the 'paradox of intensification'. The consequent challenges for planners and policymakers, which arise, are considered. The analysis suggests that a compromise involving limited intensification would merely redistribute the balance between the two sets of problems: global and local. It is concluded that urban intensification should be accompanied by more radical measures to constrain traffic generation within intensified areas.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 46-52

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:46-52
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    1. Handy, Susan & Cao, Xinyu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "Correlation or causality between the built environment and travel behavior? Evidence from Northern California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5b76c5kg, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What Affects Commute Mode Choice: Neighborhood Physical Structure or Preferences Toward Neighborhoods?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4nq9r1c9, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Yusak Susilo & Kees Maat, 2007. "The influence of built environment to the trends in commuting journeys in the Netherlands," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(5), pages 589-609, September.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Brownstone, David & Golob, Thomas F., 2009. "The impact of residential density on vehicle usage and energy consumption," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 91-98, January.
    6. Dominic Stead, 2001. "Relationships between land use, socioeconomic factors, and travel patterns in Britain," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(4), pages 499-528, July.
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