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Urban transport policy transfer: "bottom-up" and "top-down" perspectives


  • Timms, Paul


The paper provides insights into the urban transport policy transfer process, focusing particularly on the transfer of the transport policy within the EU. The themes of the paper are structured according to five of the "Dolowitz and Marsh questions": what is transferred?; why do actors engage in policy transfer?; who are the key actors involved in the policy transfer process?; from where are the lessons drawn?; and what restricts or facilitates the policy transfer process? The methodological approach taken for considering each question involves two steps. Firstly, a "bottom-up" step considers the views of policy transfer from a "city perspective", for which use is made of results from interviews recently carried out within the EU project "Transport Research Knowledge Centre" (TRKC). These interviews were intended to ascertain the information needs of seven "representatives" of European cities, all of whom were involved in the Cities Reference Group of the EU project "Citymobil". These seven cities have widely varying characteristics in terms of size and geographical location (across Europe). By discussing information needs, the interviewees provided many insights into the transport policy transfer process. Secondly, a "top-down" step considers the policy transfer questions from an "EU perspective'; use here is made of various transport policy documents published by the European Commission (EC). For each of the five questions, "bottom-up" and "top-down" perspectives are examined and compared. The final section of the paper draws conclusions, providing a number of recommendations to both city authorities and the EU on how urban transport policy transfer might be enhanced in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Timms, Paul, 2011. "Urban transport policy transfer: "bottom-up" and "top-down" perspectives," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 513-521, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:3:p:513-521

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harriet Bulkeley, 2006. "Urban sustainability: learning from best practice?," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(6), pages 1029-1044, June.
    2. Oliver James & Martin Lodge, 2003. "The Limitations of 'Policy Transfer' and 'Lesson Drawing' for Public Policy Research," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 1(2), pages 179-193.
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    Cited by:

    1. Börjesson, Maria & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Eliasson, Jonas, 2014. "Not invented here: Transferability of congestion charges effects," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 263-271.
    2. Maria Lindholm, 2013. "Urban freight transport from a local authority perspective – a literature review," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 54, pages 1-3.
    3. O’Dolan, Catriona & Rye, Tom, 2012. "An insight into policy transfer processes within an EU project and implications for future project design," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 273-283.


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