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Justice in transport as justice in accessibility: applying Walzer’s ‘Spheres of Justice’ to the transport sector

  • Karel Martens


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    This paper seeks to provide a theoretical basis for a distributive approach to transport. Using the theory developed by Michael Walzer in his ‘Spheres of Justice’ ( 1983 ), I argue that the transport good, defined as accessibility, should be distributed in a so-called separate sphere, i.e. independent from the way in which other key goods, like money or power, are allocated. I subsequently explore what kind of justice principle could guide the distribution of the transport good, once a separate sphere would be established. This preliminary exploration results in the elimination of a number of widely supported distributive principles, and in the tentative identification of a criterion matching the particularities of the transport good. The explorations in the paper are not intended as final answers, but rather seek to open the debate about the need for an explicit distributive transport policy and the distributive principle that should guide such a policy. Copyright The Author(s) 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Transportation.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 (November)
    Pages: 1035-1053

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:39:y:2012:i:6:p:1035-1053
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    1. Ihlanfeldt Keith R., 1993. "Intra-urban Job Accessibility and Hispanic Youth Employment Rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 254-271, March.
    2. Vincent Kaufmann & Manfred Max Bergman & Dominique Joye, 2004. "Motility: mobility as capital," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 745-756, December.
    3. Dong, Xiaojing & Ben-Akiva, Moshe E. & Bowman, John L. & Walker, Joan L., 2006. "Moving from trip-based to activity-based measures of accessibility," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 163-180, February.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    5. J Black & M Conroy, 1977. "Accessibility measures and the social evaluation of urban structure," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 9(9), pages 1013-1031, September.
    6. Levine, Jonathan & Garb, Yaakov, 2002. "Congestion pricing's conditional promise: promotion of accessibility or mobility?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 179-188, July.
    7. H Couclelis, 1996. "The death of distance," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 23(4), pages 387-389, July.
    8. Taylor, Brian D & Garrett, Mark, 1999. "Reconsidering Social Equity in Public Transit," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2bm7b38n, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Bröcker, Johannes & Korzhenevych, Artem & Schürmann, Carsten, 2010. "Assessing spatial equity and efficiency impacts of transport infrastructure projects," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 795-811, August.
    10. Langmyhr, Tore, 1997. "Managing equity : The case of road pricing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 25-39, January.
    11. G H Pirie, 1979. "Measuring Accessibility: A Review and Proposal," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 11(3), pages 299-312, March.
    12. E Talen & L Anselin, 1998. "Assessing spatial equity: an evaluation of measures of accessibility to public playgrounds," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(4), pages 595-613, April.
    13. G H Pirie, 1979. "Measuring accessibility: a review and proposal," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 11(3), pages 299-312, March.
    14. Alan T. Murray & Rex Davis, 2001. "Equity in Regional Service Provision," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 557-600.
    15. Bertolini, L. & le Clercq, F. & Kapoen, L., 2005. "Sustainable accessibility: a conceptual framework to integrate transport and land use plan-making. Two test-applications in the Netherlands and a reflection on the way forward," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 207-220, May.
    16. J Black & M Conroy, 1977. "Accessibility Measures and the Social Evaluation of Urban Structure," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 9(9), pages 1013-1031, September.
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