Can the urban poor reach their jobs? Evaluating equity effects of relocation and public transport projects in Ahmedabad, India

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A city’s transportation system plays an integral role in enabling the mobility that is essential to socioeconomic participation. Indeed, insufficient access to opportunities (employment or otherwise) can cause social exclusion (Lucas et al., 2016). This concept of transport-related social exclusion is of particular relevance to emerging economies, where a lack of accessibility is hampering the urban poor from participating in economic, social, and political activities.
As cities continue to grow and (in many places) their economies continue to
develop, levels of congestion and land prices are likely to rise, potentially exacerbating social exclusion of the urban poor. High land prices force the urban poor to either squat in the inner parts of the city or live in areas with low land and property prices, mostly located in the peripheral areas. Low-income dwellers in cities in India typically experience high levels of social exclusion. They are forced into long daily commutes to and from low-paying jobs on overcrowded public transport systems for which fares continue to rise and are thus left with insufficient mobility choices, as walking and cycling are generally not an option for those trips ( Joshi, 2014).
Thus, the debate on where the urban poor live and how they can access their workplaces using public transport modes is central to a more sustainable future of cities in the developing world. Despite the importance of these issues, most urban transport planning has avoided measuring the direct impacts of residential and job location and has limited its focus to understanding the efficiency of the transport network itself. Better integration between urban development and transport may provide the way forward to prevent the low income and excluded groups from being locked out of activities that are essential to support a good quality of life (Lucas, 2004). Accessibility analysis can help to quantify this integration by analyzing the land use and transport system simultaneously, and by developing metrics that measure, for example, the number of destinations (generally jobs, but also other urban services) that can be accessed by a articular group in society in a given time using a given mode (or combination
of modes) of transport.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeasuring Transport Equity
EditorsK. Lucas, K. Martens, F. Di Ciommo, A. Duport-Kieffer
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-814818-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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