Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age

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Earthscan, 2010 - Political Science - 240 pages
2 Reviews
"The need for effective public transport is greater than ever in the 21st century. With countries like China and India moving towards mass-automobility, we face the prospects of an environmental and urban health disaster unless alternatives are found. It is time to move beyond the automobile age. But while public transport has worked well in the dense cores of some big cities, the problem is that most residents of developed countries now live in dispersed suburbs and smaller cities and towns. These places usually have little or no public transport, and most transport commentators have given up on the task of changing this: it all seems too hard. This book argues that the secret of 'European-style' public transport lies in a generalizable model of network planning that has worked in places as diverse as rural Switzerland, the Brazilian city of Curitiba and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver. It shows how this model can be adapted to suburban, exurban and even rural areas to provide a genuine alternative to the car, and outlines the governance, funding and service planning policies that underpin the success of the world's best public transport systems."--Back cover.

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An excellent book. In my opinion this is essential reading for anyone interested in transport planning or sustainability in cities. Mees does an excellent job of critiquing some of the more ingrained and incorrect assumptions about public transport and density and shows that public transport can work in "sprawling" cities, providing there is the political will and good planning policy in place.
My only gripe of the literature is that Mees doesn't offer much in the way of how political path dependency can be overcome and sensible transport planning can become ingrained in the system. I guess he never figured that out, else his home city of Melbourne might not be the car dominated landscape it is today.

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Great overview, very analytical and balanced and provides a great starting point for aspiring transportation engineers.


Public Transport 101
The Automobile Age
Beyond the Automobile Age
The Compact City
Planning Markets and Public Transport
Toronto and Melbourne Revisited
The Busway Solution
The Zurich Model
Towards a General Theory of Public Transport Network Planning
Planning a Network
Every Transit User is Also a Pedestrian
The Politics of Public Transport

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About the author (2010)

Paul Mees is Senior Lecturer in transport planning at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is the author of A Very Public Solution: Transport in the Dispersed City (Melbourne University Press, 2000).

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