Glacier Bay National Park- This 3.3 million-acre park outside Juneau, Alaska boasts glaciers, wildlife, and gorgeous coastline. Hike, kayak, or take a boat tour to experience the thrill of its natural beauty.
An example of incentive-based development is California’s ‘density bonus’, which is offered in exchange for the provision of affordable housing. City jurisdictions can allow developers to extend the normally allowed building envelope to accommodate 35 percent additional units as an incentive for offering affordable housing. Another incentive comes in the form of an efficient and smooth project approval process for projects that incorporate fair labor practices, energy-efficient, affordable housing, and ample open spaces for the community. An example is Berkeley’s Voluntary Green Pathway Program. Similar programs are being developed, including the Vancouver Eco Density Program, Seattle’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program, and others (Grube-Cavers & Patterson, 2015; Litman, 2016).
Automobile travel costs are significantly higher than those of walking, cycling, or public transit. A study conducted in Queensland, Australia, found that savings achieved by a kilometer walked or cycled instead of vehicular travel are 20.7 cents for decongestion, 168.0 cents towards health, 35.0 cents in vehicle operating costs, 6.8 cents in infrastructure savings, and 5.9 cents towards the environment. Thus, the economy benefits by a total of A$14.30 from a cyclist and A$8.48 from a pedestrian who cycles/walks 20 minutes to work and back (Department of Infrastructure & Transport, 2013, p. 6). Of course, people’s mobility needs and abilities are different; some can walk or cycle and use transit, while others are dependent on automobiles. Cost reduction for lower-income motorists can occur through owning older, low-value vehicles. Usually maintenance and repairs are carried by the owners, and insurance costs are kept to a minimum. However, it still means that they spend a minimum of US$3,200 annually for owning and operating a vehicle (Litman, 2016). Fuel costs can be lowered by reducing the trip length through destination proximity. But more importantly, a modal shift to walking/cycling and transit can be achieved by the provision of good network connectivity, smooth and fast modal transition, and reduced fares. Strategies for connecting places through developing mixed use and walkable places close to each other become critical.
Connected places with high-quality affordable modes of transport and a balance of jobs and inclusive housing options become the linchpin for prosperous communities.
As discussed above, access to affordable transport modes, including public transport, is exceedingly important for disadvantaged and excluded social groups (with exclusion based on factors such as low income, age, gender, and physical fitness). Locational disadvantage, discussed in the previous section, is an additional factor working against equitable access to public services such as healthcare facilities, education, shopping, and
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In many societies, there are no adequate transportation alternatives to the automobile for the elderly. The needs of this sub-group are generally poorly understood. With an increase in age, there is a reduction in overall mobility and a resultant change in transport modes. A study published in 2008 by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Germany showed a decrease in use of car and an increase in walking after 55 years of age, with a further increase in use of public transport after 75 (INFAS Institute of Applied Social Sciences, 2008).
From an environmental justice perspective, it is important for the elderly to remain mobile (Tacken, 1998). Maintaining mobility minimizes the depression associated with the loss of the ability to drive, so individuals can maintain their quality of life. In research carried out in the area of London, UK, Su and Bell (2009) demonstrated the importance of public transport and walking for older people to remain independent. Connected places provide opportunities for well-designed, accessible, and affordable transport systems, and a pedestrian-friendly environment encourages the elderly to remain mobile.
Family demands on women are different from those on men, and this dictates the way in which they respond to the daily commute. In Nairobi, Kenya, for example, 24 percent of male heads of households used cars compared to 9 percent of female heads (Levy, cited in Peters, 2001, p. 11). In Northern Ireland, 79 percent of men had a full driving licence, compared to 61 percent of women, indicating that women relied less on private vehicles than men (Roads Service, 2003, p. 9). While men are more likely to rely on private vehicles, women tend to access jobs, childcare, education, healthcare, and other services by public transport. This is true in cities of both the developing and the developed world. The need to undertake multiple trips, many at off-peak hours away from main transport routes, and the greater distance between home and work severely limit women’s capacity for household and non-household activities. An integrated public transport fare structure, such as in Hong Kong, makes it more convenient and cheaper for women to make multiple short trips (Pardo, 2011).