Transportation for Livable Cities

Transportation for Livable Cities

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ISBN: 978-0-88285-161-7
Pages: 376
Binding: Hardcover
Publication Date: 12-31-1999


The twenty-first century finds civilization heavily based in cities that have grown into large metropolitan areas. Many of these focal points of human activity face problems of economic inefficiency, environmental deterioration, and an unsatisfactory quality of life—problems that go far in determining whether a city is “livable.” A large share of these problems stems from the inefficiencies and other impacts of urban transportation systems.

The era of projects aimed at maximizing vehicular travel is being replaced by the broader goal of achieving livable cities: economically efficient, socially sound, and environmentally friendly. This book explores the complex relationship between transportation and the character of cities and metropolitan regions. Vukan Vuchic applies his experience in urban transportation systems and policies to present a systematic review of transportation modes and their characteristics.

Transportation for Livable Cities dispels the myths and emotional advocacies for or against freeways, rail transit, bicycles,and other modes of transportation. The author discusses the consequences of excessive automobile dependence and shows that the most livable cities worldwide have intermodal systems that balance highway and public transit modes while providing for pedestrians, bicyclists, and paratransit. Vuchic defines the policies necessary for achieving livable cities: the effective implementation of integrated intermodal transportation systems.

Editorial Reviews

“In this readable and informative book Vuchic argues for investments in public transportation, particularly rail transit, in US cities. A highly authoritative rail transit engineer, he steps outside his expertise area to advocate 'balancing' auto and transit investments to promote 'liveable cities.' His arguments for transit are based on many apparently fundamental principles and on examples of how other cities around the world use transit and attempt to control the use of autos.”

—D. Brand, Choice

“This book deals with the relationship between land use and transportation. It discusses how transportation and land-use policies led to the current situation in the United States and how changes in policy could change the future. The book includes an overview of the status of transportation in US cities, a review of past policies and practices, a comparison of transportation policies in the US and peer countries, some misconceptions about transportation, and policies for creating livable cities and how to implement them. It is a well thought out and reasoned book . . . The book has an international perspective. It provides a comparison between US policies and those in peer countries in Western Europe, East Asia, Australia, and Canada. Professor Vuchic draws upon his vast knowledge of transportation systems around the world to make comparisons between countries and put the situation in the United States into perspective . . . The book works on several levels. It could be used as a textbook/reference in graduate courses in transportation policy or planning through engineering, planning, or public administration programs. Beyond that it is a good book to read for anyone involved in transportation policy or with an interest in the future of cities. It is well written, well referenced and documented, and thoughtful.”

—Edward A. Beimborn, Journal of Transportation Engineering

“[T]he author sets out a comprehensive way to think sensibly about urban transportation . . . The author is adamant that in order to plan transportation properly, we must first decide what kind of city we want, and then plan transportation modes that will make that kind of city work best.”

—Harold Henderson, Planning

“Mobility for residents of twenty-first century American cities, whether those in the older cities of the Northeast or Midwest, or more recently burgeoning 'sunbelt' metropolises, is determined in large part by the adequacy and efficiency of the private motor vehicle and the urban roadway system . . . However, Transportation for Livable Cities is much more than an opinion paper, It effectively describes how we got to this point of immobility in our urban areas and identifies the range of possible actions we might take to improve the situation . . . [T]his book represents an important contribution to the field and deserves a place in the library of every serious student of urban transport and general transport policy.”

—James H. Miller, Transportation Journal

Transportation for Livable Cities provides a thorough . . . account of the collective effects of auto-dominated transportation investment and land development on the quality of life in our cities . . . Transportation for Livable Cities fills a niche in the literature that links space, time, and behavior in tangible ways. The book is accessible to most planning audiences and presents useful concepts in simple ways, which makes it a very good textbook for introductory courses in transportation planning. Vuchic weaves together many interdependent factors to provide a coherent and comprehensive assessment of the negative things about our car culture.”

—Lawrence D. Frank, APA Journal

"A well-founded critique of ineffective metropolitan transportation planning."

—P. Schimefe, Journal of Planning Education and Research

"It's difficult to find fault with the author's conclusions."

—J. Rohe, Planning & Zoning News

"Mows down misconceptions about transportation and the impacts on land use . . . unambiguous and convincing."

—E. Crawford, Progress

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