Access-oriented design? Disentangling the effect of land use and transport network on accessibility

Recently published:

  • Lahoorpoor, B., Rayaprolu, H., Wu, H., and Levinson, D. (2022) Access-oriented design? Disentangling the effect of land use and transport network on accessibility. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives [doi] [Open Access]

In urban planning and design, a holistic perspective is needed to examine multiple potential scenarios in future developing plans. Access (or accessibility) is a concept that measures the performance of a city in terms of how easily residents can reach their desired activities. The land use pattern and the transport network configuration are the two critical elements of spatial access measures. This study investigates whether access-oriented design can improve accessibility outcomes, and disentangles access benefits from network design and land use patterns. A generic superblock with two types of street network design is defined, and populated with two different land use allocation strategies. Local access is measured from transit stops. Furthermore, to test the hypothesis at a larger scale, the Liverpool LGA in Sydney is selected, and different combinations of land use pattern and network topology are tested. Results indicate that the land use pattern plays a vital role in the local access; however, the network configuration significantly impacts the access at the regional scale. The application of access-oriented designs in future urban growth is discussed.

Two different superblock layouts: Grid vs. Ring-Radial.

Creating a Historical Database for Roads in Greater Sydney using Map Digitisation

Recently published:


The aim of this thesis is to create a historical database for roads in Greater Sydney using map digitisation. The database was constructed to label the status of road in Sydney at a certain time by nominating their opening date, and if applicable, their closing date. The project was completed in the QGIS working environment, an open-sourced program that allows for map digitisation to be completed. A method was developed for map digitisation that can be used to extract spatial data from historical maps and place them in a collective vector layer. The method considers extensive georeferencing of the maps, as well as editing and cleaning the maps through raster and vector analysis. Preferred methods for map digitisation used in the project were identified. For a considerable area of Sydney, in which approximately 52000 road links were included, almost half of the links were identified with an open date by the start of the twentieth century. A further half of these links were confined to opening within a thirty-year period. The progressive change in open links, the length of the network, the area of the network surveyed and the number of intersections open was also reviewed with time. The project has established a strong foundation for a historical road database for Sydney. It has also outlined methods and procedures that can be followed to progress the database further.

Growth of the Sydney Street network. Source: Turner, Hamish (2021)

States announce automated vehicle programs | Government News

Georgia Clark at Government News in Australia reports on Regional Automated Vehicle trials that have been approved for Coffs Harbour and Armidale, NSW. I get quoted

Regional trial a ‘milestone’

The NSW trial has been welcomed by an industry expert who says it indicates that Australia is “making progress” on automated vehicle technology.

David Levinson, professor of transport engineering at the University of Sydney, told Government News that rolling out automated vehicle technology in environments like regional areas has a number of benefits.

“The advantage of places like Coffs Harbour is that it doesn’t have the complexity of Sydney. It’s something more feasible to run now than in a more complex environment. One of the keys is the technology being introduced over time. You can’t throw the technology into a place where it’s not ready,” he said.

Professor Levinson said the trial was a “necessary check point and milestone” for the rollout of automated vehicles both in urban areas and more extensively in regional areas.

Maintaining the roads that the automated vehicles will be travelling on is crucial to the trial’s success and the prospects of such technology in other areas, he argued.

“This is not a random set of regional roads that may be in very poor condition, it’s a very specific series of roads. If you can’t run on these roads you certainly can’t run on roads in worse conditions,” he said.

Professor Levinson said that Australia will see more regional automated vehicle trials before the technology is deployed in other areas.