Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Urban Planning and Travel Behaviour Roundtable

In many cities, the spread of residential areas and economic activities is making car use a necessity. Urban sprawl means longer commutes and travel times with associated costs that include environmental degradation, increased costs of providing utilities and government services, reduced accessibility and economic opportunity for non-drivers, and increased transport costs overall.

Reducing urban sprawl, promoting public-transport-oriented growth and creating compact, walkable neighbourhoods that reduce vehicle kilometres travelled per person are priority areas for reducing the need for mobility which is reliant on cars. Spatial planning and land-use policies have persistent long-term effects: land-use decisions taken today will lock cities into specific development patterns for many years to come.

In this context, compact urban development patterns and higher density combined with public transport planning have been highlighted as a way to avoid inefficient and costly patterns of development, encouraging citizens away from motorised transport.

This ITF Roundtable, held on 17-18 November 2021, examined the potential of strategies to improve accessibility and the efficiency of mobility through more integrated land-use and transport policies. It assessed their potential and applicability in contrasting urban contexts across ITF member countries. 

The Roundtable Report, published in December 2022, reviews international best practice in integrating transport and urban planning and provides insights and recommendations for local and national governments.