Better planning encourages healthier transport choices, finds report

A new research report from RMIT University has identified crucial planning processes that assist in encouraging people to use public transport.

Examining 230 train stations across Melbourne, the researchers found that those in the city’s middle suburbs are in prime position for redevelopment.

“If we want to reduce car dependency and get the most out of our train stations, redeveloping the area around them is the best way to encourage walking, cycling and active public transport use,” lead author Dr Lucy Gunn said.

“Many train station precincts in Melbourne don’t have basic features and amenities like supermarkets or bicycle storage that make living nearby useful for active transport or local living.

“Nor do they have high enough residential density, which means residents end up using their car instead of walking or cycling to and from home.”

Using those features the researchers put forward three types of train stations; those located in inner areas with good walkability, those in the middle to outer suburban areas that have potential for redevelopment, and those that offer little more than a platform and car park.

Gunn said the findings, published in the Journal of Transport Geography, could be used to mitigate low walkability by using development strategies informed by the train station types and based on the features of the most walkable train station neighbourhoods.

The full report can be found here

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