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What is the Point of IT?: Backcasting urban transport and land-use futures
KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure and Planning.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5327-6535
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Sustainable development, future studies, informationtechnology, urban land-use and passenger transport. These arethe five concepts upon which this thesis and the eight papersit contains are based. The thesis includes both a developmentof future studies methodology, especially with regard tobackcasting, and analyses of the relationship betweensustainable development, information technology, transport andland-use in future cities

Paper I (Gudmundsson&Höjer, 1996) suggests foursustainable development principles and discusses theimplications of these four principles for the transportsystem.

Paper II (Höjer&Mattsson, 2000) is amethodological paper where backcasting is discussed in relationto some other future studies approaches. Moreover, the use of anumber of common empirical approaches in such studies iscriticised for being too deterministic.

Paper III (Höjer, 1997) presents a study where fourtechnical scenarios of intelligent transport systems weregenerated and evaluated. The evaluation used a Delphi-inspiredbackcasting approach, where a total of some 100 internationalexperts contributed to a two-round survey.

Paper IV (Höjer, 1998a) highlights three of thescenarios generated in Paper III and elaborates some resultsfrom the evaluation of them.

Paper V (Steen et al., 1999) uses assumptions, based onother studies, regarding global future energy supply as well ason the development of vehicle technology and traffic volumes.Based on these, a scenario of a sustainable transport systemfor Sweden in 2040 is developed.

Paper VI (Höjer, 2000b) looks at how the patterns ofcommuting and land-use can change with new organisationalforms. The change can either contribute to reduced trafficvolumes and a more sustainable transport system, or it can leadsociety even further into unsustainability.

Paper VII (Höjer, 2000a) reports from a calculation ofpotential effects on commuting from a change towards anode-structured Stockholm region. The calculation is based onorigin-destination matrices generated from a traffic analysismodel.

Paper VIII (Höjer, 1996) is a generalising analyticalpaper on the relationship between information technology,especially transport telematics, and sustainabledevelopment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2000. , p. xi, 37
Series
Trita-IP. FR ; 00-72
Keywords [en]
transport land-use information technology sustainable development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3016DiVA, id: diva2:8763
Public defence
2000-09-22, 00:00
Note
QC 20100617Available from: 2000-09-19 Created: 2000-09-19 Last updated: 2010-06-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Sustainable development principles and their implications for transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable development principles and their implications for transport
1996 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 269-282Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

'Sustainable mobility' has been adopted as an overall objective for European transport policy, and similar intentions are expressed in other parts of the world. However, little has been done to define what 'sustainable mobility' would actually imply for our understanding and assessment of transport. We suspect that this much used term could merely end up acting as a lubricant to the very development it was meant to challenge: The ever increasing movement of people and goods. In this article we attempt to place transport in the context of sustainable development principles. We emphasise the need to include principles of development (increasing well-being and equity) as well as sustainability (preserving natural and man-made capital). Four such principles are suggested, taking inspiration from Herman Daly and others. We then turn to explore the main features of transport, establishing a comprehensive transport concept. The concept combines a systems perspective with a service perspective. Omitting either one would disable a complete consideration of sustainable development. Our confrontation of the four principles with the reality of current transport trends gives rise to several critical implications. The most important of which relate to the contribution of transport to depleting natural capital and quality of life. Moreover, we are also forced to challenge the value of increasing mobility itself, if other forms of access may provide relevant substitutes. The article thereby outlines some conceptual foundations for a transport policy that could qualify as sustainable.

Keywords
sustainable development principles, transport, mobility, accessibility
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13399 (URN)10.1016/S0921-8009(96)00045-6 (DOI)A1996VX13600011 ()
Note
QC 20100617Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Determinism and backcasting in future studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Determinism and backcasting in future studies
2000 (English)In: Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies, ISSN 0016-3287, E-ISSN 1873-6378, Vol. 32, no 7, p. 613-634Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, four frequently cited approaches to future studies are criticised. We use examples mainly from the field of transport research. The first approach is the tendency to try to establish cyclic behaviour in socio-technical changes. The second is the view that transport and communication are positively correlated. The third is the so-called 'hypothesis of constant travel time', according to which, the average daily travel time of a population is more or less stable. The fourth is the alleged causal relationship between urban density and petrol use. The use of these approaches is criticised for a number of reasons, among others for over-simplifying the underlying mechanisms and for being too deterministic. In cases where drastic change is needed, current trends must be broken, but perhaps through measures other than those indicated by the above approaches. In other words, the cited approaches may overlook interesting opportunities and fail to urge necessary action. Backcasting is put forward as a more promising approach, especially for situations where great change is needed, However, it has been found in this study that backcasting and different forecasting approaches an complementary. The argument is that backcasting is mainly appropriate where current trends art: leading towards an unfavourable state. Therefore, forecasting methods are necessary because they inform the backcaster when backcasting is required. Finally, the paper discusses the use of different models in planning, primarily in the context of their role in the path analyses of backcasting scenarios.

Keywords
forecasting method, future prospect, methodology
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13400 (URN)10.1016/S0016-3287(00)00012-4 (DOI)000088667400001 ()
Note
QC 20100617Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Telematics in Urban Transport: a DelphiStudy Using Scenarios
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Telematics in Urban Transport: a DelphiStudy Using Scenarios
1997 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 1997
Series
Trita-IP. FR ; 97:23
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13402 (URN)
Note
QC 20100617Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2010-06-17Bibliographically approved
4. Transport telematics in urban systems: A backcasting Delphi study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transport telematics in urban systems: A backcasting Delphi study
1998 (English)In: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, ISSN 1361-9209, E-ISSN 1879-2340, Vol. 3, no 6, p. 445-463Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper includes a presentation of the results from a scenario study on transport telematics in urban passenger transport. An international Delphi panel of 100 experts from 20 countries replied to questions on the feasibility and impact of a restricted number of different technical scenarios. The results show that most experts see substantial potential for limiting certain transport problems if there is broad implementation of transport telematics as described in this study. The majority of experts favoured a scenario based on extended public transport information. In that scenario, environmental gains were in practice paid for in terms of less comfortable trips and longer travel times.

Keywords
transport, telematics, scenario, backcasting, Delphi, survey
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13403 (URN)10.1016/S1361-9209(98)00021-2 (DOI)000077593500006 ()
Note
QC 20100617Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
5. A sustainable transport system for Sweden in 2040
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A sustainable transport system for Sweden in 2040
Show others...
1999 (English)In: World Transport Research: Selected Proceedings from the 8th World Conference onTransport Research / [ed] H. Meersman, E. van de Voorde & W. Winkelmans, 1999, p. 667-677Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13404 (URN)
Conference
8th World Conference onTransport Research
Note
QC 20100617 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2012-01-02Bibliographically approved
6. Telecommunicators in the multinuclear city
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Telecommunicators in the multinuclear city
2000 (English)In: Reshaping Regional Planning / [ed] F. Snickars, B. Olerup & L.-O. Persson, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000, p. 347-362Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13406 (URN)0-7546-1258-9 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100617 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2012-01-02Bibliographically approved
7. A hundred nodes in the Stockholm region: a simple calculation of the effects on commuting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A hundred nodes in the Stockholm region: a simple calculation of the effects on commuting
2002 (English)In: Environment and Planning, B: Planning and Design, ISSN 0265-8135, E-ISSN 1472-3417, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 197-217Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to provide input to a discussion on the potential for reduced commuting with retained accessibility to work, when the development of information technology sets new conditions, and provides new opportunities, for the location of workplaces. The potential impacts on commuting of a node-structured Stockholm region is calculated. The result of the calculation is presented as a comparison between the node-structured city and a reference scenario for the year 2010. The reference scenario has been designed by the planning authorities in the region. The calculation started with the selection of a number of nodes. The exact number of nodes was not defined in advance. Rather it was a result of requirements for reasonable public transport and on reasonable population densities. This resulted in approximately 100 nodes. These were then treated as attractors of workplaces in the calculation. Some of the commuting trips in the reference scenario were rerouted according to specified assumptions. One assumption was that the desire to cut a trip would increase with distance. Another was that the desire to start working in a node would increase with decreasing distance to the node. A third assumption was that the propensity to work from home would increase with the distance to the workplace in the reference scenario. The calculation resulted in a scenario with considerably shorter commuting trips, with a consequent reduction in commuting volumes, and a subsequent increase in walking and cycling, compared with the reference scenario.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13407 (URN)
Note
QC 20100617 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
8. Urban transport, information technology and sustainable development.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban transport, information technology and sustainable development.
1996 (English)In: World Transport Policy & Practice, ISSN 1352-7614, E-ISSN 2040-2929, Vol. 2, no 1-2, p. 46-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13408 (URN)
Note
QC 20100617 NR 20140804Available from: 2010-06-17 Created: 2010-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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