Accessibility social justice and transport emission impacts of transit oriented development

Sao Paulo






Nov. 2015-Nov. 2018


Prof. dr. ing K.T. (Karst) Geurs

Postdoc researcher:

John Pritchard


University of Surrey, UK, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


The growth and prosperity of cities and urban areas is propelled by advantages of agglomeration. These

advantages however are not equally experienced by all members of the population, moreover the

distribution is often not socially justified, as the groups that benefit from the higher density and better

connections are not the same who experience the burdens such as congestion and poor air quality. This is

a globally recurring issue, despite considerable differences between urban areas worldwide in terms of

economic context, spatial planning and infrastructure provision. This research, within the call’s theme of

social justice and the policy domain of infrastructure and built environment, will investigate physical and

socio-economic processes that underlie the uneven distribution of urban outcomes. An international

comparison of metropolitan areas in London, UK, Randstad area, the Netherlands and São Paulo, Brazil will take place to both identify universal drivers towards unjust outcomes and specific circumstances that can reduce or enhance existing social differences. In particular, the project will investigate the specific urban planning strategy of transit-oriented development (TOD) and its potential for delivering more equitable outcomes. This will be achieved through an international survey into job accessibility, population preferences and affordability in relation to transport and housing options; a dedicated measuring campaign targeting in-vehicle exposure to transport pollutants and advanced statistical and geographical information analysis. There are currently ambitious plans for TOD in São Paulo and the project will engage with stakeholders to target actual issues and allow the research to have a direct impact on social justice in São Paulo.

The project ASTRID (Accessibility, Social justice and TRansport emission Impacts of transit-oriented Development strategies) is funded by the FAPESP-ESRC-NWO programme for Transnational Collaborative Research on Sustainable Urban Development. The project is led by the UT Centre for Transport Studies and is conducted in close collaboration with researchers from University of Surrey, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UK, and the University of Sao Paulo, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, Brazil.

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