1.33 - COST Action TU1002 - Accessibility Instruments for Planning Practice in Europe

Project Description

Accessibility is an essential feature of a well-functioning city or urban region. In particular, the concept of accessibility provides a framework for understanding the reciprocal relationships between land use and transportation system. Accessibility, however, encapsulates more than a measure of vehicle speed; it is a measure of opportunity or ease of access for people, with different attributes, to the activities they wish to engage in. The concept, thus, incorporates a focus on the proximity of origins to destinations, the concentration or spatiality of activities, the quality of mobility systems available to overcome spatial separation, and the perceptions, interests and preferences of people who live and work there. Such a framework has important potential advantages when transferred to the realm of urban planning. However, despite the large number of accessibility instruments available in the literature, they are not widely used to support urban planning practices. By keeping the accessibility language out of the practice level, older paradigms resist to more informed approaches.

The aim of the COST Action TU1002 is, thus, to enhance the usability of accessibility instruments around Europe, through a strong networking approach between scientific communities but also by promoting a close trade-off between researchers and practitioners.

This Action, therefore, has added value for both accessibility instrument developers and users. For developers, this Action plans to provide information on the planning context and tasks, and the skills and preferences of urban planning practitioners so that these characteristics can be reflected more effectively in existing and new instruments being developed. For potential users, the Action offer, through piloting accessibility instruments with practitioners in interactive workshops, verification on how accessibility instruments can provide information on the appropriate and equitable level of service provision and provide information on the impact of proposed urban planning decisions on the accessibility of people across their jurisdiction. It is expected that the additional knowledge on the potential of accessibility instruments for urban planning practice has beneficial impacts on urban quality and decision making on urban land use patterns in each of the countries involved in the Action.

So far, an extended overview on the status quo of Accessibility Instruments in Europe and beyond was produced on the first report of this Action entitled Accessibility Instruments for Planning Practice. A wide set o accessibility instruments were gathered and analysed. Results on the individual and collective characteristics of these instruments can be found at our site:


Research Team
  • Ana Amante
  • Cecília Silva
  • Tiago Patatas
Financial Support
  • European Science Foundation (COST Office)
Stage of Progress
  • Concluded