The impact of transport infrastructure on the development of urban communities

Johnston, G. 2013. The impact of transport infrastructure on the development of urban communities. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Architecture and the Built Environment

TitleThe impact of transport infrastructure on the development of urban communities
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsJohnston, G.

The objective of the research has been to study how the provision of transport infrastructure in an urban environment influences developers’ decisions at a local level. This entailed understanding the factors that might influence the choices that developers, land owners and potential users of the developments make and the influence that transport infrastructure has on those choices. The ultimate objective of the research has been to explore how the providers of the transport infrastructure can deliver maximum benefit to present and future local communities.

The author chose to adopt a case study approach to her research as it involves direct contact with the wide range of stakeholders affected by the provision of transport infrastructure. A recent review of civil engineering research (EPSRC, 2009) stressed that human aspects and the relationship between people and infrastructure are important elements of the challenges faced, particularly those in sustainability and resilience. Three case study areas were chosen as examples of on-going regeneration projects. Two of these projects involve new transport infrastructure aimed at improving connectivity and accessibility and they provide illustrations of the impact that enhanced infrastructure has on the local community. Parallels are drawn with the relatively recently completed Jubilee Line Extension and its impacts.

The literature review identified that further research was needed to find methods for mitigating negative impacts on the community of regeneration schemes especially in regard to transport infrastructure. The thesis uniquely explores these issues by using the concept of Power of Place, as originally described by Sir Neil Cossons (English Heritage, 2000), to demonstrate the importance of understanding the community value of place, and how it might be manifested in the regeneration process as an integral part of and successful delivery of transport and land use planning.

Based on the literature review and the evidence obtained from the three case studies in this research a number of key drivers have been identified that are necessary for minimising the possible negative effects of regeneration projects. Collectively these drivers make up what Sir Neil Cossons termed Power of Place. Application of the concept, with its many facets, requires a multi-disciplinary approach and could aid in the creation of sustainable communities which have a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and sense of ownership

PublisherUniversity of Westminster
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