Can the urban poor reach their jobs?Evaluating equity effects of relocation and public transport projects in Ahmedabad, India

Transport plays an integral role in socio-economic participation in any given society. Yet, traditional urban transport planning has neglected this important role and has limited its focus on the efficiency of the transport network itself, thereby overlooking the more difficult to measure socio-economic implications. This chapter reports on the use of accessibility metrics in evaluating social and spatial equity in Ahmedabad, India. In particular, we quantify the effect of two public transport systems (Bus Rapid Transit (BRTS) and Metro (MRTS)) and an urban development – social housing relocation – project on the equitable distribution of job opportunities for low-income residents in the city. We model these interventions using a GISbased network modelling technique and demonstrate that such technique can be used for measuring levels of accessibility, and by extension for measuring transport equity. Our findings show that, whereas the BRT in itself provides a small improvement in job accessibility for the urban poor, the housing relocation project pairs improperly planned locations of new housing with insufficiently effective public transport upgrades. This creates a spatial mismatch between residential and job locations, which further reduces social and spatial equity. The presented metrics can highlight critical investment and policy reform needs for developing cities in India and beyond. Policymakers are encouraged to use the
developed approach in the planning stages of infrastructure and land use development projects to achieve more favorable effects on social and spatial equity for the urban poor.

Authors:Frans van den Bosch, Mark Brussel, Mark Zuidgeest, Martin Van Maarseveen, Talat Munshi
Status:Accepted/In press
Published year:2019
Content type:Journal article
Orbit ID:ff252088-7872-42a3-950c-04f7f57ac84e
Is current:Current