Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Safety, Sustainability and Future Urban Transport

Dinesh Mohan (editor)

Goodearth Ltd., New Delhi.


This book highlights the complexity of the challenges and solutions to safe and sustainable urban transport. The 21 chapters are drawn from a symposium that brought together specialists from the fields of urban planning, mechanical engineering, accident statistics, civil engineering, psychology and public health.

Many of the chapters include illustrative good and bad practice case studies – for instance on public transport, the design of streets and neighbourhoods and technologies for safer cars. The chapters show a remarkable level of consensus on lessons that can be learnt and gaps that need to be addressed, as well as the benefits of integrating different disciplines.

Cheap fossil fuels have underpinned today’s transport system, with cities being planned for cars rather than people. But this is both undesirable and unsustainable. Many chapters focus on planning sustainable urban transport around the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and those using public transport, to encourage alternative forms to car-based mobility. For this, measures that directly target behavioural changes have to be complemented by those that address the deeper structural causes of these behaviours.

In the realm of the built environment, several examples show its importance for shaping current unsustainable practices in the choice of transport modes but also for triggering positive changes. Several authors thus argue for people, with their diverse needs, to be put at the centre of more integrated approaches to planning. A focus on the design and management of public spaces and public transport infrastructure in creating safer streets and neighbourhoods has to provide a variety of incentives for them to move away from car dependency.

As the review chapter notes, the book contributes to innovative approaches to transport planning by fostering integration in the thematic areas of education and training; traffic safety and health aspects; urban form, economic development and traffic safety; principles, design and management of urban streets and life space; safety and security of public space and public transport; and technology for safer cars and safer driving.

Booknote prepared by Julia Wesely.

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