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Urban networks

Changing urban form and multi-modal network design to bring about change in travel behaviour is an interest for public policy, sustainability and resilience.

The question of how travel behaviour and energy consumption varies systematically with transport network design is particularly important as network design is the slowest changing urban system. A better understanding of the relationship between transport mode and technologies, transport network design, travel behaviour, land use distribution and energy consumption is essential for the design, growth, maintenance and resilience of sustainable cities. Renewed interests in network design quantitative characterisation have shown that network design is a key element in travel distance, metropolitan mobility, activity patterns and land use distribution.

Since 1994 Cardiff University started to develop an Energy and Environment Prediction EEP Model. The EEP model is based on Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques and incorporates a number of sub-models to establish current energy use and CO2 emissions produced by buildings, traffic and industrial processes for a city. A spatial analysis on network module of transport network was an integral part of EEP.

The objectives of the project are to continue the research interest in understanding urban form and activity patterns while accounting better for the underlying street network design structure. To this end, with an original approach, new software is developed to better quantify and index network design across spatial scales. The underlying principle of this research is that while the transportation network is not the only indicator of urban form, travel, activity or land use distribution, an understanding of transportation network design will provide a good framework for understanding and designing cities.

Project leader

Alain Chiaradia

Project manager

Crispin Cooper