Mobility, Accessibility and Social Equity: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Empirical Study in the Metropolitan Areas of Milan, Bologna and Turin

  • Matteo ColleoniEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 15)


Although mobility is truly essential for access to urban assets and services and fundamental for social and urban integration, it tends to be unevenly distributed between individuals and social groups and does not always share the same quality relating to the resources used or the restrictions limiting their use. The inequalities relate both to the different social distribution of access resources and to the presence of restrictions which hinder their use. The objective of this study is to analyse the way in which the urban structure of residential areas influences the presence and availability of opportunities and how the location of residential areas and opportunities, combined with the residents’ mobility capital, influences their mobility styles and their accessibility to urban assets and services. The theoretical part of the study aims to explain the meaning of the concepts of mobility capital, mobility style and accessibility, while the empirical part aims to describe the relationship between residential location, mobility styles and access to opportunities. The study relates to a comparative Italian survey carried out in the metropolitan areas of Milan, Bologna and Turin in 2009–2010 by the Universities of Milan, Bologna and Turin.


Urban structure Residential areas Accessibility Social distribution Mobility capital Mobility style Access to opportunities 


  1. Allemand S (2008) Apprendre la mobilité, Les ateliers mobilité: une expérience originale. Le Cavalier Bleu, ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. Balducci A, Fedeli V, Pasqui G (2008) In movimento: confini, popolazioni e politiche nel territorio milanese. Franco Angeli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  3. Boarnet M, Crane R (2001) The influence of land use on travel behavior: empirical strategies. Transp Res A Policy Pract 35(9):823–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borlini B, Memo F (2009) Ripensare l’accessibilità. Paper 2/2009. Cittalia – Fondazione Anci Ricerche, RomaGoogle Scholar
  5. Cass N, Shove E, Urry J (2005) Social exclusion, mobility and access. Sociol Rev 53:539–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cervero R, Gorham R (1995) Commuting in transit versus automobile neighborhood. J Am Plann Assoc 61:210–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cervero R, Kockelman K (1997) Travel demand and the 3Ds: density, diversity, and design. Transp Res Rec D Transp Environ 3:199–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chevallier M (2005) L’usage et l’accès à l’automobile: une liberté sous contraintes pour les personnes et ménages à faibles ressources. Puca, ParisGoogle Scholar
  9. Colleoni M (2004) I tempi sociali. Teorie e strumenti di analisi. Carocci Editore, RomeGoogle Scholar
  10. Colleoni M (2011) Urban mobility, accessibility and social equity, a comparative study in four European metropolitan areas. In: Pellegrino G (ed) The politics of proximity: mobility and immobility in practice. Ashgate, London, pp 121–132Google Scholar
  11. Colleoni M, Bergamaschi M, Martinelli F (eds) (2009) La città: bisogni, desideri, diritti, Dimensioni spazio-temporali dell’esclusione urbana. Franco Angeli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  12. Commission of the European Communities (2007) Green paper. Towards a new culture for urban mobility. Commission of the European Communities, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  13. Currie G (2010) Quantifying spatial gaps in public transport supply based on social needs. J Transp Geogr 18:31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Currie G, Richardson T, Smyth P, Vella-Brodrick D, Hine J, Lucas K, Stanley J, Morris J, Kinnear R, Stanley J (2009) Investigating links between transport disadvantage, social exclusion and well-being in Melbourne preliminary results. Transp Policy 16:97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Department for Transport (2010a) National travel survey. Transport Statistics Bulletin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Department for Transport (2010b) Measuring public transport accessibility levels. Transport for London.
  17. Dijst M, Schenkel W, Thomas I (2002) Governing cities on the move, functional and management perspectives on transformations of European urban infrastructures, Urban and regional planning and development. Ashgate publishing, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  18. Dupuy G, Coutard O, Fol S, Froud J, Williams K (2005) La pauvreté entre assignation territoriale et dépendance automobile: comparaison France/Royaume-Uni. Université Paris X; Latts/enpc; Université de Manchester. Rapport pour le PREDIT-PUCA, Paris, Univ. Paris X, LATTS-ENPC, Univ. de ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  19. Ewing R, Cervero R (2001) Travel and the built environment. Transp Res Rec 1780:87–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Flamm M, Kaufmann V (2006) Operationalising the concept of motility: a qualitative study. Mobilities 1(2):167–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Friedman B, Gordon S, Peers JB (1992) The effect of neotraditional design on travel characteristics. Compendium of technical papers. Institute of Transportation Engineers, Anchorage, Alaska, 1992 District 6 annual meeting, pp 195–208Google Scholar
  22. Grieco M, Turner J, Hine J (2000) Transport, employment and social exclusion: changing the contours through information technology. Accessed 7 Feb 2012
  23. Handy S (2002) Accessibility vs. mobility, enhancing strategies for addressing automobile dependence in the U.S. Institute for Transportation Studies, UC DaviesGoogle Scholar
  24. Handy SL, Clifton KJ (2001) Local shopping as a strategy for reducing automobile travel. Transportation 28(4):317–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Handy SL, Boarnet MG, Ewing R, Killingsworth RE (2002) How the built environment affects physical activity: views from urban planning. Am J Prev Med 23(2S):64–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hansen WG (1959) How accessibility shapes land-use. J Am Plann Inst 25:73–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Icma – International City/County Management Association (2011) Getting to smart growth II, 100 more policies for implementation. Smart Growth Network, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  28. Irer – Istituto Regionale di Ricerca della Regione Lombardia (2009) Governare il tempo: sostenere le capacità progettuali degli enti locali in materia di politiche temporali sul territorio regionale, Rapporto finale. Irer, MilanGoogle Scholar
  29. Isfort – Istituto Superiore Formazione e Ricerca per i Trasporti (2011) La domanda di mobilità degli italiani. Audimob: Osservatorio sui comportamenti di mobilità degli italiani, Rapporto congiunturale di metà anno. Irer, RomeGoogle Scholar
  30. Kaufmann V, Bergman MM, Joye D (2004) Motility: mobility as capital. Int J Urban Reg Res 28(4):745–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Krizek K (2003) Operationalizing neighborhood accessibility for land use travel behavior research and regional modeling. J Plan Educ Res 22(3):270–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kulash W, Anglin J, Marks D (1990) Traditional neighborhood development: will the traffic work? Development 21:21–24Google Scholar
  33. Le Breton E (2005) Bouger pour s’en sortir. Mobilité quotidienne et intégration sociale. Armand Colin, ParisGoogle Scholar
  34. Levine J, Inam A, Torng GW (2005) A choice-based rationale for land use transportation alternatives: evidence from Boston and Atlanta. J Plan Educ Res 24:317–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Litman T (2003) Measuring transportation, traffic, mobility and accessibility. Inst Transp Eng 73(10):28–32Google Scholar
  36. Litman T (2009) Community cohesion as a transport planning objective. Victoria Transport Policy Institute, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  37. Lucas K (ed) (2004) Running on empty. Transport, social exclusion and environmental justice. The Policy Press, BristolGoogle Scholar
  38. Lucas K, Grosvenor T, Simpson R (2001) Transport, the environment and social exclusion. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Mareggi M (2000) Le politiche temporali urbane in Italia. Alinea Editrice, FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  40. Mareggi M (2011) Ritmi urbani. Maggioli Editore, MilanGoogle Scholar
  41. Martinotti G (ed) (1999) La dimensione metropolitana. Sviluppo e governo della nuova città. Il Mulino, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  42. McNally M, Ryan S (1993) Comparative assessment of travel characteristics for neotraditional designs. Transp Res Rec 1607:105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mignot D et al (2001) Mobilité et grande pauvreté. Rapport final, Novembre 2001, recherche financée par le PREDIT et l’UTP, LET – Agence d’Urbanisme pour le développement de l’agglomération lyonnaise – Observatoire Social de LyonGoogle Scholar
  44. Murrey AT, Davis R, Stimson J, Ferreira L (1998) Public transportation access. Transp Res Part D Transp Environ 3(5):319–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Naess P (2006) Accessibility, activity participation and location of activities: exploring the links between residential location and travel behaviour. Urban Stud 43(3):627–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Newman PWG, Kenworthy JR (1999) Sustainability and cities: overcoming automobile dependence. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  47. Nuvolati G (2002) Popolazioni in movimento, città in trasformazione. Abitanti, pendolari, city users, uomini d’affari e flâneurs. Il Mulino, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  48. Nuvolati G (2007) Mobilità quotidiana e complessità urbana. University Press, FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  49. Preston J, Rajé F (2007) Accessibility, mobility and transport-related social exclusion. J Transp Geogr 15:151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pushkarev BS, Zupan JM (1977) Public transportation and land use policy. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  51. Sen A (1993) Capabilities and well-being. In: Nussbaum M, Sen A (eds) The quality of life. Clarendon, Oxford, pp 30–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. SEU – Social Exclusion Unit (2003) Making the connections: transport and social exclusion. Final report London ODPM, LondonGoogle Scholar
  53. Stanley J, Vella-Brodrick D (2009) The usefulness of social exclusion to inform social policy in transport. Transp Policy 16:90–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stern PC (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. J Soc Issues 56(3):407–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Urry J (2002) Mobility and proximity. Sociology 36(2):255–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zedda R (2009) Tempi della città, Metodi per l’analisi urbana. Principi e pratiche dell’urbanistica temporale. Franco Angeli, MilanoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of Milan BicoccaMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations