See the section below on additional information.
In the past many housing projects were build in areas that were far from job and other opportunities.
It is therefore important that land is used that is on an existing transport route or forms part of future transport networks.
The planning and development of an adequate public transport network needs to occur at the same time as the planning and development of the land.
Initiatives to bring employment and other opportunities closer to where people are living also contribute towards improving access.
Within the neighbourhood priority needs to be given to creating a pedestrian friendly environment. This can be achieved, for example, by ensuring that street blocks are not too large so people don’t take short cuts through people’s property, providing shelter from the elements and a sense of security around public transport nodes, and the provision of traffic calming measures along busy streets.
This pedestrian network needs to link into the public transport network that is discussed in the bulk preparation phase.
Private motor access should take last place in influencing what the neighbourhood environment looks like and how it functions.
The provision of space for social facilities (schools, clinics), shops and employment facilities at the neighbourhood scale also goes a long way to improving access.
Upgrading access involves upgrading the broader public transport network (increasing routes, frequency of trips and stops, the quality of busses used, the quality of bus stop facilities, etc.) as well as upgrading the local pedestrian network of pavements, shaded walkways, etc.
Access not only looks at how to link people to the facilities, services and opportunities found in other parts of the municipality, but also looks at bringing these opportunities closer to where people are living and increasing the density of population so catchment areas for these facilities are smaller.
Decentralising opportunities and creating a more mixed and finer grained environment also contributes to increasing access. Neighbourhoods that look in on themselves like gated communities also make it harder for people outside these areas to access opportunities inside and those inside to access opportunities outside the gated community. It is therefore preferable to promote more ‘extroverted’ communities where people from inside and outside the community are able to interact and engage in commonly accessible spaces and facilities.
The development and support of activities around identified activity corridors also makes it easier for people to start new businesses etc. within these areas. There are more points along these routes where activity can take place, compared to more nodal development forms where activity is concentrated around one centre.
A challenge for low income households is that well located areas are by their nature expensive, and the poor could be ‘pushed’ out of well located areas as accessibility is improved and they become gentrified. Government needs to look at how it can use financial (e.g. taxes) and regulatory tools (e.g. building codes) at its disposal to ensure that areas remain accessible for the poor over time.
You can find links to additional information related to this topic by following the following links:
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