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Urban studies (Planning and development), Transport planning and social aspects of transport, Social sciences
In the context of a healthy communities initiative, this study looks at mobility in a disadvantaged area in a suburban area in north east Dublin. Individuals who avail of the services of community based organisations were interviewed in-depth about their travel patterns over a period of a week and their views on the availability and quality of transport services were ascertained. The area has a high social housing quotient, though much of it is now privately owned. It has a profile of low income, welfare dependency, marginal poverty and a population base that has demonstrated some level of poorer than normal health. The area has no train or tram service, very low usage of bicycles and a higher level of bus use than the rest of the city. The Health Service Executive identified the area for the development of a community-based health strategy and worked with Northside Partnership, a Local Development Company, to develop this. The mobility study was one aspect of this programme. Preliminary analysis (this paper represents first stages in an ongoing inquiry into mobility and healthy communities within the study area) indicates that while mobility levels are high (interviewees make more trips than national and urban averages) perceptions of the quality of mobility services are very low, particularly in relation to service reliability. Furthermore, significant barriers to mobility are presented by poor environmental conditions as well as safety issues. Other issues are prevalent, such as poor perceptions of active travel as a transport mode. As the healthy communities initiative is ongoing this paper makes recommendations for further research, including exploring the potential for active travel programmes, community-transport services and a more holistic approach to mobility management and area planning.
O’Connor, D., Borscheid, M., Reid, O. An Assessment of Mobility among Key Disadvantaged Communities in North East Dublin, Proceedings of the AESOP-ACSP Joint Congress, Dublin 2013