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Understanding travel and differential capabilities and functionings in Beijing

Cao, M; Hickman, R; (2019) Understanding travel and differential capabilities and functionings in Beijing. Transport Policy , 83 pp. 46-56. 10.1016/j.tranpol.2019.08.006. Green open access

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Abstract

The social impacts of transport systems and new transport infrastructure have often been overlooked and undervalued, partly because the relationship between transport and social equity is indirect and difficult to quantify. Researchers have usefully investigated the relationship between transport and social exclusion, focusing on aspects such as access to opportunities and activities by different population cohorts such as income, class, age, ethnicity and gender. The analysis has focused on addressing the imbalance in the distributional effects of transport provision and accessibility planning has often been a central tool in analysis. This paper seeks to build on the aforementioned research, employing Amartya Sen's Capabilities Approach as a theoretical framework to explore how an individual's capabilities and functionings differ in relation to transport. Beijing is used as a case study, with analysis from three stations on the Beijing subway line 1 and its extension to the Batong line, namely Guomao, Sihui and Tuqiao. Martha Nussbaum's Central Human Capabilities Approach is used to frame the analysis. The results show that functionings and capabilities differ according to an individual's socio-economic characteristics and geographical location, meaning that both the opportunities to participate in life and also the actual activities themselves differ. This is an important distinction that the Capabilities Approach offers, and it is useful to consider if the potential for achieving improved social equity is to be realised.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding travel and differential capabilities and functionings in Beijing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2019.08.006
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2019.08.006
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Transport, Social equity, Travel equity, The capabilities approach, Beijing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092577
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