Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Proceedings of the Irish Transport Research Conference, Limerick, September 2014.


This paper explores social equity issues in transport and land-use planning, using recently developed housing areas in Dublin as a case study. As a pillar of sustainable development, social equity is an important objective of transport planning. During the 2000s, Dublin experienced a significant increase in car ownership levels and usage. There is now a growing body of research that links increasing car ownership, usage and dependency to increasing levels of inequity and transport disadvantage. The paper briefly outlines the evolving theoretical considerations of relevance to transport and land-use related equity, and establishes a framework from which to draw a sound moral judgement in relation to the above. The research explores key transport equity issues including the concept of ‘forced’ car ownership and car-dependency; accessibility barriers to life opportunities; and distributional issues in relation to different population and socioeconomic groupings. This paper presents preliminarily findings from an archival analysis of areas developed from 2001 onwards; and from a self-administered postal and on-line household survey that was distributed to three case study areas on the edges of Dublin’s urban area. The case study areas are predominately residential neighbourhoods that were developed during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ period to a form and density typical of this time. The three areas have all experienced a significant reduction in affluence between the 2006 and 2011 Census periods, coinciding with the economic recession that Ireland experienced at the time. The methodology for data collection and analysis is discussed. A comparative analysis is undertaken between the three case study areas; neighbourhoods developed from 2001 onwards; and between the wider Dublin area using descriptive and inferential statistics. The paper presents the preliminary findings of this analysis, which concludes that there is evidence of disadvantage and inequity related to transport and land-use integration in residential suburbs developed during the Celtic Tiger period.


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