Integrating Accessibility: A Critical Review of the Transportation Policies and Plans in Dhaka

Authors: Paromita Nakshi*, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Anindya Kishore Debnath, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Accessibility, Dhaka, mixed content-structuring analysis, performance indicators
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 21
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Accessibility, the ease of reaching destinations, is increasingly gaining attention in recent years in transportation and land use planning worldwide. The more common mobility-centered approach grounded on ‘predict-and-provide’ method is criticized for ignoring the fundamental characteristics of transportation being a ‘derived demand’ and over-emphasizing level-of-service (LOS) measurements. Accessibility-based planning, on the other hand, considers the interplay of land use and transportation, and focuses on increased choices both in terms of destinations and modes of travel. Despite receiving more emphasis than before, accessibility is a concept still sidelined by the mobility-centered approach in policy and planning practices. To critically evaluate this marginalization of accessibility in the context of South Asian cities, this chapter aims at assessing how meaningfully accessibility has been incorporated in the policy and planning framework of Dhaka- one of the most densely populated and fastest-growing megacities in the world. A mixed content-structuring analysis was conducted to explore how accessibility has been included both explicitly and implicitly in the five most widely cited policy and planning documents relevant for Dhaka. The findings suggest that there is noticeable ambiguity in defining accessibility across the documents. Moreover, the vision, goals, objectives and strategies rarely incorporate accessibility explicitly. These documents also lack quantifiable performance indicator for accessibility. The findings are expected to provide a better understanding of the status quo of planning practices in Dhaka and offer directions to policymakers and planners for meaningful incorporation of accessibility in planning practices.

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