Using Triple Access Planning to Enhance Urban Accessibility and Connectivity in the Face of Deep Uncertainty (TAP for uncertain futures)

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Faculty of Environment and Technology


Conventional approaches to mobility planning, based on the forecast-led paradigm, have led to unrealised expectations concerning alleviating problems such as congestion and delivering economic, social and environmental outcomes. Evidence shows plans become rapidly obsolete and lack resilience with regard to future developments. This project aims to improve Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), addressing both the movement of people and goods, through two significant new considerations:

(1) Triple Access Planning (TAP) - future sustainable urban accessibility can be achieved through the transport system (physical mobility), the land-use system (spatial proximity) and the telecommunications system (digital connectivity); together constituting a Triple Access System (TAS).

(2) Accommodating uncertainty - unpredictable change dynamics such as demographics, economic developments, locational choices, regulatory context, technological breakthroughs, travel demand, and stakeholder behaviour can be explicitly taken into account in the plan, in terms of development and implementation.

This research project is highly collaborative and involves seven case study cities in five countries. Through a methodological approach that sequentially addresses theory, practice, design and application, TAP for uncertain futures guidance will be developed and evolved that complements existing SUMP guidelines. The project will strengthen resilience and adaptiveness in SUMPs by advancing theory and translating it into accessible, state-of-the-art, practical guidance.


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Lyons G (2021) Discovering 'the sweet spot' in Local Transport Today

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Lyons G (2021) Scenario planning for transport practitioners in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Description Mott MacDonald's application of Triple Access Planning in its support of client transport planning authorities
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to new or Improved professional practice
Description KiM Symposium - keynote speaker on "Rethinking Transport Planning for a Changing World" - addressing staff from KiM and its parent organisation, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Following involvement with the International Transport Forum on co-authoring its report "Travel Transitions: How Transport Planners and Policy Makers Can Respond to Shifting Mobility Trends", Glenn Lyons was invited by the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM) to be the keynote guest speaker at the annual sympsium (online) which addresses a substantial gathering of officials from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. His presentation (and the work for the ITF) is integral to and further informed by the TAP for Uncertain Futures Project. At a national level, the Ministry is keen to understand how it can address planning for an uncertain future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022