Jan Scheurer

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, place - australasia, place - europe, mode - bus, mode - rail, operations - performance


Copenhagen, Perth, urban transport, land-use, multi-modal accessibility


As a result of rapid metropolitan growth, Perth is poised to overtake Denmark’s capital Copenhagen in terms of population size within this decade. The city’s ‘coming of age’ has also sparked a fundamental rethink about how urban transport is organised: during the past twenty years, Perth gradually shifted from a system of near-universal automobility towards the emergence of at least a core network of competitive public transport, including some of Australia’s pioneering efforts at integrating land uses around multimodal accessibility.
Copenhagen is one of Europe’s lowest-density cities and does not stand out among its neighbours for an extraordinarily successful public transport system. However, a benchmarking exercise using the Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS) tool reveals that in 2009, land use-transport integration as well as public transport network performance in Copenhagen were superior to Perth by orders of magnitude.
This paper will describe how the varying performance of both cities’ land use-transport systems has evolved in the past and make a detailed comparison of accessibility performance from several angles. It will then move on to the more pertinent question whether Perth has any realistic chance to approach or match the levels of accessibility performance found in Copenhagen in years to come. For this purpose, we will draw on some future scenarios for land use and infrastructure priorities developed for the WA government in 2009 with the aid of the SNAMUTS tool. How radical a departure from current urban development and mobility trends would be required if Perth were to ascend to the ranks of an average-performing European city? How would Perth’s growth need to be accommodated and what infrastructure and service measures would need to be pursued until 2030 if this goal was imperative to strategic planning?