Enhancing the impact of travel plans for new residential developments: Insights from implementation theory

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, planning - integration, land use - planning, policy - sustainable


Travel plan, Residential development, Implementation theory, Sustainable transport


Travel plans are increasingly being required for new and expanded buildings as a condition of planning approval. Their aim is to manage car use and support access by more sustainable transport modes. However, their application to new residential developments has received little research attention to date.

A series of semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 30 industry representatives, predominately from Australia, to identify opportunities to enhance the impact of travel plans for new residential developments. Results showed general support for travel plans at new residential developments, but limited confidence in the ability to implement them successfully. Application of implementation theory to the research findings has highlighted key gaps in the monitoring and enforcement of residential travel plans, an absence of any sound planning or legal requirement, and limited involvement from property managers in the travel planning process to date. Opportunities to enhance implementation include the adoption of an educational response to enforcement, development of a sound planning requirement, enhancing travel plan quality prior to granting planning approval, preparation of guidelines backed by strong capacity building efforts, and development of a stronger industry focus for residential travel planning.

Future research is needed to assess the outcomes of travel plans for new residential developments. An assessment of different approaches for implementing residential travel plans is also needed to establish which methods are most appropriate under different contexts.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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