Land use and public transport integration in small cities and towns: Assessment methodology and application

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - low density, place - urban, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development, land use - urban density, planning - integration, planning - methods


Land use-transport integration, Transit oriented development, Node-place model, Feeder transport, Campania Region


It is widely accepted that land use and public transport planning should be harmonised in order to provide a viable alternative to car transport. Following the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) concept, many studies and plans aim to concentrate urban development in areas accessible by high-quality public transport. Encouraged by studies asserting the positive relation between urban density and public transport use, scholars and practitioners focused their attention on tools and strategies that increase urban density, thereby overlooking geographical contexts where these strategies cannot be applied. TOD might however be also a valuable strategy in low-density contexts, like lower density parts of metropolitan areas, or suburban areas and small towns. It seems therefore relevant and interesting to develop a methodology to explore the value of TOD strategies in such contexts. Our paper fills this analytical and application gap and proposes to extend the conceptualization and implementation of land use and public transport integration to areas where low-density urban development has already occurred (e.g., low-density suburbs, or areas where the protection of natural and cultural heritage precedes urban development). In such cases, where is not possible to increase urban density around transport nodes, the quality of the transport network plays a decisive role.

The approach builds on the Node-Place Model by including evaluations of the quality of feeder networks. We applied the methodology to a case study in the Campania Region in southern Italy, indicating a possible way to evaluate land use and public transport integration while considering, at the same time, the quality of transport as network.

The application of the methodology allowed to highlight imbalances between accessibility – by main and feeder transport – and land use intensity, and to sketch urban development strategies and priorities of intervention on the transport network.


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


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