EVALUATING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF A SUSTAINABLE CITY: CASE STUDY OF MASDAR CITY, UAE
Free (open access)
87 - 96
PRAVEEN KUMAR MAGHELAL, XIANGYU LI, ANOUD QAHTANI
An epitome of a sustainable city, Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, boasts of its integrated land use and multi-modal transportation network. When developed as planned, it could be an example for designing future cities. However, little is known of how accessible it could be in spite of its unique design. Conversely, accessibility, as a conceptual and operational definition, has gone through several iterations. However, it still remains an often misunderstood and poorly defined and measured construct. Masdar City, as planned, consists of several types of sustainable transportation options including walking, biking, personal rapid transit (PRT), group rapid transit (GRT), bus/light rapid transit, and metro. The hierarchical additive approach (considering both spatial analysis and the time-based analysis), reports that majority of Masdar City has low accessibility to the regional metro station. Also, the result indicates that more than half of the city will need between 13.1 to 25 minutes, with an average of 15 minutes, to reach the metro station. In all, the city has medium accessibility to the metro station with opportunities to enhance the overall accessibility. Elimination of transit stops that are redundant can reduce the headway and stalling time and hence the total travel time. Also, by locating new transit stops (bus, PRT or LRT) in grids where access to closest public transit is more than 400 m by walking can help balance the capital cost of infrastructure (public transit) while improving the accessibility to the regional metro for its residents. The follow-up analysis reported that the medium accessibility increased from 20% to 24%. Evaluation of accessibility in planned areas (city or neighbourhood) can provide insights on efficiency of a sustainable city such as Masdar City.
sustainable city, Masdar City, accessibility, United Arab Emirates, transportation network