The Challenge

The NZ Transport Agency commissioned this research to define accessibility and propose a methodology for how accessibility could be measured and quantified in New Zealand, both at a neighbourhood or a wider area such as a suburb, city or region. 

The Solution

As part of Abley's research solution, we reviewed existing accessibility models to understand the characteristics and needs of people in the catchments of bus stops and railway stations and more traditional transport modelling for understanding the demand for travel. Our research considered land use and transport accessibility, drawing on international practice from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. A pilot accessibility assessment of Christchurch, New Zealand was undertaken within GIS, with various calculation methods and scenarios examined to understand the responsiveness of the proposed accessibility methodology to change.

The Outcome

The research resulted in an understanding of other countries’ experiences developing and setting accessibility policy and the success of those approaches. A second result of the research was the development of a new methodology for calculating accessibility that draws on overseas and improved practice. The new methodology quantitatively measures accessibility taking into consideration different modes of travel (walk, cycle, private motor vehicle etc), travel behaviour (using logistic decay functions), activities (consumed or supplied) and multiple opportunities (saturations). 

The full research report is available for download from the NZ Transport Agency website.