5 Good Books on Transport


Everyone is familiar with transport and has their own unique experience with the concept of transport and travel. Whether it is busses, trains or airplane, transport is an important part of our lifestyle. As it is a wide concept and one that is clearly important not only in urban planning but for everyone’s daily activities. In every urban planning department in the world, you will surely find a specialist in transport as it is one of the most important issues the world faces. Because it is so important, it has gained a lot of attention in urban planning. Also, recently there are being shifts from the car-centric cities to more sustainable ways of transport such as subways.

There are many books in relation to transport and planning. Many scholars have tried to understand what the best mode of transport is for people and as technology is becoming more innovative, concepts such as driverless cars and automatic vehicles can be conceivable in the next few decades. If you are thinking of writing a thesis or even writing an essay on transport, it would be important to read some books on transport to understand the theoretical knowledge relating to transport.

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Transport Planning

Books on Transport 

1) Human Transit by Jarrett Walker – This book is about “how clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communities and our lives.” In layman terms, it is a book to understand public transport and how people use them. It looks at how public transport is becoming more usable and a better option for people to rely on in comparison to cars. Not many places have the luxury of providing reliable and affordable public transportation that is also used by the residents and locals on a regular basis. This book provides insight into the ways transportation planner and policymakers can implement good public transport that is accessible by everyone.

2) Transport and Urban Development by David Banister – This book looks at transport from the land view and urban development perspective. It perceives the ways in which cities structure impact urban transportation. Development is critical for the ways in which transportation networks function, for instance, there is a shift towards trains and subways in cities since buses and the quality of the busses are also improving in most cities worldwide as the cities as a whole become more well-built and focus on infrastructure. Such development is written about in this book and the ways urban development is given importance for transport is a critical way to look at city planning in the future.

3) Transport Models in Urban Planning Practices by Marco te Brömmelstroet & Luca Bertolini – This book looks at transport in both an architecture and planning perspective and how knowledge about transportation use is documented in real lifetimes. This book is specifically good for academics and researchers in transport as it details some academic concepts on urban planning practices of transport. It is a technical book, so it would be more ideal for specialists and practitioners to refer to rather than students or the lay public. It is a book for planning practitioners to improve and structure better transportation structures in cities worldwide. As the review indicates: “The book maps how this influences the effectiveness of transport modeling exercises and explores several state-of-the-art implementations.”

4)  Walkable City by Jeff Speck – This is a relatively modern book looking at walkability in cities and how cities can be made more walkable especially in their downtown areas and CBDs. As the center of the city is the place most people visit on a regular basis, having pedestrian-friendly amenities such as walkways increases the foot growth of walkability and the number of people walking on a regular basis. Although this book focusses on the western society, particularly the USA,  it can be used for cities in India as well, if it is regulated properly and if policymakers decide to implement it in a similar fashion. Walking is becoming a mode of transport these days as many cities are promoting walkability for a healthy lifestyle.

5) Bicycle Urbanism: Reimagining Bicycle Friendly Cities – Similar to walking, cycling is also in fashion in most cities these days. Although they were always a part of olden cities where cycling was the main mode of transport, for health reasons and for more sustainable lifestyles, cycling is coming back into the societies and within cities. There are many groups in urbanism that focus on cycling as the main mode of transport and cities like Copenhagen have revolutionized their city to become bicycle friendly setting an example to cities worldwide to do so. Recently, there has also been a correlation between bicycle urbanism and happiness in cities and it is said that when people bicycle, there is a sense of satisfaction and happiness that is not seen in other transportation. This is a great book to read and understand if cycling is your interest and if you would like to explore cycle cities.

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The above list gives a good idea of the various ways transportation is becoming an influence in today’s cities around the world. These books are the most popular books on transport that have become best-sellers in the planning arena. From cycling to busses, there is no shortage of the modes of transport in today’s cities and as cities become more urbanized and populated, there is a need for more transport models and structures. For instance, walkability would not have been thought of as a mode of transport a few decades ago, but now it is considered as transport in today’s cities. As ever, there will be changes and new concepts in transport that will change and develop our cities further. This is a need not only for the present generation but for all generations to follow because increasing number of people are migrating to cities for many reasons. We hope the above books are useful to you as you in making a prominent decision on transport or if you are simply interested in reading about transport.