Social impact assessment (SIA) is being developed in the work on a Metrobus system in Gothenburg

Issues regarding social inequality and exclusion and how these can be linked to mobility and accessibility have led to extensive development work internationally on methods and tools for what is usually called social impact assessment or social impact assessment (SIA). The development has been going on for many years in Europe and internationally. But the development work on transport SIA has only begun in Sweden and the efforts are spread.

In this project, researchers from VTI and the University of Gothenburg work together with planners in the Västra Götaland region. The aim is to test and develop methods for describing social consequences in a concrete transport infrastructure project: Metrobus.

A pilot study showed weaknesses in Swedish manuals for how to implement environmental impact assessments (EIA) in transport planning and a result may be that the social dimension is neglected. Social issues have been part of national legislation as long as the assessment of, for example, landscape, physical health and cultural heritage, but still such issues are much better covered than the social issues. Transport-SIA is about assessing how land use and transport systems affect people's everyday lives. Location, space and time are important. The transport system can enable people to reach activities and destinations. But more knowledge is needed to understand the importance of everyday mobility in a rapidly expanding urban area with surrounding countryside. How are people's experiences included? Is there a risk that certain groups will be excluded? What are the consequences of a completely new system of transport infrastructure for people in the present and in the longer term?

Knowledge development by studying good examples

This research project wants to contribute with knowledge development on these issues. We use international R&D knowledge and experiences of good examples nationally and internationally. The project is based on a transdisciplinary case study methodology with participation from different stakeholders (e.g. transport planners, users / travellers). The aim is to increase knowledge and achieve lasting effects through collaboration between researchers and planners: SIA processes, knowledge and skills that lead to decisions and measures for realising social sustainability.

Project manager: Lena Levin.

The project is financed by the government research council Formas.

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