Social impact assessment (SIA) for the transport sector

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).

VTI conducts research on mobility justice and sustainable accessibility. Developing methods and routines for the work with social impact assessments (SIA) is an important part of this work.

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 both metropolitan regions and sparsely populated areas. Not least with a focus on more sustainable transport solutions, active mobility (cycling, walking) and alternatives to travel (digitalization, proximity, and accessibility to services where people live).

How are people's experiences included? Is there a risk that certain groups will be excluded? What are the consequences of a new and more sustainable transport infrastructure for people in the present and in the longer term?

Knowledge development by studying good examples

In a recent project, researchers from VTI and the University of Gothenburg work together with planners in the Västra Götaland region. The aim was to test and develop methods for describing social consequences in a concrete transport infrastructure project: Metrobus. The project resulted in, among other things, the anthology: Socially sustainable transport planning. Inspiration handbook with examples from research and practice (in Swedish).

The anthology - Socially sustainable transport planning can be downloaded (PDF-file in Swedish) at External link.

Education in socially sustainable transport planning

In a new project starting in the autumn of 2022, VTI will together with the Gothenburg Region (GU) and the University of Gothenburg, develop a course in socially sustainable transport planning, with a focus on SIA and related methods. The syllabus will be completed during Autumn 2022 and the course will be available during the year 2023, and is addressed to transport and community planners in municipalities, regions, business and authorities.

More information about the project

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