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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Area Development and Policy

For a Special Issue on
Accessibility Turn in Urban Research: Policy Implications from Latin America and the Global South

Abstract deadline
29 May 2022

Manuscript deadline
31 October 2022

Cover image - Area Development and Policy

Special Issue Editor(s)

David López-García, Queens College, City University of New York
[email protected]

Natalia Villamizar Duarte, Newcastle University
[email protected]

Diego Hernández, Universidad Católica del Uruguay
[email protected]

Ana Marcela Ardila, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais: UFMG
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Accessibility Turn in Urban Research: Policy Implications from Latin America and the Global South

Urban policy is increasingly important as a policy domain. Not only is the world increasingly urbanizing, but the governance and administration of urban areas is growing in complexity. One such policy challenge is providing equitable access to the resources offered by urban areas to their inhabitants, such as: jobs, schools, hospitals, green and recreational spaces, governmental services, consumer goods, and alike. Thus, accessibility has been defined as the extent to which land-use and transport systems enable (groups of) individuals to reach the places and opportunities that are fundamental for their social reproduction through a combination of transport modes (Geurs & van Wee, 2004; Kellerman, 2006).

In recent years, scholars have called to putting accessibility at the center of our thinking and policy development as it can link discussions of economic geographies, housing, transport, and equity in cities (Duranton & Guerra, 2016; Geurs & van Wee, 2004; Levine et al., 2019; Niedzielski & Boschmann, 2014) (Cui et al., 2019; Duranton & Guerra, 2016; Geurs & van Wee, 2004; Levine et al., 2019; Niedzielski & Boschmann, 2014). The momentum, achieved in the debate of accessibility, has led to consolidating an ‘accessibility turn’ which proposed a focus on understanding people’s needs and ability to reach their diverse destinations, rather than the means of transport per se. This emphasis on access to urban services is a central aspect of policy, particularly in the fields of transport and land-use planning (Levine et al., 2019). Shifting our understanding of accessibility from transport systems to people’s needs and abilities becomes an opportunity to devise policies that advance access to urban resources while making access more equitable.

While an important number of accessibility studies have been developed based on and aiming to explain the experience of cities in the United States and Europe (Hansen, 1959; Levine, 2020; Levine et al., 2019; Wachs & Kumagai, 1973), over the last ten years Latin American urban research has seen its own ‘accessibility turn’ (Oviedo et al., 2020). Latin American focused urban scholars have applied accessibility metrics to investigate an array of aspects such as existing landscapes of urban accessibility (Boisjoly et al., 2017; Contreras et al., 2016; Esquivel et al., 2013; Guzmán et al., 2017; Hernández, 2012, 2018; Hernández & Rossel, 2015), evaluating if public transport policies lead to improved accessibility (Bocarejo & Oviedo, 2012; Guzmán & Oviedo, 2018; Oviedo et al., 2019; Vecchio, 2017), the distributional effects of transport policies (Antunes et al., 2019; Boisjoly et al., 2020; Cahill & Casas, 2012; Guzmán et al., 2018; Pereira, 2019; Pereira et al., 2019; Rodríguez et al., 2017), accessibility landscapes for socially excluded and vulnerable populations (Ardila et al., 2020; Jirón & Mansilla, 2013; Vecchio et al., 2020), and investigating how geographies of low accessibility are produced in the first place (Figueroa et al., 2018; López-García, 2021; Peralta-Quirós & Mehndiratta, 2015).

Aiming to expand the lessons learned and the questions that have emerged from this research, the Latin American chapter of the International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Communities (INTALInC-LAC) is calling for papers to be included in a Special Issue of the journal ADP. The aims of the Special Issue are twofold. First, promoting a dialogue among studies from a diverse array of geographies facing similar accessibility challenges. Second, advancing debates about the policy implication of accessibility research in different contexts which include consideration of vulnerable communities and real case scenarios. While inspired by the development of the Latin American accessibility turn, this Special Issue will contribute to a more global conversation about accessibility providing empirical and policy insights from different contexts to further explore solutions to shape a more equitable access to urban services and resources.

ADP is a suitable forum to pursue this global discussion as the journal aims to develop world class academic research examining the economic, political, cultural and geographical contexts in shaping and developing regions and cities in developing countries. Issues of insufficient employment, inequalities of income, shortages of housing, inadequate public transport, and overall urban mobility challenges are both included in ADP’s research agenda for the 21st century (Dunford et al., 2016), and captured by the accessibility literature. In addition, ADP has already published and made heard studies around urban accessibility (Sridhar, 2021), urbanization and urban mobility challenges (Campolina Diniz & Vieira, 2016; Kundu, 2019; Leung & Lee, 2022; Turok, 2016), spillover effects of public transport investment (Moralles et al., 2019), urban sustainability (Paller, 2021), and economic geographies (Alegría, 2016; Silva et al., 2019). Discussion with these published works in ADP is encouraged.

Within this context, the INTALInC-LAC invites to submit original research articles for publication within a Special Issue titled: “Urban Accessibility in the Global South: Policy Implications of the Accessibility Turn in Urban Research”. We encourage the submission of research articles with any of the following characteristics:

  • Their main goal is to contribute in a relevant way to the literature on urban accessibility.
  • Apply the concepts, analytical frameworks, and metrics developed by the urban accessibility literature to the study urban problems.
  • Geographical scope: studies from cities and regions from all over the global south are welcome.
  • Develop a comparative perspective in urban accessibility studies. Comparisons and discussions with Latin American accessibility research are encouraged.
  • Advance debates around the policy implications of empirical results in urban accessibility

The manuscripts must align with the aims and scope of Area Development and Policy and adhere to the journal’s instructions for authors.

Submission Instructions

If interested, please send a 400 words abstract, with a title of no more than 30 words, to David López-García ([email protected]), Natalia Villamizar Duarte ([email protected]), Diego Hernández ([email protected]), and Ana Marcela Ardila ([email protected]) by May 29, 2022.

Notification about further consideration of contributions will be given by June 15, 2022.

The Submission of final research articles will be due by October 31, 2022.

Articles must be submitted directly to Area Development and Policy through the journal’s submission system at ScholarOne Manuscripts (manuscriptcentral.com). Articles that pass the peer review process will be published online upon acceptance.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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