The social and distributional impacts of transport in Helsinki region - what, how, and whom to assess

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master's Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering (SPT)
80 + 2
The aim of the thesis is to understand and recognize the social and distributional impacts of transport so that the transport planning sector would be more equipped to answer to the challenges of the future comprehensively. The thesis is part of an impact assessment development project for the transport system planning of Helsinki region’s MAL planning process. The thesis examined the social and distributional impacts of transport in Helsinki region. The social impacts of transport refer to impacts that either positively or negatively change individual’s or group’s preferences, choices, behaviour, wellbeing, and health. The distributional impacts refer to the impact distribution created by transport measures which have effects spatially, temporally, and socio-demographically. The thesis formulated a social impact assessment matrix and a distributional impact assessment checklist which were designed in co-operation with the regional MAL planning experts. The social impact assessment matrix presents the impacts which MAL planning process should assess in the future. The checklist presents the distribution of impacts spatially, temporally, and socio-demographically. The checklist should be utilized as a case-by-case tool so that the planner would determine and decide which spatial areas and which socio-demographic groups to assess during each assessment. The assessment should emphasize the most vulnerable and least disadvantaged. The thesis included a case study which analysed the distributional impacts of MAL 2019 plan on changes of workforce accessibility on sustainable modes of transport and on generalized trip friction by public transport both spatially and among income levels. The study discovered that the benefits of MAL 2019 plan were distributed evenly among income levels. The plan benefits the whole Helsinki region, albeit Kuuma region benefits the most.
Mladenović, Miloš
Thesis advisor
Haapamäki, Taina
Koskela, Reetta
social impacts, distributional impacts, transport system planning, impact assessment, Helsinki region, transport system
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