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Transport, the poor and moving towards low-carbon societies.

Grieco, Margaret


Margaret Grieco


The discussion of poverty and transport globally, and within Latin America
and the Caribbean with its “high degree of residential segregation of
contemporary Latin American cities”,1 must increasingly take place within
the context of the social sustainability of urban transport and urban
mobility. Issues of environmental sustainability have forced a policy
discourse on the reduction of emissions, which opens up questions of
what levels of mobility and what patterns of mobility are desirable. Simply
increasing the capacity of mobility systems to accommodate journeys is
no longer the declared dominant policy goal. Issues of transport equity,
aligned to other dimensions of social equity, must necessarily be identified
and dealt with within the sustainability framework. Consequently,
transport and poverty become significant policy dimensions of any
comprehensive sustainability discourse.
“…around half of the population in cities (approximately 800 million
people) are marginalised, living in informal settlement districts on the
outskirts of cities or also in inner-city poor districts (slums, favelas, Pueblos
jóvenes, etc.) and as homeless people (pavement dwellers), often in
inhumane conditions.” (Kaltheier, R.M., 2002).
Not only has the proportion of people living in extreme poverty not fallen
over the last decade, the number of marginalized people in urban and
metropolitan areas has actually risen. This group of people lacks access to
essential services, transport being one of them. The constraint of access to
transport services acts particularly severely on the periphery of urban and
metropolitan regions as it significantly increases the time needed to access other essential services (e.g. health and education), as
well as sources of income. It may also be argued that this
impacts women especially and at least partially excludes
the poor, in a gendered fashion, from societal and political
life in their metropolitan and urban areas.


Grieco, M. (2013). Transport, the poor and moving towards low-carbon societies. Bulletin FAL, 318, 1-8

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Jul 24, 2014
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 318
Pages 1-8
Keywords Urban transport; poverty; social sustainability; urban mobility; policy; Latin America; transport equity; marginalization;
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