Active deserts: Alice Springs as a world-class non-motorised transportation town

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This article explores the characteristics of the active transport network in Alice Springs. Bicycle use, walking and using other low-powered forms of transport are already very popular in Alice Springs. This includes a very high rate of pedestrian transport amongst Aboriginal population groups, high rates of bicycle use in wealthy areas of the city, and a relatively high number of low-powered scooters for people in a situation of low-mobility. The active transport infrastructures are unique as well with very large shared pedestrian and bicycle tracks, an exceptional mountain bike / street biking and skateboarding infrastructure and a public transport system which enables an easy access for wheel chairs. The authors examine what it would take to transform the city into a world-class sustainable town by ameliorating the existing active transport network with specific measures to accelerate the take up of active transport. Some low-cost innovations include improving the existing asset with green waves and other smart infrastructures, making use of the high number of household and business and social enterprises equipped with solar photovoltaic systems by installing smart fast recharge station systems at strategic locations for electric assisted non-motorised/low-powered transport, as well as promoting the use of smart equipment. Beyond substantial health benefits, improved traffic management, an amelioration of the building environment and a long-term land value increase could be achieved. The impacts of different initiatives are evaluated. Such a system would allow transforming Alice Springs into a world-class active transport city in less than a decade. A transport simulation of different scenarios is undertaken by computing different parameters and the results are then the object of a critical discussion. Benefit cost ratios perform well and demonstrate that supporting the development of active transport in Alice Springs would be appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event38th Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF 2016 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 16 Nov 201618 Nov 2016


Conference38th Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF 2016


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