Travel plans for new residential developments: insights from theory and practice

Chris de Gruyter, Geoff Rose, Graham Currie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents a synthesis of findings from a three-year research program focused on travel plans for new residential developments. Travel plans can be required through the land use planning and approvals process as a way to encourage new residents to use more sustainable forms of transport. However, research into travel plans at new residential developments has been limited to date, particularly in terms of understanding their effectiveness. The aim of the research program was to therefore assess the effectiveness of travel plans for new residential developments, but to also identify opportunities to enhance their effectiveness. A mixed methods approach was adopted which included a survey of Victorian councils, an assessment of travel plan quality, interviews with relevant industry actors, and case studies of residential developments with travel plans. Key research findings include: • Over 100 travel plans were required for new developments in Victoria between 2010-12 • Considerable scope exists for improving travel plan quality prior to granting approval • General support for travel plans at new residential developments is evident among industry yet there is limited confidence in the ability to successfully implement them • On average, new residential developments with travel plans were observed to have 14% less car use than matching control sites without travel plans. In addition, application of both implementation theory and planning enforcement theory to the research findings identified a number of short and long term opportunities for enhancing the impact of travel plans for new residential developments.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2015 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 30 Sept 20152 Oct 2015
Conference number: 37th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2015
Abbreviated titleATRF 2015
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