Degree completed in 2016.

The impact of walking and cycling infrastructure on personal travel and carbon emissions: the case of Cardiff Connect2

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Academic Profile

Andre Neves is currently a DPhil student in Sustainable Transport, developing his research on the relation between implementation of infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians and changes in travel behaviour and carbon emissions. Andre graduated in Landscape Architecture, in 2006, from Technical University of Lisbon (ISA-UTL), Portugal and has been involved since that time in a variety of projects in the urban regeneration, sustainable transport and masterplanning field.

Professional Experience

Before starting his DPhil, Andre worked as a landscape architect / urban designer and consultant, in both the private and public sector in Portugal and United Kingdom. Between 2004 and 2005, he worked as a researcher at the Research Centre Professor Caldeira Cabral (CEAP), Lisbon. He was responsible for the study and design of an extensive Cycle Network Plan for the Sintra's County, a challenging area close to Lisbon with approximately 400,000 inhabitants and extremely dependent on cars as mode of transport.

In 2006, Andre joined the Almada City Council, part of Lisbon Great Metropolitan Area, to work as urban designer and cycling officer. He was mainly responsible for the council's Cycling Plan Project implementation and management but had also the opportunity to design and execute a couple of urban regeneration projects and cycling infrastructure schemes.

In 2007, after moving to UK, Andre worked as a landscape architect at Gillespies - being involved in the design of large scale public realm projects, such as Ebbsfleet Valley (Kent), Kidbrooke Urban Regeneration (London) and the sustainable urban development Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).

Before joining the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford, Andre was working at the Environment Agency as a GIS consultant.

Current Research

His research interests include urban regeneration and street design; cycling infrastructure planning and design; travel behaviour change; urban ecology; mapping and data visualization.

Doctoral Research

Replacing short car journeys with walking and cycling could play a significant role in reducing traffic congestion, carbon emissions as well as in promoting physical activity. Existing evidence on the impact of physical infrastructure on promoting walking and cycling is, however, limited.

Connect2 is a significant intervention being developed by the sustainable transport organisation, Sustrans, which aims to transform local travel in 79 communities by creating new crossings and bridges to overcome barriers to walking and cycling such as busy roads, rivers and railways.

An area in Cardiff, where a foot and cycle bridge linked to new routes for pedestrians and cyclists is being implemented, was selected as a case study. This consists of a 140 meter bridge over the River Ely - Pont y Werin - that connects now Penarth and Cogan to Cardiff Bay Area facilities and Cardiff City Centre. The intervention characteristics and implementation time frame (2010-2012) make the Connect2 Cardiff a unique opportunity to address this research project main goal - understand the role that non motorized infrastructure improvement has on influencing change in travel behaviour and associated carbon emissions.

Pont-y-Werin Bridge (The People's Bridge) crosses the river Ely between Penarth and Cardiff Bay Area and was opened in July 2010. © Andre Neves.

Pont-y-Werin Bridge (The People's Bridge) crosses the river Ely between Penarth and Cardiff Bay Area and was opened in July 2010.

The methodological approach will be to administer a longitudinal study of a cohort of residents around a Connect2 case study intervention both prior to and after a programme of physical measures has been implemented. Using a subsample of the survey population, personal GPS devices will be used to objectively measure travel behaviour (such as mode used, trip distance, frequency and purpose) while incorporating key individual, household, social and physical environmental factors. A method for collecting, processing and mapping data using GIS will also be developed to reveal impacts of the Connect2 scheme on route choice with the aim of identifying the extent to which changes to connectivity and accessibility for walking and cycling impact on travel behaviour. Using a realistic evaluation approach specific hypotheses about behavioural impacts of environmental change will be tested and will contribute to a better understanding of how improving infrastructure for walking and cycling affects overall travel behaviour and associated carbon emissions.

Walking and cycling in Cardiff Bay Area from DarVoltaRUA on Vimeo.