What is the Point of IT? Backcasting urban transport and land-use futures

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Sustainable development, future studies, informationtechnology, urban land-use and passenger transport. These arethe five concepts upon which this thesis and the eight papersit contains are based. The thesis includes both a developmentof future studies methodology, especially with regard tobackcasting, and analyses of the relationship betweensustainable development, information technology, transport andland-use in future citiesPaper I (Gudmundsson&Höjer, 1996) suggests foursustainable development principles and discusses theimplications of these four principles for the transportsystem.Paper II (Höjer&Mattsson, 2000) is amethodological paper where backcasting is discussed in relationto some other future studies approaches. Moreover, the use of anumber of common empirical approaches in such studies iscriticised for being too deterministic.Paper III (Höjer, 1997) presents a study where fourtechnical scenarios of intelligent transport systems weregenerated and evaluated. The evaluation used a Delphi-inspiredbackcasting approach, where a total of some 100 internationalexperts contributed to a two-round survey.Paper IV (Höjer, 1998a) highlights three of thescenarios generated in Paper III and elaborates some resultsfrom the evaluation of them.Paper V (Steen et al., 1999) uses assumptions, based onother studies, regarding global future energy supply as well ason the development of vehicle technology and traffic volumes.Based on these, a scenario of a sustainable transport systemfor Sweden in 2040 is developed.Paper VI (Höjer, 2000b) looks at how the patterns ofcommuting and land-use can change with new organisationalforms. The change can either contribute to reduced trafficvolumes and a more sustainable transport system, or it can leadsociety even further into unsustainability.Paper VII (Höjer, 2000a) reports from a calculation ofpotential effects on commuting from a change towards anode-structured Stockholm region. The calculation is based onorigin-destination matrices generated from a traffic analysismodel.Paper VIII (Höjer, 1996) is a generalising analyticalpaper on the relationship between information technology,especially transport telematics, and sustainabledevelopment.