Peri-urban areas and Transit-Oriented Development: An implausible partnership?
In a context of potential fossil fuel shortage, it is relevant to question the viability of peri-urban areas in the event that private cars become an excessively expensive transport mode. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the on-going debate on the opportunities for change of these communities, usually considered to be totally dependent on cars. For this purpose, three intermunicipal communities within peripheral areas of the Paris region are analyzed in terms of ‘supply’, i.e. the various possibilities for sustainable practices they provide to the population. In other words, the goal is to highlight the potential of these peri-urban areas for forging energy efficient ways of life (i.e. excluding or restricting car use).The method consists of in situ observation using an analytical grid based on both the three principles of Transit Oriented Development (TOD, which refers to the New urbanism, promoting active commuting friendly urban design as well as public transit systems) and a spatial diagnostic process.After having highlighted benefits and weaknesses of the three case studies against key requirements of TOD principles, the paper provides analysis of concrete actions which could be carried out to take advantage of the opportunities available within these areas in order to make them less car dependent.