Automobile dominance and the tragedy of the land-use/transport system: Some critical issues

Khisty C., Ayvalik C.

SYSTEMIC PRACTICE AND ACTION RESEARCH, vol.16, no.1, pp.53-73, 2003 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1021932712598
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.53-73
  • Keywords: automobile, land use, multimodal methodology, systemicity, transport, COMMONS
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


Although the automobile is the least energy-efficient, the least space-efficient, and one of the most expensive of the transport modes to operate, it has dominated our cities for the last 50 years and impaired their quality in fundamental ways. Increasing dependence on the automobile has led to such problems as severe traffic congestion, widespread air and noise pollution, increased fuel consumption, steeper infrastructure costs, and higher accident rates. Through an insidious process, this automobile domination has also encouraged the widespread development of sprawling suburbs that are the most uneconomical, environmentally degrading, and socially deplorable patterns of residential land-use development. It is demonstrated that these adverse consequences, created as a direct or indirect result of the automobile, have impaired the systemicity of the land-use/transport system, representing a modern-day example of the "tragedy of the commons." To demonstrate whether the systemicity of land-use/transport systems can be appraised, a methodology is outlined for helping planning organizations to become cognizant of these problems and to spur major technological, policy, and behavioral changes.