Developing bus rapid transit

Writing on geographical development, James Sidaway asks "how useful is it to talk about the geography of development or of developing countries"? It is a topic that has been discussed at length by academics and practitioners in the field of development studies, yet reverberations seem not to have penetrated certain areas of transport studies despite links between transport, social mobility, poverty alleviation and international development. This commentary is concerned with geographies of development conveyed in literature on bus rapid transit (BRT), a bus-based mode of urban transit that has been championed by academics and organisations such as the World Bank as a promising investment in poverty-oriented urban development strategies.In a recent review of academic and grey BRT literature a third of the sources were found to recreate a dichotomous geography of development by employing the terms 'developed' or 'developing'. Prompted by Sidaway's question above, this commentary draws upon critical thought from development studies to consider potential consequences of using 'developed-developing', and possible alternatives that reflect more nuanced and networked approaches than binary and value-laden categories. In doing so, the commentary hopes to prompt a more critical employment of 'developed-developing' by transport scholars and practitioners, and to stimulate thoughts towards greater cross-disciplinary dialogue, principally between (BRT) transport and development fields.


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  • Accession Number: 01683915
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2018 3:13PM