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Amenity and Severance

UCD-ITS-RP-04-04

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Techniques for assessing the impacts of transportation projects on amenity and severance in a community are neither well developed nor widely used. Interest in developing such techniques first emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in the wake of concerns over the impacts of freeway building on existing communities, but the challenge of defining these concepts, let alone measuring them, contributed to a lack of progress. In the absence of standardized techniques, amenity and severance are often ignored or at least underplayed in environmental impact assessments and transportation planning processes. As an appreciation of the , importance of these concepts grows, however, the tools available for measuring and evaluating them have improved and examples of efforts to enhance amenity and reduce severance have proliferated. Although more basic research on the concepts of amenity and severance is needed, planners can find effective ways to address these concerns. This chapter defines amenity and severance, reviews the tools available to planners for assessing these characteristics, and presents examples of policies and projects designed to enhance amenity and reduce severance.
Published in Handbook of Transport and the Environment, ed. D.A. Hensher and K.J. Button, Elsevier Ltd., chapter 7.