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- PublicationBiodiversity in Dublin: A case study ApproachIt is a common perception that biodiversity exists mainly in rural locations and this perception may be supported by the predominance of designated sites (e.g. Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Natural Heritage Areas) in rural areas. Given that approximately 40 per cent of the Irish population lives in rural areas the designated sites are indeed very important and their designation allows them particular protection. However, as Ireland’s population becomes increasingly urbanised, the role and management of urban biodiversity is becoming more important not only due to the encroachment of urban areas into previously undeveloped lands (i.e. urban sprawl) but also the recent trend towards increasing residential densities. These have heightened the role for proper recognition, protection and management of biodiversity in urban areas.
- PublicationAre psycho-social factors important in shaping non-work travel patterns in the Greater Dublin Region?Non-work travel behaviour has received considerably less attention than commuting from policy makers, transport service providers and planning agencies. Non-work journeys comprise a considerable portion of daily travel and while often discretionary in nature these trips also reflect wider activity participation choices and lifestyle choices with respect to both people's residential preferences and travel behaviour preferences. While land use transport characteristics are a key determinant of travel behaviour patterns for non-work journeys, other psycho-social and attitudinal factors also influence both the frequency and mode of non-work trips. A better understanding of non-work journey patterns is needed to ensure that effective transport policies are developed; that service provision is tailored to meet current and future demands and such that sustainable transport goals can be met. In international policy debates achieving more sustainable transport patterns involves a move away from prevalent car dependency. The paper presents research results from data collected through a postal household survey covering households across the various typologies of urban settlement in the Dublin Region. The results are based on 1298 completed surveys which represented a 21% response rate across the region. The methodology includes a novel approach whereby 6 typologies of land use-transport characteristics were defined using residential density, proximity to transport services mediated by service frequency and proximity to retail services. The population was stratified according to the typologies and households were then randomly selected from each typology. The paper presents the results of both descriptive and inferential statistics exploring the determinants of non-work journey purposes. This supports previously advanced conceptual models for example by Van Acker, which seeks to capture the relationships between daily travel behaviour and spatial, socio-economic and sociopsychological characteristics  and Naess (page 29)  who considers a behavioural model with assumed links between urban structural, individual and social conditions, accessibility to facilities, rationales for activity participation and location of activities and total travelling distance. Both suggest that subjective, habitual and lifestyle influences are important in influencing travel behaviour. Findings suggest that strategies to increase sustainable transport use need to consider both land use transport dimensions as well as focusing on specific user groups due to their differing attitudes and influences, to be effective in bringing about travel behaviour change.