Call for papers: thematic issue on Car Dependency and Urban Form

Published at: 8 July 2021

Hi, please here following a call for papers to our thematic issue of the peer-reviewed journal ‘Urban Planning’ on ‘Car Dependency and Urban Form’.

You will find our call for papers below. The timeline is as follows:

• Tentative title and list of authors of your proposed contribution: October 1, 2021
• Submission of Abstracts: June 1, 2022
• Submission of Full Papers: October 15, 2022
• Publication of the Issue: April/June 2023

Please send your possible expression of interest including the author's names, their affiliations, a tentative title by October 1st to Kind regards, Kobe Boussauw, Koos Fransen & Enrica Papa - guest editors

Call for papers: Car Dependency and Urban Form

Guest editors: Kobe Boussauw1, Koos Fransen1,2 & Enrica Papa3

1 Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Brussels, Belgium - e-mail:; 2 Ghent University, ISE Research Group, Ghent, Belgium 3 University of Westminster, School of Architecture and Cities, London, United Kingdom - e-mail:

The degree to which urban societies have become car dependent has been a rewarding research topic for decades. In 1989, Newman & Kenworthy developed a line of research in which car dependency was initially related to urban form. Although their work quickly became very influential in the field of spatial planning, their research design has become subject to methodological criticism, while their notion of car dependency has been found too narrow. Later research proposed an alternative conceptualisation of car dependency and stressed the importance of differentiating between car-dependent people and car-dependent trips (Goodwin, 1995). More recent publications distinguish between three different understandings of car dependency: micro (car dependency as an attribute of individuals), meso (as an attribute of particular trips, activities or practices) and macro (as an attribute of society) (Mattioli et al., 2016). Moreover, there is growing consensus that car dependency is a problem that is intertwined with all facets of society and therefore cannot simply be reduced to a characteristic of urban form. Nonetheless, the question of the impact of urban form on car dependency remains a hot topic among spatial planners and mobility planners. We therefore want to launch a call for scholarly contributions that take a contemporary look at the problem of car dependency and urban form, both in the global North and in the global South, based on a genuine concern about how we can shape future urbanisation and urban redevelopment in a less car-oriented manner.

Contributions can focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics: - Determinants of actual, perceived and subjective car dependency in urban settings: importance of design of public space, walkability, bikeability, or transit-oriented development - Forced car ownership; forced long-distance commuting; car-dependent passengers - Mobility induced social exclusion, transport disadvantage and car dependency - Urban form, society and culture - Travel behaviour, residential self-selection and mode choice - Sustainable urban planning and policy in relation to reducing car dependency - Spatial and socio-demographic variations of car dependency - Direct and indirect costs of car-dependent built environments

References: - Goodwin, P. (1995). Car Dependence. Transport Policy, 2(3), 151–152. - Mattioli, G., Anable, J., & Vrotsou, K. (2016). Car dependent practices: Findings from a sequence pattern mining study of UK time use data. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 89, 56–72. - Newman, P., & Kenworthy, J. (1989). Cities and Automobile Dependence: An International Sourcebook. Aldershot: Gower.

Urban Planning is a new international peer-reviewed open access journal of urban studies aimed at advancing understandings and ideas of humankind’s habitats – villages, towns, cities, megacities – in order to promote progress and quality of life. Numerous disciplines and perspectives are involved in the process of understanding urban phenomena. The journal is founded on the premise that qualitative linked to quantitative approaches provide mutually sympathetic outcomes for adding knowledge to the complex and polyhedral system par antonomasia as the city is. The journal brings urban science and urban planning together with other cross-disciplinary fields such as sociology, ecology, psychology, technology, politics, philosophy, geography, environmental science, economics, maths and computer science, to understand processes influencing urban forms and structures, their relations with environment and life quality, with the final aim to identify patterns towards progress and quality of life. The article processing charge (APC) for each manuscript accepted for publication is €900 (plus VAT if applicable).