Final Conference — Bridging the Implementation Gap of Accessibility Instruments and Planning Support Systems

The Final Conference of the Action will be held at the Faculty of Engineering of Porto University, in Oporto, Portugal, during the 23 rdand the 24thOctober 2014.

It will be joined with CITTA 7th Annual Conference on Planning Research sharing the second day of the Action’s final conference. For more information on the CITTA event click here.

Theme of the Conference

Although the development of instruments for planning support dates back much further, the concept of Planning Support Systems (PSS) appeared in the planning literature in the mid-1980s. In the last decades, planning research and literature has witnessed a significant proliferation of PSS. Regardless of this, very few of the developed PSS are actually used in practice. Literature suggests that a fundamental dichotomy between supply and demand of information and models to support planning could be the main reason for this phenomenon. On the one hand, planning practitioners – potential users of instruments – are generally unaware of and inexperienced in the use of them. On the other hand, developers of instruments have little awareness of demand requirements for instruments in the complex planning context in which the instruments have to be applied.

This conference aims to share the main findings of the COST Action TU1002 on the usability of Accessibility-base PSS in practice and to open the debate on the implementation gap to the research and planning community. This conference will bring together a wide range of accessibility-based PSS and their developers, in a debate on the implementation gap in planning practice. During the second day, the conference will be joined with the 7th annual conference of the CITTA research centre, opening the debate on the implementation gap to other (non-accessibility-based) PSS. Besides of collecting a number of PSS this joint conference aims to discuss the usefulness of PSS in planning practice from a dual perspective – developer/practitioner – searching for recommendations for the development of more useful of PSS in the future.

Important Dates

15st February – 30th April 2014 – Call for abstract

16th May 2014 – Notification of accepted abstracts

30th July 2014 – Deadline for submission of full papers

15th September 2014 – Deadline for registration of the authors of accepted papers (only one author per paper may benefit from the reduced author fee)

6th October 2014 – Deadline for early registration


The Full Programme is now available. Download it here.


Susan Handy – University of California, Davis, USA

Susan Handy is Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at the University of California, Davis.  Her research interests center on the relationships between transportation and land use, particularly the impact of neighborhood design on travel behavior.  She is a member of the Committee on Women’s Issues in Transportation of the Transportation Research Board and is an associate editor of the newly launched Journal of Transport and Health.

Karst Geurs – University of Twente, the Netherlands

Karst Geurs is Full Professor of Transport Planning at the Centre for Transport Studies, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, the Netherlands. His research focuses on accessibility analysis and modeling, land-use and transport interactions, transport policy evaluation and sustainable transport. He has over 20 journal publications and many other publications. He is the current president of NECTAR (Network of European Communications and Transport Activities Research).

Angela Hull – Heriot Watt University, United Kingdom

Angela Hull holds the Chair in Spatial Planning at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh UK. In her early career she worked as a local government town planner followed by a period in consultancy. She has worked in academia for the last 25 years teaching town planning and urban management. Her research spans across governance and organisational behaviour in sustainable urban management particularly examining the institutional triggers to changed approaches in transport, energy, and housing.

Marco te Brömmelstroet – University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Marco te Brömmelstroet holds the position of Assistant Professor in urban planning at the University of Amsterdam. His teaching and research focuses on the relation between land use and mobility. Recent research focussed on the usability of planning support systems for integrated urban strategy making processes. The role of transport models, accessibility instruments and cost benefit analyses in decision-making are central in his research interests.

Paulo Pinho – University of Porto, Portugal

Paulo Pinho is Full Professor of Spatial Planning at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, founder and Director of CITTA, the Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, and Director of the PhD Programme in Spatial Planning, a joint initiative of the Universities of Porto and Coimbra. His recent research focuses on urban metabolism and low carbon cities, urban morphology and metropolitan dynamics, shrinking cities and new forms of urban space production.

Cecília Silva – University of Porto, Portugal

Cecília Silva is Assistant Professor at the University of Porto. Her main research activities are focussed on Mobility Management, Accessibility Planning and Planning Support Instruments. She has developed a decision support tool for mobility management based on the concept of structural accessibility. She is the chair of a COST Action on Accessibility Instruments in Planning Practice. Her research activities have led to books, book chapters and a number of papers in international journal and conferences.

Stan Geertman – University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Stan Geertman is Associate Professor in Geo-Information Science and Chair of Spatial Planning at Utrecht University. He has published widely in both national and international journals and has published a range of (editorial) books, in themes, including Planning and Decision Support Systems (PSS / DSS) in planning practice, Socio-spatial analysis for sustainable urbanization, and Methodological issues concerning GI applications. Since 2013 he is chair of the international Board of Directors of CUPUM (Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management) organisation.

Carey Curtis – Curtin University, Australia

Carey Curtis is Professor of City Planning and Transport, Director of the research network Urbanet and Visiting Professor University of Amsterdam. She has published over 80 papers, book chapters and books covering land use planning and transport planning, transit oriented development, personal travel behaviour, accessibility planning, amongst others. She is Chair of the International Editorial Board of the Journal ‘Urban Policy and Research’, a research articles Editor and member on the international editorial board of the Journal of Transport Land Use.

Dear Sir/Madam,

On behalf of the Management Committee of the COST Action TU1002 on “Accessibility Instrument for Planning Practice in Europe”, we would like to invite you to participate in our final conference. This conference will be an excellent opportunity to share your research on accessibility planning and accessibility-based planning support instruments with a large group of European researchers who have, in the last 4 years, worked together in understanding the lack of implementation of accessibility instruments in planning practice.

We invite you to share your views on accessibility measuring and planning and to participate in the forefront of the debate on the implementation gap of accessibility-based planning support tools searching for innovative ways to overcome it.

This conference is of special interest to the following groups:

Developers of accessibility-based planning support instruments will have the opportunity to share their tools with the planning community and discuss technical issues with a large group of other accessibility instrument developers. The COST Action members alone are responsible for more than 20 accessibility-based planning support systems, which you can view  in our Action website (take a look at our collection here).

Planning Practitioners interested in finding new planning support instruments, supporting a broad range of planning concerns (accessibility-based and non-accessibility-based) will find a vast, hands-on display of such tools and have the opportunity to meet their developers. In additions, discussion on usability in planning practice will be at the centre of the debate, providing valuable insight on perceptions of other planning practitioners involved in the local case studies of the Action.

Researchers in accessibility planning and integrated land use and transport planning will have the opportunity to debate on evidence-based planning practice concerning accessibility in a unique setting bringing together existing research and practice networks on accessibility planning and a group of renowned keynote speakers from around the world.

Being the final conference of this COST Action (with more than 80 European and Australian researchers) and having a special session organised by the NECTAR Cluster 6 on Accessibility, this conference will bring together two of the largest European research networks on accessibility planning, providing an excellent opportunity for early stage researchers and experienced researchers to find, enlarge or consolidate networking opportunities.

We look forward to sharing the findings of our Action and to gaining from your contributions.

Yours sincerely,

Cecília Silva (Chair of the Action and Chair of the Organising Committee)

Luca Bertolini (Vice-Chair of the Action)

Open call from 15th February to 30th March 2014 (for other important dates see Additional Information)

Call for abstract

The Organising Committee would like to invite you to share your research with us, submitting an abstract to one of the following tracks:

Track A1. Accessibility Instruments in Planning Practice

Track A2. Measuring Accessibility (Special Session of NECTAR Cluster 6)

Track A3. Accessibility Planning

Track B1. Urban and Environmental Planning Support Systems

Track B2. Transport Planning Support Systems

Submit Paper

Papers should be submitted by e-mail to using the provided template (download here).

Inclusion of presentations in the final programme is conditional to the submission of full papers (by 30th July 2014) and registration of the presenting author (by 15th September 2014).

All papers will be published in the book of proceedings (with ISBN). Two special issues are being prepared for the best conference papers on the following themes:

  1. Bridging the Implementation Gap of Planning Support Systems
  2. Accessibility Instruments in Planning Practice

You will find within the template the possibility to take your paper in consideration for inclusion in the Special Issues.

Programme Overview

The first day offers a first plenary sessions on the theme “From accessibility measuring to accessibility planning” and a second plenary session presenting an overview of the accessibility-based PSS represented in the COST Action TU1002 and the results of the workshops developed during this Action. The parallel session of this day will focus on accessibility planning and accessibilit-based PSS and their use in planning practice. The first day ends with a sustainable-modes tour from the Venue to the Dinner, walking and riding public transport across the Oporto City and visiting some interesting sights.

During the second day, this final conference is joined by the 7th CITTA conference on Planning Research, opening the debate on usability of PSS, and on how to bridge the implementation gap, to other (non-accessibility-based) PSS. This day offers a morning plenary sessions with keynote speeches on the dichotomy of the usefulness of planning support information and/or technology and of the lack of implementation of such support in practice. The closing plenary session promotes a wide debate on how to bridge the implementation gap, searching for recommendations for the development of more useful PSS in the future. This debate will built on the main outcomes and findings of the parallel sessions and on the main conclusions of the COST Action TU1002 research on usability of accessibility-based PSS (looking at the perception of planning practitioners).

Program Overview for COST_v2

Themes of Plenary Sessions:

Plenary Session 1: From Accessibility Measuring to Accessibility Planning

Plenary Session 2: Accessibility Instruments for Planning Practice

Plenary Session 3: Supporting Planning and the Implementation Gap

Closing Plenary Session: Bridging the Implementation Gap

Full Programme

The full program me can be downloaded here.


The conference will be held at the Faculty of Engineering of Oporto University.

How to get to the venue?


The conference venue is close to a large number of accommodation possibilities in all price ranges.


Hotels located in the city centre (and close to a light-rail station)

Hotel Infante Sagres – 5 *

Nearest Metro Station: Aliados (2 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue: 25 minutes


Hotel Teatro – 4*

Nearest Metro Station: Aliados (2 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue: 25 minutes


Pestana Porto Hotel (World Heritage Site) – 4*

Nearest Metro Station: São Bento (15 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue: 35 minutes


Grande Hotel do Porto – 3 *

Nearest Metro Station: Aliados (5 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue: 28 minutes


Hotels located in the Boavista area (and close to a light-rail station)

HF Ipanema Porto – 4*

Nearest Metro Station: Casa da Música (10 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue:


HF Fênix Porto – 4*

Nearest Metro Station: Casa da Música (5 minutes walking distance)

Total to venue:



HF Tuela Porto – 3 *

Nearest Metro Station: Casa da Música (5 minutes walking distance)


Hotels located near FEUP

Hotel Axis Porto – 4 *

Distance from the Congress Venue: 20 minutes walking distance from FEUP


Hotel Ibis S. João – 3 *

Distance from the Congress Venue: 5 minutes walking distance from FEUP



Secretariat: Ana Sousa


Address: Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n, 4200-465 Porto – PORTUGAL

Phone: +(351) 225081903

Fax: +(351) 225081486

To access the Registration Form for COST TU1002 Final Conference & CITTA 7th Annual Conference, please click here.

Registration Fee

Early Registration (until 6th October 2014)


Regular Fee

Reduced fee for authors of accepted papers*


CITTA Members

Registration for Joint Event (23rd — 24th October)





Late Registration (from 7th to 24th October 2014)


Regular Fee


CITTA Members

Registration for Joint Event (23rd — 24th October)




* Only one author per accepted paper may benefit from the reduced fee, until 15th September, and conditional to the submission of the full paper (by 30th July 2014).

Registration fees include access to all sessions (plenary and parallel sessions) coffee-breaks, lunches, and conference material.

Registration fees do not include the conference dinner on the 23rd October, public transport ticket for the tour on the 23rd October.


Organizing Committe

Cecília Silva (Chair), Paulo Pinho, Anabela Ribeiro, Paulo Conceição, Ana Amante, Miguel Lopes, Tiago Patatas, Ana Sousa

Scientific Committe

Álvaro Seco, António Pais Antunes, Cecília Silva, Isabel Vazquez, Luca Bertolini, Marco te Brömmelstroet, Nuno Pinto, Paulo Pinho

About the COST Program

COST is an intergovernmental framework for european Cooperation and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. More information here.

About the COST Domain TUD

TUD fosters research coordination in the fields of transport and the built environment, which play a strategic role in the modern society and economy. More information here.

About this Action

Accessibility concepts are increasingly acknoledged as fundamental to understand the functioning of cities and urban regions. More information here.