The assessment tools used in France to inform decision-makers about transport policies in the urban environment do not fully integrate the social dimension of these policies. But this issue is becoming crucial. Based on the theoretical approach of Amartya Sen, the objective of this thesis is to build an assessment method making it possible to give an account of this dimension, in terms of equal opportunity of access to the activities of social reproduction. With this intention, a tool was designed to identify the social groups and the rich or poor districts of the urban space at levels smaller than that of the town. Next, an indicator showing accessibility to a basket of goods was created. For a given transport mode, this indicator measures each service of the basket of goods and the maximum access time from home to the number of activities for 1.000 inhabitants. This indicator takes into account the various subsystems of the urban space.
The method is used in the Lyon urban area. It is first shown that, between individuals and districts, there exists an unequal opportunity to access the basket of goods in 1999. This inequality mainly derives from unequal access to the car (three times more efficient than public transport in terms of access time to the basket of goods), but also from the heterogeneous distribution of the activities and the quality of available public transport. The change in the localisation of activities between 1990 and 1999 highlights a worsening of the inequalities of access between poor and rich districts. It is just as if well-off populations deliberately divided up the area and the localisation of activities to the detriment of the most fragile populations. It is finally shown that a great improvement in available public transport has only limited impacts which often have difficulty compensating for losses of accessibility due to the way that the activities change their location.
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