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AH1031 Transport and Society 7.5 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus AH1031 (Autumn 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The starting point for the subject transport planning is that transport is controlled by the travel demand of people and their need to participate in activities. We travel to obtain access to other people, goods as well as possibilities. These observations are important for the positioning of the course, namely that transport and society are inseperably linked in that either part influences the another.

There has earlier been a tendency to regard the transport system as something that only exists to meet our needs. This course, however, shows that the transport system exists rather to support the society, but also that changes in the transport system and its use shape the society and likewise that changes in society and our life style influence the transport system.

To place transport in a social context have become increasingly important since a change in the emphasis in transport policy has taken place from meeting transport demand to the management of transport demand. To realize the later introduces an increased need to understand the complexity as well as the change in the policy for the public's attitude as well as transport behavior. To explore these subjects further, the course is developed as follows.

1. The course begins with examining the procedure for the development of transport and urban planning in Sweden as well as the change from prediction and provision to more extensive handling and planning. Further, the relationship between transport and urban planning paradigms that concern broader social aspects is discussed, as well as economic indicators and the demand management concept

2 The discussion continues thereafter with the examination of how preconditions in society vary as well as which needs, attitudes and behaviours different groups of travelers have. This leads to the study of different phenomena in society, such as the dependence on cars, virtual mobility, as well as the relative value of time.

3. The focus of the course moves thereafter towards a more abstract but subtle discussion, namely accessibility as well as social exclusion. This is a complex phenomenon that comprises the limited possibilities of certain groups to participate in society. This can arise as a consequence of inaccessibility in the form of a limited freedom of choice of how to travel, either through physical accessibility or price sensitivity. The course also examines what is meant with social exclusion and the connection between transport and social exclusion as well as the effect on the individual's private and working life and well-being.

4. After the philosophic discussions, practical solutions and policy alternatives are discussed. Further, strategies that Swedish public authorities have proposed to change travel behavior through, among others, mobility and parking management, traffic safetly measures as well as "road calming" and other local as well as regional strategies.

5. The course is thereafter completed with outlooks to the future based on different city and transport scenaries, expectations as well as long-term aims.

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the students should be able to:

1. Identify the relationship between choice of the different means of transport, need for transport and accessibility;

2. Describe and analyse the complex interplay between transport and different contexts in society;

3. Apply her subject knowledge in current practice in transport, traffic and urban planning; as well as,

4. Demonstrate the ability to form and express constructive criticism for different planning policies that accounts for social and behavioral dimensions.

Course disposition

Language of instruction: Swedish

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Active participation in course AH1030 Urban Development and Transport System

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project work, 3.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

PRO1. Group assignment 3.5 credits

TEN1. Examination 4.0 credits

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AH1031

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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