The community cohesion benefit is about the transport system’s role in enabling and maintaining the normal functions of a community. While resilience (4.1 Impact on system vulnerabilities and redundancies) focuses on short-term individual and community cohesion as a result of unexpected disruption, this benefit is about the long-term resilience and connectedness of communities, rather than individuals.

4.1 Impact on system vulnerabilities and redundancies

Severance is a key concept in this benefit. Severance may be caused by the separation of people from the facilities, services and social networks they wish to use within their community because of changes in comfort and attractiveness of areas; and/or people changing travel patterns due to the physical, traffic flow and/or psychological barriers created by transport projects.

Severance is often a disadvantage and is disproportionately experienced by some groups, such as children, older people, people with disabilities, people without easy access to a car, and people on low incomes. It may negatively affect access by walking and cycling, as those modes are the most sensitive to increased trip distances.

Isolation is another component of this benefit. In a transport sense, isolation occurs when people are unable to access normal community facilities or where there are long distances to travel to those facilities. Isolation may arise because roads are unreliable or people live in remote areas, creating some spatial and/or digital disadvantage.

However, community cohesion isn’t always about enabling access to centres. It may also relate to travel between satellite or smaller communities, whether by vehicle or other active modes. It may also relate to particular parts of cities or towns that, due to a lack of public transport or good roads, may suffer from disconnection to the rest of the community

Transport investments and programmes that might contribute to this benefit include new infrastructure, facilities or services where community connection and cohesion are primary benefits or co-benefits.

Beneficiaries of this benefit are not only those that would suffer from exclusion from the broader community, but the broader community as well, which benefits from wide-spread opportunities to participate.


10.4.1 Social connectedness*

10.4.2 Isolation*

10.4.3 Severance*

Measures marked * are qualitative. 

For more information about these measures see Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual.

Land Transport Benefits Framework measures manual


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