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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Sustainable Transport for New Communities: Dunsfold Park Case Study

John Collins

Sustainable Transport for New Communities: Dunsfold Park Case Study

This study examines how the design of new settlements, particularly those aiming to become “sustainable communities”, can contribute to tackling two of the most pressing problems on the political agenda: the lack of affordable housing and the public’s high dependency on private transport.

This study primarily focuses on Dunsfold Park, a proposed new “eco-friendly” town near Guildford in Surrey, and examines how the design and ethos of this settlement aims to promote Sustainable Transport. The promoters of Dunsfold Park have set a vision of creating an exemplar of sustainable living in this new town and, amongst many other innovative measures, have designed a Transport Strategy aimed at encouraging future residents to adopt sustainable travel practices. One of the objectives of this study is to appraise these measures, assess how effective they are likely to be and explore means of improving the overall performance of Dunsfold Park’s Transport Strategy.

Dunsfold Park is not the first new town to be designed with a strong environmental or social ethos in mind and there are lessons to be drawn from other new settlements. Therefore this study explores how town planning has evolved in the UK to take account of Sustainable Transport, from the earliest innovations of the Victorian era through to the modern Eco Town agenda.

This study adopts a qualitative and inductive approach to exploring this topic by reviewing literature, visiting new settlements and interviewing stakeholders involved in their development. This study concludes by identifying measures designed to improve the sustainability of Dunsfold Park’s Transport Strategy.

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.