Verticality in urban transport networks: A case study of trip experience of tourists in Melbourne

Miss Victoria Radnell1, Associate Professor Victoria Peel2, Professor Graham Currie3, Associate Professor Megan Farrelly1

1School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia,

2School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Clayton, Australia,

3Public Transport Research Group, Monash University, Clayton, Australia


For tourists to be able to seek out new and exciting experiences, destinations need to be able to facilitate their movement between attractions. Much of the current scholarship, however, focusses on the functional elements of travel (ticketing, comfort and wayfinding), missing the opportunity to understand how movement can contribute to the overall experience of the destination. This paper, through the experiences of international tourists visiting Melbourne’s CBD, aims understand how tourists perceive the city as they pass through it. Comparing different transit modes, this paper seeks to problematise why different mode users reported differing levels of discovery (an experience of tourism) and offers a discussion around verticality as a way to understand these results. This paper argues that, whilst public transport networks allow tourists to converge within Melbourne’s CBD, the multiple heights at which these networks operate can disconnect and isolate tourists from the destination, changing their experiences of the city. In doing so, this paper demonstrates that research needs to start reading across the layers of the city, and not just along them, providing new insights into how tourists perceive destinations and attribute meaning to these interactions.


Victoria Radnell is an MA candidate at Monash University within the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Program. Her research interests focus on perceptions of urban spaces and currently her research examines personal understandings of verticality in urban environments.


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