Book Review: David Banister: Transport Planning
Transport planning has become one of the more complex challenges in our western regions. The tremendous increase in motorised transport in the past decades has had enormous impacts on urban and regional development, social and economic opportunities, environmental quality and technological innovations. Where half a century ago we expected mainly positive impacts of these developments and planned for accommodating them, since about 30 years we are more and more seeking strategies for balancing the advantages with the ever increasing negative impacts. To be mentioned are congestion, traffic accidents, fuel consumption, emissions, noise production, land use, and so on. The process of seeking the right balance is not a smooth one, but a battle based on a lack of knowledge and intervention means, with uncertainty, with unexpected impacts of policy measures, with locked-in behaviour of individuals and firms, with beliefs and changing policy values. In short: transport planning is an ongoing process of often trial- and error based attempts to find the best long term transport management concept for all of us within a dynamic context of rapidly changing conditions. Professionals involved in this battle, often experiencing the failure or only partly success of some policy measure, sometimes start fundamentally doubting whether traffic problems can be tackled by analytical approaches. Such doubts give space to a more normative view, that however has the danger to end in an individual belief.
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