Educating Transport Engineers for Collaborative Planning
P Schrijnen, Delft University of Technology, NL
Sustainability requires forms of collaboration between planners and engineers that lie beyond their routine. This article describes an action learning project promoting collaboration among transport engineers, through forms of education and training.
Working on sustainability, or working on the integration of land use planning and transport planning, often requires planning methods and policy processes that differ from the methods that are standard in the world of transport planning. Effective sustainable policies often arise from intensive forms of collaboration between people working in different policy domains. Collaboration is not self evident. It does not fit routine, it costs extra energy, from the politicians, from the CEO's, from the officers and advisers working in the departments of transport. Many concrete opportunities for more sustainable policies are not seized. Another challenge lies in the fact that many proposals for integrated transport policies show good intentions, but lack the links with implementation. Not only the domain of transport policies is acquainted with this problem, other policy fields know the same challenges.
In the Netherlands a few initiatives were started to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the work of transport engineers. One project focuses on professional education and training. This article will give a report of that project. The assignment comes from a collaboration between several Dutch organisations supporting the domain of transport, infrastructure and design (KPVV, NIROV, CROW and VSN), working together in the program Space and Mobility. The project is carried out by the Delft University of Technology and Locus Consultancy from Leiden.
The project will create an overview of the concepts and procedures that govern the behaviour of transport engineers, and that are decisive for the output of their work. The project also investigates the factors that support forms of collaboration, that lead to a more sustainable outcome of this work. In the end, the project will stimulate the world of education and training to renew its activities in this respect.
The theoretical framework for the project stems from the learning organisation. The article describes its principles and shows some earlier experiences with this approach among transport engineers.
The project will not lead to a scientific analysis or to a consulting report. The principals do not need a report, with an analysis of all the problems and their causes, nor a description of possible instruments to enhance the situation. Instead, the principal chose for a from of action learning, that produces the desired results in the course of the project.
The project focuses on creating an actual interaction between the colleges and universities, the transport departments, and the actual clients of the policy field - those actors that are in need of the more integrative approaches towards transport planning and sustainability. This interaction will be used as the force to create the desired renewal in education and training.
Association for European Transport