Transport Planning into an Era of Rapid Global Warming - What is Our Mission Now?



Transport Planning into an Era of Rapid Global Warming - What is Our Mission Now?

Authors

R Walker, Transport Planning Society, UK

Description

The paper reflects on transport planners' ?sense of mission? as professionals, frames some key questions facing transport planning in the light of the UN IPCC?s 4th Report, and explores the possible way forward for European professionals.

Abstract

The paper aims to reflect on transport planners ?sense of mission? as professionals, frame some of the key questions which face the practice of transport planning in the light of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?s Fourth Assessment Report, and provide a few personal reflections on the possible way forward for UK professionals.

Transport planners? sense of mission is explored, taking the historic context of the development of the profession in the UK as its analytical source. Two historic ?paradigms? for transport planning (fundamental sets of professional beliefs/values) are identified, dating back at least to the UK's 1963 Buchanan Report, characterised in the paper as ?Predict and Provide? and ?Traffic Demand Management?. The conflicts between them, and their continuing impact on practice, are briefly discussed.

The development of a third paradigm from around 1989 onwards is then charted: ?Transport planning to save the world?. The interplay between this ?paradigm? and the other two is then used as a way of interpreting the development of British transport planning policy 1992-2007.

The paper then looks at current national policy on responding to climate change and examines the IPCC?s Fourth Assessment Report?s implications for Europan transport planning; in particular the spectre of rapid and drastic global warming over a timeframe faster than had previously been forecast.

The paper asks whether the global environmental context still allows us to muddle through with different, arguably mutually contradictory, professional paradigms or whether, given the circumstances, some desirable objectives need to start to take precedence over others.

The paper concludes with a few personal reflections on moving towards a new consensus within the profession on its mission in the rest of the 21st century.

Publisher

Association for European Transport