Planning, Managing, and Communicating Together: The "Results Chain" As an Alternative Tool for Regional Transport Planning
L Ampleman, Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, PL
This ETC paper proposes to discuss how the ?Results Chain? can be use as a more visual, interactive and flexible tool and how it can find its application in the European context of regional transport planning and multicultural cooperation.
Because they constitute an intermediate level between national transport strategies and local intervention plans, the regional transportation plans are expected to rally more and more stakeholders for several reasons. Firstly, because they involve financial and technical resources at all levels of governance (national, sub-national, regional and local). Secondly, because such plans are strongly sufficient in mobilizing citizens with concrete assignment of infrastructures and effective in politically rallying regional projects developers, governmental and non-governmental organisations. Finally, the consolidation of public consultation practices in recent years as well as strong requirements and focus on environment and safety/security issues, have led a significant number of new players and experts to join the planning table.
Nevertheless, the traditional approach to transport planning still faces a series of difficulties. A first one concerns the multiplication of textual documents in order to target different stakeholders in diverse circumstances. A second difficulty can be connected with the non-suitability of some governmental tools (e.g. financial programming) with the main transportation plan. Planners also have to face the difficulty caused by the updating of regional planning material following fast changes occurring in the course of the long term planning process. Ultimately, citizens and non-specialists often have to deal with the non-friendly character of typical transportation plan manuscript.
Therefore, is it possible to produce a regional transportation tool more flexible and apt to quickly adapt itself to changes in process? Is it also possible to develop a more visual (less textual) and user friendly transportation planning instrument that allows for us to address all of the technical staff (engineers, environmental experts, security specialists, economists), the political actors (ministers, local politicians, senior officials, government representatives) and the other social players (citizens, local organisations, mining companies, transport firms)?
Methodology and design solution:
Designed as a "strategic Results Chain", regional transportation planning provides planners with an advantageously flexible, interactive and alternative tool for planning, following-up and communicating both initiatives undertaken and targeted results in term of mobility. It was under this form that the Transport Strategy of Northern Quebec (Canada) was proposed in 2008. In Quebec, the provincial government had committed to carrying out 17 regional transportation plans but had to review and adjust its approach while dealing with the regional context of the northern part of the province, with notable regard to the multicultural character of the region (where live Cree First Nations, Inuit people and Francophone Northerners). The significant number of stakeholders involved in the planning process; the complexity of issues (legal peculiarities, high sensitivity of territory to climate change, remoteness from large centres, high cost of living, economic rivalries) and the rapid changes occurring in the country (mining boom, forest crisis, community agreements, new northern policies) also entail sound adaptation for regional projects planning.
Built (with MS Visio) as a electronic dashboard or printable poster - thanks to the play of geometric shapes and colours - the Results Chain of regional transportation plan gives opportunity to show at one glance : The framework planning (governmental missions, objectives of partners), the strategic targets and outcomes; the initiatives proposed to achieve these outcomes depending on; a) type of initiatives (hypothetical / planned, infrastructural projects / support activities), b) progress report (completed, ongoing, forthcoming), c) responsible organisations of the initiatives and the partners involved.
In terms of planning, the ?Results Chain? gives occasion to stakeholders to adjust the content of the Transportation Plan to frequent changes (new programs, changes in financial resources, local issues). In terms of management, the tool is interactive and, a single click allows selecting items of interest to the planner and its partners and pop-up specific project-sheets (with more detailed information on financial or operational aspects) for each planned initiative. In terms of communication, it allows to circumvent some cultural difficulties, to hide certain irrelevant elements or adjust visual documents in order to work "live" on the planning with targeted groups in expert meetings or general public consultations.
The ETC paper will be based on the experience of regional transport planning with the ?Chain Results?. The paper will present the main features, advantages and limits of the tool developed and explain how such an instrument may find its application in the European context of regional planning and multicultural cooperation.
Association for European Transport