Evaluation and Appraisal of Sustainable and Integrated Urban Transport Projects
Frederic Rudolph, Wuppertal Institute, Kain Glensor, Wuppertal Institute, Hanna Hueging, Wuppertal Institute
The paper develops options for decision-makers to appraise small-scale, sustainable urban transport policy measures.
Investments in urban transport should deliver the maximum economic, social and environmental benefits; in times of constrained budgets, projects’ economic viability is often the deciding factor. This paper discusses the current practices and challenges facing cities in assessing urban transport interventions. On this basis, it develops options for decision-makers to appraise small-scale, sustainable urban transport policy measures.
The analysis of current appraisal practice shows that data requirements and complexity are cities’ main obstacles appraising projects and comparing potential alternatives. Additionally, there is often a risk that project appraisal enters the planning process too late to play any meaningful role. Conducting a CBA ex-ante is often only approved if the implementation of the measure in question is already likely. Often, a CBA is a means to access funds rather than a basis for decision-making. Project appraisal of small-scale and non-infrastructure-based measures is often simply too expensive.
On the basis of these findings, the paper discusses the following alternatives to comprehensive CBAs: 1) learn from others, 2) use a simplified assessment method, 3) rely on norms and values. All of these options aim to cope with the trade-off between effort and certitude. In practice, some policy-makers may already apply one or more of these options, but this has not been documented in a systematic manner. A systematic documentation of such practices could be a major step forward for implementation of sustainable and integrated urban transport projects, as it would shed some light on the reasoning behind decisions, from which conclusions could be drawn on the likely follow-on effects thereof and also possible improvements to the process.
Association for European Transport