Planning for Future Transport: How to Plan Today for an Uncertain Future
Stephen Bennett, Arup, Kevin Yeung, Arup, Rebecca Chung, Arup
Transport is changing. The purpose of this paper is to understand what possible transport futures might be and provide practical advice to city planners on the implications of these futures for designing our cities to meet objectives.
We all know that transport is changing and every day we are offered new visions of possible transport futures. But these visions don’t often help us decide what we should be doing now to prepare for the future. Rather than trying to predict the future, this paper asks what do city planners need to do today to plan for this bewildering array of possible scenarios?
The purpose of the paper is to understand what the possible transport futures might be and provide practical advice to city planners on the implications of these futures for designing our cities to meet economic, social and environmental objectives.
The paper is based on a review of the available literature on transport futures and current trends in travel in cities. It considers what city development objectives should be, to ensure that future development is meeting our needs, rather than just adopting the latest technology for its own sake.
To understand likely impacts it will assess what trends are already happening and have more certainty, and which predictions are much less certain. For example, we know that car ownership amongst young urban residents is already declining, but the full implementation of autonomous vehicles on our public roads is less certain and could take different routes to implementation.
The paper also provides original research from interviews with Arup’s leading transport and technology experts on their views on possible transport futures and their advice for city planners on how to respond. This will include practical steps on how streets and buildings should be designed differently and also what planners can do to prepare for the future, in terms of monitoring data to identify changing travel trends. This includes case studies from Arup’s work on the oneTransport data sharing platform currently being developed in the UK.
The paper has a broad scope, looking at what quality of life objectives we need achieve to facilitate healthy and happy urban life in future, and how technological change and city design can deliver that.
Association for European Transport