Transportation planning’s related disciplines of land use planning, architecture, landscape design, urban economics and social policy have undergone major internal reform efforts over the past few decades but unfortunately, transport planning seems to be stuck in the 1950s mentality and believes that all the urban problems such as congestion, mobility and economic development has an engineering solution.
Sustainable Urbanism has been identified as the most important environmental concern of the coming century by different experts from different fields whereas transportation planning remains isolated forming a large gap in the strategies of urban sustainability.
Importance of Transportation planning
Transportation is not an end in itself. Rather, it is an investment tool that cities use to help achieve their larger goals. Transportation planners and engineers always focus on the efficient movement of people and goods across the country. However, transportation touches all aspects of city life such as economic development, quality of life, social equity, public health and ecological sustainability.
Improving access by building roads and improving transportation not only reduces congestion but it serves as a driver to drive the real estate prices. Good accessibility attracts jobs and residences which in turn bring in economic development. In a poor economy, the leading citizen complaint is typically jobs whereas in a strong economy, congestion problem rises to the top of the list.
Transportation policy is inevitably a social policy. Some are affected for good and some for bad. In transportation projects where initiatives are taken in the favour of high income motorists may harm the interests of the pedestrians, whereas other investments may significantly expand mobility and job opportunities for those too young, old or disabled to drive.
Our body is designed for walking and 20 minute walking is essential for proper functioning of many of our bodily systems. Transport systems that do not make daily walking a pleasure for all citizens will tend to result in significant public costs.