Integrate land use and transport: consultant

Curtin academic and consultant to the Ministry for Planning, Carey Curtis, called for better integration of land use and transport planning at the recent Breaking Frontiers conference.

Ms Curtis told conference attendees that transport contributed around 20 per cent of emissions linked with global warming. Transport was also considered to be the fastest growing source of these emissions.

“The form of our cities has resulted in travel patterns where the use of the car predominates and this has resulted in the creation of poor environmental conditions,” Ms Curtis said.

“To carry out our day-to-day activities is much more difficult by any other mode than the car.”

The conference was told that it could take up to ten years before policy changes were evident in land use patterns.

“It is, therefore, all the more important that when opportunities do arise, such as in the case of the Northbridge urban renewal area, designing for transport choice and creating livable streets should not be overlooked,” she said.

“If we want to achieve better integration between land use and transport planning it is important to ensure such planning is not hindered by institutional, sectoral or administrative boundaries.

“This calls for collaborative work – all agencies must be involved and have a clearly articulated role to play.

“An integrated strategy involves, not only the physical relationship between land use and transport uses/networks, but also the administrative relationship.

“This calls for the coordination of agencies, services and operations to ensure the side effects or spin-off benefits of one department’s initiatives are fully utilised by other departments.”

Studies were cited which showed that the ‘zone of influence’ of the car expanded as the speed and quantity of traffic increased.

Cars demand road space for travel and parking. Areas beyond the road, including the pavement, front yards and backyards are also affected.

Ms Curtis said: “Car dominant environments often create a poor environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Car dominant environments suffer from noise and dust pollution, a loss of amenity and severance of communities.

“Transport policy is slowly changing from designing for a transport system dominated by low occupancy car travel towards a system in which public transport and non-motorised options are feasible for many trips”.

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