Our approach

We have designed this Guidebook to help all those involved in decisions on land use and transport, in cities throughout Europe, whether as politicians, professional advisers, stakeholders or individual citizens. Transport and land use planning have become increasingly complex. In Section 2 we highlight some of the challenges which cities face. In this brief Guidebook, we suggest a structured approach to tackling these challenges. At each stage we have focused particularly on two questions: why an issue is important, and what the options are for tackling it. We have tried not to be prescriptive, because we appreciate the diversity among the cities of Europe, and we respect the desire of each city to plan its own future. However, we hope that our suggestions will simplify the complex planning task. The original version of this Guidebook, published in January 2003, was based on the work of the PROSPECTS project. In this revised version we have drawn on the output of a further eleven projects in the Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) programme, and on related research and policy guidance.

The structure of the guidebook

In Section 2 we review the challenges which cities face. In Section 3 we consider the decision-making context, including the freedom which cities have to develop their own policies. In Section 4 we outline a number of possible approaches to decision-making. We consider the relative merits of each, and encourage cities to choose which suits them best. In Section 5 we look at the options for facilitating effective participation to support all these approaches. In Section 6 we propose a logical structure for decision-making, which can be used with any of these approaches, and identify the key steps in that process.

Sections 7 to 15 follow the logical structure in Section 6. In Section 7 we review the objectives which cities might set for land use and transport strategies, possible indicators of performance against those objectives, and the role of targets. In Section 8 we consider the alternative approach of identifying problems to be overcome. In Section 9 we identify the full range of land use and transport policy instruments which might be used in tackling these problems, and in Section 10 the barriers to be overcome in using these policy instruments. Section 11 outlines ways in which overall strategies can be formulated using packages of policy instruments in ways which overcome the barriers to progress. In Sections 12 , 13 and 14 we review the range of analytical techniques available for predicting the performance of these strategies, appraising their performance against the objectives, and developing optimal strategies. In Section 15 we consider good practice in implementation and in monitoring performance.

Section 16 presents four case studies of cities which have adopted some or all of these approaches. Section 17 provides a brief glossary, and Section 18 a bibliography.

Where can I find out more?

This Guidebook was originally published in January 2003 as part of the PROSPECTS project. It has been updated to reflect the work in the other projects in the European Commission’s Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) cluster. Further details of this cluster of projects are given in the references section on page 52.

This Guidebook is supported by two others: a Methodological Guidebook which explains how a particular option can be implemented, and a Policy Guidebook which explains how particular policy instruments work, based on real life experience. We have based this Guidebook on a study of decision-making in European cities, PROSPECTS, conducted under the European Commission’s City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage programme. This included a survey of some 60 cities, results of which are presented in the relevant chapters. Further details of the project, and of other useful sources of advice, are given in the bibliography.

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Text edited at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT