Twentieth-century urban transport planning has typically held narrow definitions of problems (e.g. alleviating congestion) and solutions (e.g. increasing road capacity). In some respects, this has allowed for unprecedented effectiveness and efficiency, but in other respects it has generated new and apparently intractable problems. The deep intertwining of transport with everyday life in cities, and its implications for the quality of places and for the quest for sustainable development, require a broader focus for transport planning in the twenty-first century. In particular, the role of transport in making or breaking places should be acknowledged. In today’s urban world this means, on one side, finding ways of connecting increasingly spatially dispersed and temporally variable places of activity, and on the other side finding ways of bringing the negative impacts of transport on liveability and the environment down to sustainable levels. The urban transport planning that can deliver this is one where each transportation means (e.g. the car, public transport, biking and walking, but also digital ‘virtual’ transport by means of telecommunication) is used for what it can do best; where different transportation means are integrated with each other; where infrastructure (including large-scale infrastructure) enhances rather than harms the urban fabric; and where innovation is stimulated on all fronts.
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