chapter  5
34 Pages

Transport and Land Use Planning

One of the most pervasive tendencies of the last 30 years in developed countries is the elevation of distance to the ranks of a significant and desirable consumer good. We consume distance with an intensity and a fervour that was once reserved for energy and we facilitate the process of consumption by making sure that wherever possible complex journey patterns can be substituted for simple ones, destinations (of whatever kind) can be widely separated and considerable areas of land can be devoted to highways and car parking. The importance of land use changes over time is critical in understanding this societal shift from a (relatively) low energy, space efficient, time efficient model to a space greedy, dispersed, energy inefficient and time wasting model. There is an enormous paradox in this shift over time. Several generations of transport and planning professionals have been reared on a diet of transport-land use interactions. Our understanding of the importance of land use changes in determining patterns of transport demand is as sophisticated as our willingness to do something about it is negligible. Highly trained professionals and the whole apparatus of public and private decision making and investment/disinvestment decision making have moulded a spatial structure at the regional, urban and local levels that builds in the necessity to travel longer distances. Each year we travel further ׳than the previous year and demand more road space, more parking space, more cash and more fossil fuel energy to make it a l possible.