ABSTRACT

Transport and land use systems are large-scale, technologically enabled, complex, dynamic, socially interactive systems. Each has a number of properties, whose observed or predicted performance can be evaluated with the Es of efficiency, equity, environment, and experience, mediated by expediency. Assuming the five criteria described in the Diamond of Evaluation cover the major goals of transport and land use planning prompts one to prescribe measures of effectiveness. There is no single measure of effectiveness that adequately describes the transport or land use systems; likewise, there is no single measure that jointly describes efficiency, equity, experience, environment, or expediency. The economist's perspective on effectiveness typically revolves around the notion of benefit–cost analysis, a task which involves summing the net present values of benefits and costs. If the benefits exceed the costs, the project provides economic efficiency. Most residents and political leaders think of traffic congestion as an evil—traffic-snarled streets or highways that waste countless hours, decrease economic output, and frustrate residents.