Chapter 1: Why this book?
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What makes for a great city in the 21st century? If one aspires to a vision like that of Vancouver, as we do, what does it actually mean and how can a city best realise its vision? Questions such as these are the reason for this book, focusing on cities in highly developed western economies and working from a perspective that sees the idea of integrated planning as a core starting point. This chapter outlines some of the important trends we have observed in urban land use transport planning in recent years, such as: a growing sustainability focus; more attention being paid to structural economic changes and how they affect the spatial structure of cities; the growing importance of neighbourhood, adding a local lens to strategic planning; the interest in compact settlement patterns and in how knowledge of built form and travel interactions can be used to promote this settlement pattern; putting transport in its place, as a servant of land use, rather than letting it determine wider urban outcomes ; and, an increased interest in governance and funding. Our interest is in identifying how the growing knowledge base in such areas can be brought together more effectively, to deliver better urban outcomes. This underlines the vital role we see for a broader, more integrated approach to strategic urban land use transport planning. Subsequent chapters explore improved practice in some detail, with extensive use of case study material.


Over half the world’s population now lives in cities and this share is increasing. The UN expects that it will be 66 per cent by 2050. The well-being of humanity, and of the planet on which it depends, is thus inextricably and increasingly linked to the performance of cities.

Cities are usually the most productive parts of the country in which they are located. They provide the widest range of opportunities for people to engage in activities, such as: work, shopping, dining out, going to the theatre or sporting events, visiting friends, engaging in recreational pursuits and experiencing a range of cultures, as well as having access to education, hospital and medical facilities, if needed. These opportunities have been celebrated by authors such as Glaeser (2011) and they form key reasons why cities have evolved over the past 5000+ years.

Cities also host many major problems. In cities associated with the Industrial Revolution in the UK and Europe, for example, poor sanitation, heavy industrial pollution and communicable diseases shortened many lives. Some of these issues are present in cities in developing countries today, such as can be seen in air pollution from traffic, coal burning, slash and burn practices and deforestation (which frequently affects residents in neighbouring countries). Common concerns in cities today include job creation for all members of the population, traffic congestion, crime, social exclusion, obesity and poor air quality. Great cities work to maximise the good and minimise the bad for all of their citizens. Understanding about many of these issues is increasing but with many gaps remaining, which poses challenges for policy. Path dependence means that remedial action, building on new knowledge, can sometimes take years to achieve results.

Our home city, Melbourne, Australia, is a regular high achiever in various ratings of the world’s most liveable cities. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated it the world’s most liveable city every year from 2011–15 (ahead of wonderful cities like Vancouver and Vienna). Two of the authors of this book spent much of 2012–13 advising the (then) Victorian Planning Minister, and are currently advising the new Victorian State Government and its Planning Minister, on the city’s long-term land use transport strategy. This role has highlighted some of the major planning challenges that Melbourne is facing, despite its high rating. These challenges, which are common to many cities, include:

●  pressures on infrastructure and services provision from a rapid rate of population growth. This is a particular problem in both outer urban growth areas, where development densities are low and local employment opportunities are relatively scarce, and in the inner city, which is undergoing an urban renaissance driven largely by growth in the knowledge economy and a medium- and higher-density housing boom
●  creating sufficient jobs of the right types for the rapidly growing population, including offsetting large losses in manufacturing jobs, which had been a mainstay of the economy. While the city has a number of strong trade-exposed sectors, like education, biomedical research, tourism, professional services and advanced manufacturing, the resources boom in other Australian states, fuelled (for example) by China’s rapid urbanisation, put upwards pressure on the Australian exchange rate, with Melbourne’s trade-exposed sectors under severe pressure for a number of years. The 2015 easing of the construction phase of the mining boom and lower commodity prices has seen a softening in the Australian dollar, which is helping Melbourne’s trade-exposed sectors
●  sharing access to employment opportunities more widely across the metropolitan area. While employment in the Central Business District (CBD) and inner surrounds has grown quickly, as the knowledge economy has boomed, job availability and associated productivity levels in the fast growing outer suburbs are much more problematic, as is access to jobs from these growth areas
●  high and growing costs of traffic congestion, partly a reflection of decades of underinvestment in land transport infrastructure and poor transport pricing systems
●  public transport services that are straining under patronage growth pressures at peak times on many routes but are underutilised in some areas and not available in others, due to a long period of underinvestment
●  high house prices and associated supply shortages of new properties for owner occupancy and properties for rental. Long waiting lists for public housing, an under-resourced, not-for-profit social housing sector, increased numbers of homeless people and a lack of supply of housing to buy or rent at prices affordable to low-income and lower-middle-income households are adversely impacting the city’s economic productivity and creating areas of entrenched social and economic disadvantage
●  high and growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with (for example) Melbourne’s land transport emissions over twice those of London on a per capita basis
●  a high environmental footprint, leading to a loss of biodiversity and the demise of species. Such a trend adversely impacts ecological services, impacting on the economy and wellbeing, as well as affecting the intrinsic rights of other species
●  pressures associated with particular groups of people, such as: the growing gap between disadvantaged and highly advantaged people; high levels of youth unemployment, under-employment and disengagement with education; family violence and crime, obesity and mental health problems; as well as the commonly expressed problem of an ageing population, an issue that is perhaps not receiving the attention it deserves.

These challenges are common to cities but particularly to cities where the major urban growth phase has corresponded with the dominance of the motor vehicle for personal transport and where urban development densities are low. Importantly, seeking to tackle such problems in a silo fashion, as is common practice, will inevitably miss opportunities for synergies and often have adverse unintended consequences, some of which are intergenerational. We provide illustrations of such issues in this introductory section and in the more detailed analysis that follows. More integrated approaches to planning our cities are increasingly recognised as fundamental to the way ahead.

In thinking about what makes a great city, the narrative around a city’s vision is a useful starting place. An inspiring long-term vision for its city’s future is set out in the Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS):

The highest quality of life embracing cultural vitality, economic prosperity, social justice and compassion, all nurtured in and by a beautiful and healthy natural environment. Achieved by an unshakeable commitment to the well-being of current and future generations and the health of our planet, in everything we do. (Metro Vancouver 2011, p.iv)

This strong narrative draws on an extensive history of community engagement, which has given longevity to the city’s development directions and produced one of the most envied standards of living in the world. But, like most cities, Vancouver too has its challenges. Homelessness, for example, stands out starkly to the visitor and transport governance and funding arrangements are in something of a state of flux at the time of writing, which threatens future accessibility levels and all that depends thereon.

In our study of Melbourne we have unashamedly borrowed planning ideas from cities such as Vancouver, London, New York, Portland (Oregon), Malmö and others. The experience convinced us that we had found some answers to making Melbourne a better, fairer, more equitable and just city for its population as it grows and for reducing its total environmental impacts but, along with our colleagues, we had many more questions than answers.

What makes for a great city in the 21st century? If one aspires to a vision like that of Vancouver, as we do, what does it actually mean and how do you best realise the vision? Questions such as these are the reason for this book, working from a perspective that sees the idea of integrated planning as a core starting point. The remaining sections of this chapter outline some of the main trends we have observed in urban land use transport planning in recent years, with a particular focus on identifying gaps in scope and/or performance that seem likely to adversely impact desired urban outcomes, underlining the vital role for integrated approaches to land use transport planning. Subsequent chapters include suggestions for improved practice to deal with some of the shortcomings noted.


1.2.1  Sustainability Focus

Implemented land use and transport policies and plans are crucial influencers of:

●  how cities develop
●  the nature of the opportunities that are available to residents and visitors
●  the way such opportunities are shared
●  the city’s environmental impacts
●  the health of its residents and the vitality of the places that comprise the city.

Discussing the evolution of planning thought, Chapin (2014) identifies Smart Growth and Sustainable Growth Eras as the two latest phases. He outlines the main issues of the Smart Growth Era (~1990 to present day) as environmental degradation, infrastructure provision, place-making, urban economic development and those of the Sustainable Growth Era (emergent), such as economic development, environmental degradation, climate change, energy demand and supply, to which we would add social inclusion.

The concept of sustainability in this field, however, is somewhat elusive. This is illustrated, for example, by any rudimentary internet search around the concept of sustainable transport or sustainable mobility. Bakker et al. (2014) have listed 12 definitions of sustainable transport – a widely agreed definition remains somewhat elusive. With respect to the concept of sustainable mobility, most articles on the subject talk about various qualities that the authors conclude will enhance the sustainability of (urban) mobility systems (e.g. Banister 2008; Gärling et al. 2014). It is unusual, however, to see any reference to the characteristics of a sustainable end-state system. By implication, it might be possible to say that one urban mobility system is more sustainable than another but neither might actually be ‘sustainable’ in any fundamental long-term sense.

Most efforts at defining sustainable mobility (or similar concepts) owe their origins to the work of the landmark Brundtland Commission, which aptly set out its much-quoted definition for sustainable development almost three decades ago: ‘Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED 1987, p.8).

Sustainability, then, might be understood as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Applying such a concept to land use transport planning then needs an explanation of how this concept is to be interpreted in a specific planning context, a value-laden process which emphasises the importance of urban governance in land use transport decision-making.

Reflecting Brundtland-type influences, city land use transport policies and plans now almost universally propose pursuit of high-level economic, social and environmental goals (the triple bottom line) as their strategic intent. Many also include process goals that focus on the how of planning and plan implementation, as we discuss in Chapter 2. The best strategic plans, in our view, are those that go further, recognising the distinctive qualities of the particular city that set it apart, seeking to enhance these qualities within the triple bottom line framework and ensuring the planning/decision-making process is specific about how trade-offs between economic, social and environmental outcomes will be handled. Surprisingly few strategic land use transport plans for cities get to this position.

Murphy and Fox-Rogers (2015) have identified a serious challenge for the urban planning profession in terms of dealing with ideas like the triple bottom line. Their research shows that Irish planners do not have a clear view of the concept of the common good, which must constitute a significant inhibitor to the capacity to provide good land use policy and planning advice. We expect that surveys of planners elsewhere would produce similar findings.

Partly reflecting this general lack of understanding, it is rare to see trade-offs recognised or a clear explanation of the way trade-offs between economic, social and environmental goal areas will be managed in a long-term land use transport plan. Such trade-offs go to the heart of the idea of the common good in a particular jurisdictional setting and are embedded in the welfare economic concept of a social welfare function (Stopher and Stanley 2014). Such matters are ultimately a matter for elected representatives in democratic societies but good planning analysis and evaluation informs key trade-off issues and can greatly assist political decision-making.

Almost by default, in analytical terms, land use transport outcome trade-offs are handled (if at all) through the implicit treatment processes of evaluation tools such as cost–benefit analysis (CBA). CBA generally assumes that anything can be traded-off with anything else, provided the relevant effects can be expressed in money terms, a very simple form of social welfare function. Economists who use CBA as a tool of their trade rarely clarify the implicit value judgements that are involved in its use, mirroring in many ways the planners’ lack of understanding of the idea of the common good. The concept of certain goals or outcomes being treated as non-negotiable and not subject to trade-offs, such as achieving a particular target level of GHG emissions (consistent with international global warming targets) or road fatality accident rates, is rarely confronted. By implication, a city might become more sustainable with respect to some particular outcome goal it is pursuing, in relative terms (e.g. it is reducing its GHG emissions), but not actually be sustainable with respect to that outcome in an absolute sense (i.e. its emissions trends are still excessive, relative to global targets).1

A clear sense of direction (vision and goals; the common good for citizens) is a fundamental starting point for good strategic land use transport planning, supported by integrated policies and plans for delivery. Cities like Vancouver, London and Freiburg (Germany) understand this and set high standards, although this does not guarantee that they are able to achieve uniformly good outcomes which encompass the whole city. However, others can learn from their successes.

1.2.2  Compact Settlement Patterns

In pursuit of triple bottom line strategic goals, we see the most common land use trend in cities within developed economies is towards more compact urban settlement patterns. These are characterised (inter alia) by higher densities, mixed-use development, high walkability and good public transport (transit) accessibility. Developed countries whose cities are already relatively high on the density scale are also typically seeking to retain or further increase densities, often through brownfield conversion (e.g. London’s ‘Opportunity Areas’ and ‘regeneration areas’). In an important piece of analysis, Levine et al. (2012) have shown that accessibility to urban opportunities can be improved with more compact urban development patterns, even if congestion levels increase.

This land use direction is reflected in movements such as Smart Growth, New Urbanism and transit-oriented development (TOD). Thinking behind such approaches typically encompasses perspectives like the following (Meredith Sussex, personal communication):

●  planning should be for whole communities, providing access to jobs, schools, shops and services, recreational facilities, open space and access to other people
●  outward growth of cities should be constrained
●  ‘green’ areas should be retained within and around cities
●  ‘close-to-market’ agricultural and horticultural land should be retained as far as possible
●  larger cities should have a networked polycentric shape rather than a single central business district
●  higher density, mixed-use development should be encouraged at public transport stops, particularly rail stops but also along major public transport routes
●  all neighbourhoods should have access to urban villages, be walkable and cyclable
●  use of public transport should be encouraged wherever possible
●  use of cars should be discouraged wherever possible
●  open space and recreational space should be accessible within every neighbourhood
●  public space should be on a human scale, well-designed and safe, and should encourage concentrated and varied activity
●  neighbourhoods should have diverse housing to enable people of widely differing ages, capacities and economic levels to live there, maintaining social interactions and connections with their local community
●  housing, neighbourhoods and cities should be planned to maximise energy and water efficiency and minimise urban heat island impacts
●  planning for industry and freight should include consideration of neighbourhood amenities as well as economic efficiencies
●  regional residential and employment land use should be built around public transport
●  cities should have the capability to respond to natural and man-made disasters and the resilience to respond and rebuild.

1.2.3  An Increasing Economic Focus

In a city context, we define economic productivity as city output of goods and services per unit of resource inputs (labour, capital and land), which is usually measured in simplified (albeit imperfect) terms at city level (or part thereof) as gross regional product (GRP) per hour worked. Productivity improvement is, then, an increase in GRP/hours worked, while economic growth is simply an increase in GRP, whatever source. Economic productivity is the more important concept in terms of citizen welfare.

Some cities are now recognising important links between their economic productivity and land use transport policy and planning directions, based on a growing understanding of the spatial economic geography of the city, the nature of structural economic changes taking place in the city and the role of accessibility in spatial structuring. This is a relatively new area of research, policy and planning understanding as it applies to city strategic land use transport planning. London, for example, has the promotion of its development as a global city front and centre in terms of its land use transport planning directions, recognising the importance of the centre to global London and the role of high-quality accessibility in both sustaining the vitality of the centre and enabling large numbers of people to access the opportunities that are available in that area (Mayor of London 2015). Huge infrastructure projects in London, such as Crossrail 1 and 2, are central to supporting these policy directions, as is the provision of housing which is affordable for different income groups.

Similarly, Melbourne has identified significant connections between accessibility and urban productivity. The city has now adopted a particular form of polycentric urban development to both promote productivity growth and enable better sharing of the benefits of this productivity enhancement across the city. The city’s long-term land use transport plan is intended, inter alia, to provide outer suburban residents with better transport access to concentrations of knowledge-based job opportunities throughout the city (and also to job concentrations elsewhere in the established suburbs).

However, not many cities have explored in such detail the connections between urban economic productivity and accessibility. The research evidence from cities like London and Melbourne shows the importance of building a better understanding of land use transport linkages to economic productivity and its spatial arrangement. It underlines the importance of broadening the way strategic land use transport integration is approached. In this particular case, higher growth in economic productivity and a fairer distribution of economic opportunities throughout the city are at stake. Chapter 3 explores this issue in some detail.

1.2.4  Built Form and Travel

Access to jobs, education, services, family and friends, recreational and cultural opportunities and the like are common reasons why people live in and move around cities. The concept of accessibility, of being able to reach places to undertake activities, ties land use and transport together. A growing body of research has demonstrated links between the built environment (land use) and travel, with characteristics such as higher density and mixed-use development (for example) tending to be associated with a higher share of trips taken walking, cycling and by public transport, widely regarded as supporting more sustainable economic, social and environmental outcomes.

The most comprehensive review of connections between the built environment and travel is the meta-analysis by Ewing and Cervero (2010), who talk about the following five ‘Ds’ of built form in terms of how they impact on car travel distances (vehicle kilometres of travel, or VKT):

1.  density – higher densities support more local activity opportunities, higher public transport service levels and walking. Destination density is particularly important
2.  diversity of land uses – making it easier to undertake activities locally, associated with concepts such as mixed-use development and jobs/housing balance
3.  design – particularly creating interesting places where people want to be, are safe and feel safe and promoting interactions between people and the natural environment, which is important to wellbeing (see Chapters 4, 5 and 7)
4.  destination accessibility – which is about ease of access to trip destinations and developing activity nodes and corridors which link these nodes and
5.  distance to transit – which is supported by fine-grained pedestrian opportunities, embedded in design elements such as intersection density and street connectivity. For example, Ewing and Cervero (2010) find that halving the distance to the nearest transit stop is associated with a 29 per cent increase in trips.

Ewing and Cervero report impact elasticities, which show the relative sensitivity of response variables (primarily VKT in their case) to changes in a range of causal influences (the respective Ds). Most individual reported elasticities are small but the combined effect of a number of measures can be significantly larger, particularly when regional and local measures are both used. This underlines the importance of integrated approaches to land use transport policy and planning, in this case encompassing integrated regional and local scales of thinking.

The focus on achieving more compact cities has often concentrated on increasing densities through high-rise development in central/inner areas. These are the areas where agglomeration economics are strong, accessibility levels are usually highest and the destination density/accessibility influence drives a major role for public transport, walking and cycling. However, concentrations of high-rise housing developments (sometimes pejoratively called ‘vertical sprawl’) are often not the best answer, as loss of public space often occurs in association with such developments and there is a loss of human scale. There is, accordingly, growing interest in many developed cities in increasing densities through medium-rise development in established inner/middle ring suburbs, which includes distributive planning practices that share the benefits of growth and productivity beyond the central city (e.g. ULI 2012, Prince’s Foundation 2014).

The growing understanding of linkages between built form and travel is reflected in the increasing planning interest in TOD, a mixed-use development model that aims to improve urban accessibility partly by reducing the need to travel and by supporting travel by low impacts means (walking, cycling and public transport). The rollout of this development format, however, is frequently found to be associated with gentrification, accentuating problems of urban housing affordability and socio-economic stratification. The gentrification effect reflects the land value impacts of improved accessibility. The link between TOD and housing (un)affordability is an important reason why integrated land use transport planning needs to take a wider frame of reference, as London is demonstrating. It also flags the need to look out for value capture opportunities that might help fund land use transport developments. Chapter 9 discusses funding and Chapter 6 discusses housing within integrated planning.

1.2.5  The Importance of Neighbourhood

Urban strategic land use and transport policy and planning have traditionally been ‘top-down’ activities, which start by identifying some loosely defined, high-level outcome goals for the city and identifying problems that must be confronted to advance goal achievement. However, most people live most of their daily lives locally, not city-wide. Their wellbeing is, therefore, at least as much tied up in how well their local neighbourhood functions as it is in how well the wider city functions. This issue is commonly referred to in social policy and planning literature but has not impacted as widely on strategic land use transport policy and planning, in part due to the scant research base. The importance of neighbourhood and communities was widely discussed in the activist age of the 1960s and 70s but subsequently dropped down, and even off, the agenda, until more recent times.

The North American focus on Smart Growth (e.g. US EPA undated) and on Creating Complete Communities (Metro Vancouver 2011) highlights a current growing interest in neighbourhood. Ohland and Brooks (2013), for example, describe the aim of creating complete communities as building communities where people can live, work, move and thrive. New York City is a notable international example, with its recent planning focus at street/place level (NYSSP 2008), discussed further in Chapter 10, and a history that includes the vibrancy of Jane Jacobs’ discussions of life in Greenwich Village (Jacobs 1961). Similarly Portland, Oregon has long prioritised planning for neighbourhoods. Other cities are now moving in this direction.

The growing interest in neighbourhood is reflected in the increased focus on the role and importance of walkability in area/neighbourhood design (e.g. Speck 2012). Leinberger (2009) uses the term ‘walkable urbanism’ to describe a situation where you can ‘satisfy most everyday needs, such as school, shopping, parks, friends and even employment, within walking or transit distance of one’s home’ (Leinberger 2009, p.5).

This idea is very similar to the Portland and Melbourne concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods, where people can undertake most of the activities they need for a good life within 20 minutes trip time by walking, cycling or public transport (Stanley et al. 2015). Freiburg in Germany clearly understands the value of neighbourhood and describes itself evocatively as a city of short distances, planning its land use and transport systems to support achievement. However, a neighbourhood is much more than this, a perspective clearly reflected in Freiburg with its ‘neighbourliness’ and permission for individual expression within a central development plan, an issue discussed in Chapter 4.

We find the increasing focus on neighbourhoods and associated idea of ‘complete communities’ very appealing. However, just what constitutes a ‘complete community’ is not well understood or developed, with the relevant evidence-base only slowly being defined, and governance frameworks that integrate neighbourhood-level thinking into broad strategic land use transport planning poorly developed. Some cities do some parts very well but there are usually many gaps in coverage, scope and quality. Increasing the foundation for evidence-based policy in creating complete communities is one of the goals of this book.

1.2.6  Putting Transport in its Place

In transport planning and policy conversations, built form has primarily been a focus in terms of its long-term impact on VKT and the associated social costs of such travel (particularly congestion, GHG emissions, accidents and air pollution). In urban design language, built form is integral to place-making and creating urban spaces and places that are safe, inclusive, attractive and functional. In health circles, the built environment has been of interest because of the possible connection with health outcomes, particularly in terms of the associated beneficial impacts of active travel and public transport in mitigating obesity and air pollution health costs (Frank et al. 2006). Linkages between built form and walking (and, to a lesser extent, cycling) are now important in both transport and health policy conversations. Leinberger and Alfonzo (2012) identify significant economic benefits from walkable places but also draw attention to potential gentrification impacts, an argument for more integrated approaches to strategic land use transport planning.

The growing emphasis on connections between built form and travel and on walkability suggests that transport policy and planning (if not practice in some locations) has moved on substantially from the ‘predict and provide’ days that characterised the major freeway era of the 1960s and 70s. Transport policy responses to the current multiple, pressing and near-universal city problems of low productivity growth, traffic congestion, air pollution, GHG emissions, a high road toll, energy insecurity, social exclusion and increasing obesity from a lack of exercise are increasingly looking to long-term, land use transport-based solutions, as part of an integrated policy approach.

Transport demand management is slowly becoming an important policy focus, particularly in Europe and notably in Singapore (where it has a long history). Transport solutions that rely on public and active transport are now frequently prioritised ahead of road improvements. The demand management perspective brings in the importance of making the best possible use of existing assets before costly improvements are undertaken, with pricing reform an important tool in the policy armoury in this space. These perspectives are a further illustration of why strategic urban land use transport policy and planning involves an increasingly broad perspective.

Notwithstanding these nascent trends, however, our experience in Melbourne and some other cities reveals a continuing tendency for some major transport projects to be framed simply as solutions to pressing ‘transport’ problems (such as removing or reducing corridor traffic congestion) and imposed on land use plans, rather than emerging as a means of supporting land use plans in the pursuit of broad community goals and that city vision that we spoke about earlier.

1.2.7  Governance and Funding

Our discussions with experts from cities that are discussed in this book, together with our own repeated experience in Melbourne, have underlined the vital role of integrated governance arrangements and a funded implementation plan for successful strategic land use transport planning. Extensive community consultations in which we have been actively involved over a number of years, through advising the Victorian Government on Melbourne’s long-term strategy, repeatedly came back to the same questions: who owns the strategy and how will it be implemented and funded?

Governance and funding issues have been a major focus of the work of the Cities Group at London School of Economics (LSE), whose publications are a great source of ideas for those interested in better urban governance across cities in different socio-economic and cultural settings. Moonen et al. (2014), for example, highlight the challenges of low levels of city autonomy (including financial autonomy) and fragmented governance, together with a lack of national support for urban agendas. Their insights resonate strongly with our Australian experience. Governance should be somewhat easier in a single authority urban setting but cities like London and Vancouver have shown how to effectively tackle governance challenges in a multi-authority urban setting, as discussed in Chapters 8 and 9. The experience of many cities is that a committed community engagement process is a central element in the relevant governance arrangements, supporting the buy-in needed for plans to have longevity and buy-in or ownership at the local level.


Looking at land use and transport in a narrow fashion is not sufficient to resolve many of the challenges confronting cities. The examples summarised in the preceding sections indicate that integrated strategic land use transport planning is in the process of becoming broader in scope in several important directions to respond to this challenge but has much further to progress in each of these directions. Some, but not all, cities are:

1.  focusing more on economic, social and environmental sustainability outcomes but often without a clear conception of what sustainability might mean and/or an adequate evidence base on which to frame supporting policy
2.  including a wider range of community outcome goals/impacts within the range of matters that are considered ‘in-scope’, such as improving the economic productivity growth rate, increasing the availability of affordable housing and the creation of complete communities, all within the framework of pursuing a triple bottom line based approach. This reflects a growing awareness that land use transport policy and planning can affect many valued community goals. However, few plans include all such matters and it is early days in terms of understanding many of the issues concerned and how they might interconnect, such as might help ensure the best outcomes can be achieved
3.  including both top-down strategic perspectives and bottom-up neighbourhood- or community-level perspectives, with active engagement processes, resulting in an associated broadening of the range of relevant policy measures. However, governance frameworks for integrating neighbourhood-level perspectives are still unusual within the strategic land use transport planning process and community engagement is often still tokenistic
4.  integrating governance and funding arrangements within the land use transport planning process, to give it the closure that has so often been lacking, but many plans still neglect these matters.

This book is intended to help fill some of the knowledge gaps that are emerging in the process of broadening land use transport policy and planning. We have chosen to focus on five areas in particular, from among many.

1.  How structural economic changes are affecting cities and how some cities are shaping land use transport planning to work with these changes, to deliver better community outcomes. This is the major focus of Chapter 3.
2.  Elaboration of the meaning of social sustainability and identifying ways in which land use transport planning can be a positive force in its enhancement, across spatial and social divides. This includes issues such as youth unemployment and social problems around mental health and family violence. Chapter 4 focuses on social sustainability, and Chapter 5 provides a particular focus on children, to illustrate how a deeper evidence base can support innovative policy development.
3.  The growing problem in successful cities, a shortage of affordable housing, which is a problem that has often been accentuated by well-meaning efforts to promote TOD or to increase the supply of housing but in locations that are devoid of jobs, services and public transport. The choices for a proportion of city residents are often homelessness, living in urban ghettos or moving into housing poverty. Affordable housing is the main focus of Chapter 6.
4.  Integration of environmental goals and policies centrally within the land use transport planning process, in a way that complements desired social and economic outcomes. Environmental perspectives are the subject of Chapter 7.
5.  Governance and funding arrangements that can support delivery of more integrated land use transport planning, as we broadly conceive it in this book. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with these matters.

Our main intent is to suggest ways in which a broader conception of integrated land use transport policy and planning can be approached, to help deliver improved outcomes across all sustainability dimensions, for the benefit of urban residents, visitors and the wider society and for the environment, on which so much else depends. Chapter 10 seeks to draw the various elements together to suggest how better practice might be achieved in this regard. The book draws on research and on what we see as best practice from many cities, as well as reporting on developing knowledge in this field. It is essentially about supporting a better evidence base for good city planning practice and decision-making.


1.  We do note, however, that some cities are now becoming more active in this space, particularly around targeting GHG emissions levels.