Edited by Koen Frenken
Chapter 13: Evolutionary Urban Transportation Planning? An Exploration
Luca Bertolini 1. INTRODUCTION For urban transportation planners these are challenging times. On the one hand, and in spite of all the hype about dematerialization of society, physical mobility systems appear ever more crucial in granting individuals and organizations the access to the spatially and temporally disjointed resources they need to thrive or even just to survive. On the other, because of a heterogeneous mix of mounting ﬁnancial and ﬁscal constraints to infrastructure expansion, and growing awareness of and social resistance to the negative impacts of mobility, the traditional ‘predict and provide’ approach to planning is no longer an option. Practical concerns are echoed by more fundamental critiques (see, for instance, Dimitriou, 1992; Giﬀord, 2003). Central to this more fundamental criticism is the contention that conventional planning methods do not adequately account for the irreducible uncertainty of developments aﬀecting transport and its relationship with the broader context. Uncertainty is, of course, inherent to any future-oriented activity. There are, however, diﬀerent forms of uncertainty. As discussed by Van der Heijden (1996), a ﬁrst form of uncertainty is risk, where there is enough historical precedent in terms of similar events to allow the estimation of probabilities for various outcomes (this is the core realm of forecasting); structural uncertainties are a second form, where the event, while still conceivable in terms of chains of cause and eﬀect, is unique enough not to provide any indication of likelihood (think of the complex interplay of rising wealth, social emancipation, mass motorization...
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