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Studies in Applied Geography and Spatial Analysis

Addressing Real World Issues

Edited by Robert Stimson and Kingsley E. Haynes

This timely and fascinating book illustrates how applied geography can contribute in a multitude of ways to assist policy processes, evaluate public programs, enhance business decisions, and contribute to formulating solutions for community-level problems.
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Chapter 3: A national transport policy: the case of Pakistan

Roger R. Stough


This chapter discusses the experience of the author consulting for a development bank several years ago to help create a national transport policy for Pakistan. It involved using approaches and concepts common in geographical analysis. The report produced belongs to the development bank and cannot be used directly, thus it is necessary to reconstruct the original analysis and update it to 2011.1 The chapter demonstrates how national goals and problems drive the policy agenda in a way that produces a comprehensive and integrated transport policy supporting economic and societal goals. Given that Pakistan is a developing country and many of its problems are not unique, the chapter provides insight into what a national transport policy might look like. The original policy document is yet to be adopted by the Pakistan Parliament in its original or subsequently modified form. The chapter examines the work undertaken for the evolution and development of a national transport policy for Pakistan in an effort to demonstrate the difficulties to be overcome not only to achieve the creation of such a policy and its enactment into law, but also in implementing policies and principles. Many countries have adopted a national transport policy in an effort to steer institutional development and infrastructure investment toward strategic national development goals. Such goals include efficiency, equity, safety, security, improved rural and urban development, and improved internal and cross-border accessibility and trade. The geography of the country influences the development of both transportation infrastructure and institutions, and thus conditions the policy options.

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