The transport problem is always seen in terms of infrastructure: ‘we don’t have enough, therefore we must pour money into building more’. But the immediate problem is that we don’t use what we have effectively and efficiently. There are many cities in the world with superior transport systems that have far less infrastructure than Melbourne.
Melbourne needs a new vision for transport and a new plan to implement the vision. The plan must start not with new infrastructure but with institutional change and better management of our public transport system and new investment priorities.
We want transport on rails and transport on roads to be planned as a single integrated network. Thinking about transport must be joined up with thinking about the future shape of our city. Walking and cycling must be treated as transport modes needing safe infrastructure. We need a plan that reflects the best international practice. We also need a new freight plan.
Material on this important concept of integration follows and TfM thanks the authors for allowing it to be reproduced on the TfM website.
Nicholas Low, Professorial Fellow in Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Melbourne: