Development of land use and transport systems are to a large degree planned and steered through public planning and decisions making.
The Planning and Building Act and related system and regulations are important instruments for planning and deciding on physical development. It defines a hierarchical planning system, as well as the rights and obligations of participants. The government, counties and municipalities all plan, finance and build transport infrastructure, and operates public transport and infrastructure on different levels. One could thus believe that planning and steering of developments in directions contributing to goal achievement is a manageable task.
However, this does often not seem to be the case. Explanations for this might be that the system is more complex than it at first appears. Various political bodies, government agencies and society plays multiple and strong roles. All political and administrative levels are involved. Development initiatives come from various private and public actors. Several laws, regulations and systems for planning and decisions affect the process and the outcome, and the systems are constantly evolving.
The players have different, and in many cases (apparently), conflicting objectives. The Planning and Building Act places great emphasis on the analysis of alternatives. We study strengths and weaknesses of different methods. Furthermore, how the use and quality of knowledge and methods affect analyses, plans and decisions.
We seek to contribute with knowledge about planning as a proactive and integrative means to achieve important social objectives.
The research group Sustainable Urban Development and Mobility contributes with research on planning and decision making systems and processes, and what influences the outcome given as plans and physical development. This includes how conflicting goals influence processes and outcomes, and which barriers are important hindrances for creating plans contributing to goal achievement.
We contribute with critical research on how planners and other professionals act in planning and decision making processes, what knowledge they use and not use, what types of analyzes they make and the quality of these analyzes, how they interact with politicians and how politicians on their hand relate to knowledge produced by planners and other professionals.
Some results og previous projects in this area arer:
- Barriers and opportunities to car-use reduction – A study of land-use and transport policy in four Norwegian cities
- Uncertainty in environmental impact assessment predictions: the need for better communication and more transparency
- How and why planners make plan which, if implemented, cause growth in traffic volumes. Explanations related to the expert knowledge, the planners and the plan-making processes
- How planners' use and non-use of expert knowledge affect the goal achievement potential of plans: Experiences from strategic land-use and transport planning processes in three Scandinavian cities
- REGPOL: The case of coordinated land use and transport policy: Investigating new tools for regional governance and policy coordination, financed by NRC, 2013 – 2016
- Why we fail to reduce urban road traffic volumes: Does it matter how planners frame the problem? Transport Policy 17 (2010), s. 216 – 233
- Uncertainty in environmental impact assessment predictions – the need for better communication and more transparency
Ongoing projects in this area are:
- IPTC: Public Transport and Urban Structure: Improving Public Transport Competitiveness. Financed by the NRC, 2017 – 2021
- KLIMATT: Knowledge and competence for climate friendly and attractive urban development, financed by Transnova and a number of county and national stakeholders, 2014 - 2017
- Localisation of state and governmental workplaces – where and why?
- SII: Urban development and urban transport for climate-friendly and attractive cities