TPS annual lecture: A Vision-Led Approach to Strategic Planning in Greater Manchester
Nicola Kane, Head of Strategic Planning and Research at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Transport Planner of the Year 2017

What is it about the 2040 Greater Manchester Transport Strategy that regularly earns it praise from other transport planners? For one thing, the process of engaging with the public and stakeholders didn’t start with transport but with a vision for the city-region, an optimistic vision of an administration with newly devolved powers.

This vision-led approach then means rejecting the tendency to gather a long list of schemes on the wish-list of each stakeholders, but to engage in a conversation and people, places and the journeys they make. And rather than immediately talking about transport modes, that discussion focusses around types of journey, from the short trips within a neighbourhood right through to the global connections.

This approach does not mean rejecting the ‘traditional’ analytical toolkit of the transport planning profession but using it in different ways. For example, TfGM used transport modelling in different ways to understand the outcomes of a policy and investment decisions. This scenario-based approach looked at a range of possible futures including a “DfT methodology” scenario, an assessment of a continuation of recent investment and policies, and a 2040 Strategy scenario.
Could this approach be replicated in other cities? Nicola identified six factors that enabled the 2040 Strategy: political leadership; aligning and validating the visions; insight and engagement; an adapted toolkit; pilots and trials; and funding and powers. While some cities may face barriers in terms of politics and lacking multi-year funding settlements, the core transport planning principles contained within the 2040 Strategy and the resulting approach to strategy development can serve as a positive example.

To download a copy of her presentation click here 

 
 
 

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