Publication: Sydney is not Australia: What can Australian transportation planning policy makers learn from the European dimension of planning?
There is much that Australian policy-makers could (and should) learn from their European cousins. Vettoretto (2009) identifies “good governance” as one of the central strengths of Europe’s planning and policy-making practice, noting that policy-making should support, among other things, regulation through sense-making, strategic representation and advocacy. These tenets make the European approach to planning attractive to communities that feel isolated or left out of broader strategies for economic development that inform transportation planning. However, the transfer of European planning concepts to the Australian context, particularly for transportation, faces an uphill battle (as per Pojani & Stead, 2015). Australia’s major transportation planning agendas appear more interested on increasing mobility and urban densities in capital cities at the expense of improving regional community sustainability and connectivity. This has the effect of making busy transport systems busier, and promotes a classist system for promoting economic growth – not just between cities and regional areas, but between biggest city and next biggest cities, and so on. The density of international flights to Sydney and Melbourne make it commonplace, and often a pragmatic requirement, for residents who live anywhere other than the South East of the Australian continent to fly first to one of these two cities to access connecting international flights. This is the equivalent of having to fly from New York to Miami to fly to Lisbon, or from Lisbon to Istanbul to fly to South Africa. The inconvenience of having to fly South to fly North (intercontinentally) is only exacerbated for regional communities that first have to fly to a capital city, then on to Sydney or Melbourne, then on to their international destination. This makes international mobility the most inaccessible for the communities already provided with the least infrastructure, and struggling to maintain sustainable communities due to the attraction of the populace away from regional agricultural communities and into the coastal cities. Furthermore, this inequity in accessibility works against the Australian Government’s aspirations for promoting new (migrating) Australians to settle in regional areas. To provide strategic representation and advocacy for regional communities, Australia’s transportation planning, and the planning and governance of its aviation network, can and should learn from a more balanced, more European dimension of planning. By reviewing the current state of the country’s aviation network (airports, tourism assets, passenger routes, supporting infrastructure and supporting governance mechanisms), the authors have identified the policy-making opportunities for the Australian State of Queensland to learn from European planning approaches. By taking the European perspective of developing regulation through sense-making, this research identifies a range of aviation network design and regulation principles that promote the interests of regional mobility and inclusion, sustainable communities, and advocating equitable access to international transport and economic growth opportunities for the State of Queensland.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved