The learning experience of transport planners : an international survey

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The call to advance the quality of higher education should be a constant priority for academic institutions in response to the changing needs of the professions. This is particular true for transport planning, a discipline that is experiencing rapid and on-going changes due to the emerging environmental, economic, security-related and social issues that mobility is becoming increasingly more associated with. Indeed, academic institutions are faced with the challenge of ensuring that transport planning courses address the growing complexity of urban challenges (Zuylen 2000; Ramsden 2003). Transport planning courses are typically offered in urban and regional planning or engineering departments although, in some instances, they are also offered in other institutions such as tourism, business, public policy, social science and urban studies departments. A number of studies have provided national overviews of transport planning education, such as in Australia (Mateo-Babiano et al., 2013), Switzerland (Kaspar, 1982), Canada (Ruppenthal, 1998) and USA (Krizek and Levinson, 2005). These studies have adopted different research methodologies and slightly different research questions. In any case, in these studies, it has been identified a general preference for multidisciplinary and holistic transport planning courses (see as well van Zuylen, 2000 and Ferreira et al, 2013, who confirm the same trend). In the ‘60s and ‘70s the rational technical planning model influenced the field of transport planning which led to the delivery of a technical-oriented transport-planning curriculum. With the introduction of communicative planning in the ’80s and ‘90s, planning pedagogy was revised to capture its thrust towards policy-orientation and towards the facilitation of communicative planning processes (Handy et al 2002). This had important implications in a number of transport planning courses, which have reflected this new trend.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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