Todd Litman is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
Most professions have special responsibilities to society. Physicians are expected to observe the Hippocratic oath. Police officers must apply the law fairly and refrain from abusing their power. Lawyers and accountants are expected to offer accurate advice and protect client confidentiality.
And planners? We have a special responsibility to consider all perspectives and impacts. When evaluating public policy questions most people ask selfishly, “How does this affect me?” Planners, in contrast, should ask selflessly, “How does this affect the community, particularly disadvantaged and underrepresented groups?”
Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 11:26am PDT
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 8:49am PDT
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 7:22am PST
I spent last week at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila, in the Philippines, where we are starting on an exciting but humbling project: developing a more comprehensive framework for transport project evaluation. Among other factors, this project will develop better methods for incorporating social equity impacts into transport planning. This is important in any community, and particularly in developing countries where many people are extremely poor. What transport policies and planning practices respond to their needs?
Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:41pm PST
Healthy children grow bigger, but once people reach maturity at about age 20 continued physical growth is harmful - it makes us fat. It is certainly possible to develop our skills, strength and knowledge, but most adults should not pursue growth as an end in itself. This also applies to communities.
Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 8:19am PST
One accurate measurement can be more insightful than a thousand expert opinions.
In a recent blog titled, Livability and All That, highway expert Alan Pisarski argues that highway-oriented transport systems are necessary for efficient consumer and labor markets.
Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 6:55am PST
Virtually every modern economy is mixed: governments produce some goods and services and private companies produce others. Governments generally provide those goods and services that are either considered essential and should be available to everybody regardless of ability to pay, or that require strategic coordination, including police protection, basic education, transportation infrastructure, parks, and public health services.
Transportation facilities and services are among these basic government functions.
Monday, November 15, 2010 - 5:43am PST
Why are otherwise generous and smart people sometimes selfish and irrational?
Monday, October 25, 2010 - 12:07am PDT
Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?
Because pedestrian Level-Of-Service was below “C”.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 9:52pm PDT
Planning decisions often have significant indirect effects. As planners, our challenge is to clearly describe these impacts and quantify them as much as possible so they can be incorporated into decision making. An example of this is the effect that transportation planning decisions have on human health. These impacts are significant but often overlooked or undervalued in the planning process. I have worked on several research projects that explore the nexus between transport planning decisions and public health, and are developing practical tools for incorporating them into planning. Let me share some of my current thinking about this issue.
Monday, September 6, 2010 - 7:06am PDT