The role of planners in contention over transport policy: contrasting behaviour and outcomes in Melbourne and Vancouver since 1970


John Stone

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour


Melbourne and Vancouver share many similarities but there are acute differences in both the content and the outcomes of transport and land-use policies since 1970. Explanations for these differences are valuable as guides for future action to meet economic and environmental challenges in transport policy.

Examination of the documentary record and interviews with key figures in both cities reveal striking differences in the behaviour of the politicians, officials and civic action groups engaged in contention over transport policy in the two cities.

Planners played a vital role in Vancouver. Their skilled use of standard transport modelling tools, appropriate choice of public consultation processes, and their understanding of the requirements for good public transport in a dispersed city all contributed to the maintenance of political and community support for growth concentration and minimal investment in road capacity for commuters. In Melbourne, planners with similar outlooks could not gain traction.

Abstract taken from introduction.