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Long planning processes in transport (SVI 2000/444)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport



The aim of the project is to develop a framework for analysis of regulations and mechanisms which govern processes of long duration in tratffic planning.

Two examples are presented and analysed:

  • Access road to Belp-Airport from Berne
  • Residential road in Bellach (Solothurn)

The project is organised in four phases.

In a first phase a terminology is established. ln the following phase two examples are analysed based on an approach of ‘narrative enquiry’. ln the next phase the results of this research are reanalysed and an analytical model of planning processes of long duration is developed. Finally the analytical model is reformulated and simplified in view of practical applications.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Private foundation
Institution Name
Association of Transportation Engineers
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Narrative Analysis

The narrative analysis revealed that frequently processes perceived to be of long durations are in reality a number of subsequent processes and failures.

Relevance of facts

Questions related to participation and communication proved to be of crucial importance. In addition issues like environmental impact and questions of financing appear to be of relevance. Subjects like urban and regional impact, legal and security issues generally tend to be of minor concern.

Type of objections against traffic projects

Three major types of objections were identified:

  • Objections by people involved directly (e.g. property owners)
  • Factual concems (e.g. environmental impacts)
  • Fundamental concerns (e.g. general opposition against construction of new roads)


Ambivalences of the population involved, of political authorities etc. prove to be major obstacles and tend to massively complicate planning processes.

Participation must be an integral part of planning processes

Acceptance of the results of planning processes by the public depends critically on having enough time to get acquainted with the project. Furthermore, in order to accept the results, the public has to be able to participate in the planning process.

Flexible structures

Rigid structures of the planning organisation can become a major impediment. They tend to prevent teaming from experience during the process of planning and particularly during participation.

Different facets of a successful planning process

  • The rational side involving the correct application of techniques i.e. the craft of planning.
  • Situative facet: Difficulties and conflicts are recognised early and addressed within the normal course of work.
  • Visions: Visions give a sense of purpose in the everyday course of work. They are an important supply of energy within and without the planning team.
  • Intuition: Some influences and difficulties can not be rationally foreseen but might be intuitively felt. The right intuition can lead to new strategies and may change the direction of the planning process in good time.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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