Project teams can develop a range of options for achieving the shared vision and objectives, taking into account the issues and opportunities identified in previous steps. Options may focus on the study area or may extend beyond it and involve wider interventions in consultation with other teams and agencies.
The aim of this step is to develop a range of options for achieving the vision and objectives identified in Step 1, taking into account the issues and opportunities identified in Step 4 (together, defined as the ‘problem’).
The process explains how to incorporate a Movement and Place approach into the development and evaluation of options. However, Movement and Place is just one of the broader range of considerations that apply to developing and evaluating options – other issues for consideration include common planning assumptions and constraints, demand, cost–benefit analysis, etc.
Moreover, options are not restricted to capital investment. For example, they could include operational improvements or behaviour changes. Best practice business cases consider at least two options (preferred and alternative) in addition to the baseline (minimal intervention) case.
Detailed guidance on Step 5 of the Movement and Place Core Process can be found in the Practitioner's Guide to Movement and Place. For a full guide to developing options, see Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines T8 – Real Options Assessment (October 2020).
The NSW Movement and Place Framework has established a set of built environment indicators for evaluating Movement and Place projects. The indicators are based on qualities that contribute to a well-designed built environment and are grouped under themes relating to user outcomes. Project teams are required to use these indicators for measuring and evaluating options.
When assessing an option’s relative merit and value against the existing state, all projects, as a minimum, should aim to improve on each aspect of the built environment themes. In addition, an option should neither degrade any indicator nor focus improvements solely on one indicator where more holistic outcomes have been identified. However, trade-offs may be required to achieve the best fit for a project's objectives. If a particular outcome worsens one indicator in delivering another, project teams need to document how the collaborative process established the preferred solution.
For more information on communicating a preferred option to decision-makers, see the Evaluator’s Guide to Movement and Place.