Aligning movement and place stands to provide better value – both in terms of direct social, environmental, and economic value as well as in user satisfaction and reflection of community standards.
Often there is an asymmetry in the cost and benefit of integrated projects where wider benefits may be omitted or inadequately safeguarded due to their impact on a predefined cost envelope. Projects that assess net community benefit, and total cost to government, are better able to address this asymmetry and avoid value-engineering or contingency eroding those benefits.
Value can be measured in broad terms, including how well movement and place supports social interaction and delivers wider environmental benefits:
- Is the amount of street space available for lingering increased or access to off-street public space improved?
- Does the project foster social coherence (e.g. by providing public space supporting participation, local partnerships, jobs, education or microbusiness)?
- Does the project require a local place governance body? If so, could this be made permanent to help support the place in the long term?
- Are the parts of the place that are known to be valued – significant trees, conservation areas, heritage items – respected? Enhanced? Is the response to this place and its history authentic?
- Does the project minimise or mitigate externalities that government will be required to fund, such as increased stormwater run-off, loss of tree canopy cover, etc.?
- Is the wider economic value of the project considered, including local employment, impact on property values, business prosperity, vacancy rates, attractiveness to investors and visitors. How does walkability affect the productivity of the place (e.g. permeability, effective job density and impact of crossing delay)?
- Does the project proposal or business case value virtuous circles? (E.g. increased cycling health benefits to individuals plus decongestion and improved air quality.)
- Does the design support greater amenity, arrest any decline, and sustain local communities in future? Does the design of the street or road enhance the place?
- Is the infrastructure capacity fit for the future (growth and character) of the place, particularly the desired density? How are corridors reserved and what ‘meanwhile’ uses or services are proposed to establish desired character or travel patterns?
- Does the project demonstrate good faith by delivering place benefits early and minimising impacts of construction? (E.g. footpaths maintained during construction, Construction Pedestrian Management Plan (CTMP) maintains direct pedestrian desire lines.)
- How is the funding and delivery of place benefits aligned with the project? If assigned to other entities or projects, how has the delivery by others been secured or safeguarded, such as through interim works?
- Is there a strategy for repurposing any redundant infrastructure? Will part or all be repurposed to active transport? Will the infrastructure be divested to local authorities? Will the project deliver that existing infrastructure fit for purpose?
- Is there a target overall journey time between key origins and destinations? Are travel times well-
matched to speed zones, prevailing road conditions, and the speed of other modes? Has time ‘saved’ while reducing variability been ‘spent’ on places – e.g. crossing time and speed? (e.g. traffic control signal plans reviewed and precinct priorities demonstrated.)