Movement is how people get about to live their lives and access their jobs, education and services, as well as the movement of goods required for our cities and towns to function.
Movement enables people to connect with one another and pursue leisure and recreational activities. It is also about efficiently delivering goods and services to drive economic growth.
Movement is also a key enabler of places – done well it can enhance and contribute to successful places, by improving connectivity, liveability, services and economic success. Designed poorly, movement can diminish places and contribute to their decline.
Individual links that support movement need to be understood in relation to an overall transport network, and its role in delivering services to all people via various modes.
Step 3: Understanding Movement
The aim of this step is to understand how transport networks are integrated with land use and public space within the study area, and how they serve different users’ needs.
This should inform a better understanding of the movement implications of achieving the place-based vision and objectives identified in Step 1. Transport infrastructure and services need to support the vision. This understanding will inform your subsequent discussions, decision-making and evaluation of options.
Detailed guidance on Step 3 of the Movement and Place Core Process can be found in the Practitioner's Guide to Movement and Place.
Three types of movement
Types of movement can be classified into three distinct groups:
- movement through a place
- movement to and from a place
- movement within a place.
Generally, movement through a place does not engage with the place but can impact on it such as an express bus passing by. The movement to and from a place interacts with the place and connects it to other places, and movement within a place is contained within the local catchment of the place. The factors of movement can be further considered by travel mode and time of day.
Each kind of interaction needs to be considered in relation to the importance of that kind of movement in the place, not just in volume. For example, a village main street may contain all of the short trips (e.g. walking) within the village, and is, therefore, a primary street for movement within the village, even if those trips are low in volume. Conversely, analysing the volume of through-movement may not recognise the existence or desirability of alternative routes.
Understanding movement patterns and functions
As a precursor to aligning movement and place, we need to understand movement patterns and functions. Movement patterns and functions may contribute to better places, as well as making space (and time) for place. We need to consider:
- the most efficient, integrated and reliable way to connect people to jobs and key services (e.g. a network strategy or integrated transport framework)
- how to best facilitate the delivery of goods and services essential to economic prosperity and growth (e.g. freight strategy)
- the degree of access to places required to support vital economic, social and recreational activity (e.g. local access strategy)
- trip segmentation by journey purpose to understand which trips could be made by other means (e.g. strategic and switchable trip analysis)
- the modes by which journeys can be made most efficiently (e.g. desired mode split)
- improving safety and encouraging sustainable transport modes to reduce emissions and contribute to public health (e.g. targets for walking, cycling and public transport).
Assessing movement options
Considering a range of options for improving transport networks is a necessary part of any movement assessment. Design, planning, and development of movement links need to consider whether existing infrastructure could be reused, repurposed or used by a different mode, or whether new or replacement capacity or modality is required. In all scenarios, understanding the service required of all potential modes of transport is crucial.
All road users need to be considered when assessing options. For example, people walking and cycling should be considered in both defining the issue (how walkable or cyclable an area is, and what improvements are required), as well as the solution (how to use the whole street most efficiently, and achieve the desired movement patterns).
Option assessment and selection needs to involve all agencies affected, including local government as the authority for local streets, so that components assigned to agencies for delivery, such as parallel cycle routes, are correctly identified, funded and delivered.
Built environment indicator web maps
Step 3 of the core process also encourages practitioners to explore the baseline performance for each of the selected Built Environment Indicators, and assess their current performance in the study area.
The Built Environment Indicators have been mapped for all of NSW. The web maps illustrate data relevant to the metric used to measure each built environment indicator. This helps with better understanding the indicators' baseline performance in a specific area.
Classifying street environments
As an optional exercise, to help identify and understand the issues and opportunities (Step 4), practitioners are invited to use the Movement and Place classification method to identify and map movement functions within the study area.
Classifying street environments is a method for supporting project team discussions about how to balance Movement and Place. Aided by using a common language, the aim is to agree on a shared understanding of the existing and desired street environments within the study area.
The NSW Government is developing a method to provide a data-driven assessment of movement function that can be used by any practitioner to get a baseline assessment of the movement function across the entire state of NSW. Otherwise, a relevant subject matter experts can identify and assess movement networks within the relevant study area.