3. Notes on the analysis and evaluation of environmental impacts

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On the basis of the elements of environment-oriented transport planning considered above and the discussed environmental impacts of traffic and transport, together with the relevant protective measures, some notes are given below as to how these environmental impacts can be systematically analysed and assessed within the scope of transport planning.

3.1 Identification and analysis

According to [1], the environmental impacts of transport systems caused by installations and traffic are essentially determined by:

- the share in transport volume of the particular system,
- the actual total volume of transport,
- the type of energy used,
- the speed of transportation,
- the energy and emission values specific to the transport medium (pollutants and noise),
- compatibility with other transport systems in a common transport environment,
- the specific burden per unit of area caused by the transport installations and their supplementary equipment (such as tank farms, workshops etc.) through intersection and loss of land.

In so far as these underlying variables can be statistically identified, they may be combined into the following affected areas:

At the national level:

- total consumption of primary types of energy caused by transport,
- total emissions caused by transport (CO2, air pollutants),
- total surface area used,
- accident figures,

For individual regions:

- area utilisation in comparison with the overall area,
- divisive effects on society, the economy and fauna,
- contamination of air, soil and water,
- accident black spots,
- noise black spots,
- endangerment of cultural heritage through vibration and exhaust gases.

3.2 Evaluation

These nationwide and regional environmental impacts of transport and traffic should be compared with

- the overall burdens, sensitivities and burden limits (where defined),
- the impairment of agriculture, leisure and recreation areas, and both rural and urban landscapes,
- positive effects of transport and traffic on the economy, social structure and town and country planning

From this, we can infer (largely in qualitative terms),

- what environmental impacts of transport and traffic contribute particularly heavily to the total or regional burden,
- what resources can be used to reduce these with optimum effect (i.e. with minimal impairment of the desired effects of transport); directly, through control of the overall transport and traffic plans and regulations on maintaining and expanding transport routes, and indirectly by way of levies and decrees),
- where points of conflict arise,
- where there is a need for coordination and cooperation with plans of other sectors,
- where there is a need for more in-depth research.

The comparatively low levels of awareness of the effect on the ecosystem in many countries (see 2.3) must be taken into account when imposing limits.

Past analyses and evaluations must be continuously updated and scrutinised in the interest of ongoing improvement in the quality of forecasting.

3.3 Participation by third parties

Besides data acquisition, it is also vital to take account of region-specific, socio-cultural elements and socio-economic factors. In order to identify and analyse these, is it essential to secure the early cooperation of both directly and indirectly affected parties in the planning and decision-making processes, and to guarantee this by law. Participation by these groups or by the state bodies directly involved in the region can, for example, be brought about by carrying out surveys among the local religious and secular leaders or by holding meetings and public hearings. It is often in this way that ecological systems and their significance for the human population of the regions become known for the first time; this also helps avoid fatal misjudgements, unwitting destruction of the systems on which life depends and violation of religious taboos (see also [7]).

In a similar way, transport users, drivers and operators should likewise be involved. This may bring to light the often informal reasons for travel, which confound the theory (for example, lorry drivers sometimes prefer routes through densely populated areas so that they can pick up loads and passengers for private remuneration; in these cases, bypass roads may be less popular). The interests of all transport user groups (including women and children, for example) need to be analysed and incorporated into the overall planning (e.g. transport of products to markets and road safety).

Representatives of the affected population groups may cooperate in the monitoring process to ensure that the agreed plans and regulations are adhered to.


4. Interaction with other sectors

Transport and traffic planning may act as a link and indeed as a desirable or undesirable controlling variable (driving force or bottleneck) for vertically and horizontally adjacent sectors involving physical transportation and the provision of energy, in particular:

I) National and regional planning:

The scope and density of a country’s transport network are closely related to the national and regional planning objectives. Centralised structures with concentrated land-use call for a more sophisticated system of distributing labour and goods and therefore require higher transport capacities. By contrast, regional and national planning which focuses on small-scale operations and decentralisation will tend to reduce the transport demand. This must not entail any reduction in general living standards.

An environment-oriented national (development) and regional planning programme has, in particular, an important cross-sectional function for all regional planning activities of the individual sectors, including transport planning.

II) Industrial planning:

The development of industry calls for quick and easy accessibility and trouble-free transfer of goods. Deliberate relocation of established businesses must take account of the consequences with regard to transport and traffic.

III) Agriculture and forestry:

Agriculture and forestry impose differing demands on transport routes and systems, depending on the intensity of land-use. The particular risks of opening up forests to traffic and relevant precautions are discussed in 2.4.

IV) Municipal and local planning:

Municipal and local planning is indissolubly bound up with transport and traffic planning; Sections 1.2, 2.4 and 2.6 deal with the new approach required in this context on the ecological and social levels.

V) Water management:

Not only the use and planning of shipping routes have to be coordinated with water planning, but also the effects of land transport routes on the water supply and water quality (cuttings, embankments, pipelines, vehicle emissions, and safety measures in water conservation areas).

VI) Training and education:

The importance of safeguarding the environment and the contribution made by transport and traffic planning must be taught, particularly in professional training (e.g. in training courses for construction engineers, traffic and transport planners, urban and regional development planners), and as part of internal advanced training in administrative bodies. Integrated courses must be offered to show the interactions between different planning sectors. It is also important for the state to set the public an example, as discussed in 2.5. Moreover the (opinion-forming) media can also play a significant role in broadening environmental awareness.

Other sectors affecting the geographical distribution of transport and traffic routes and the types of transport are:

VII) The energy sector:

Decisions regarding the transport medium for transporting personnel and goods should be considered in the light of what is the most economically and environmentally favourable energy source. For example, countries with an adequate supply of electrical power from regenerative sources (hydroelectric power) often fail to make the most of the potential for electrically-driven vehicles.

VIII) Tourism:

Tourism not only requires "well-developed" (but perhaps ecologically doubtful) routes to tourist destinations, but may also bring tourists to previously unspoilt areas and thereby damage them.


5. Summary assessment of environmental relevance

Environment-oriented transport and traffic planning should be based on the following principles:

1. Transport and traffic have a direct effect on people through accidents and health hazards,

on a regional level due to interference with regional ecosystems, and in particular due to uncontrolled settlement and land-use through areas being opened up to traffic and on a global level through the burning of fossil fuels and the reduction in the diversity of species.

2. The scope and nature of these environmental impacts depend on

- the volume of traffic,
- the mode of transport,
- the type of propulsion concerned,
- the type of fuel used,
- driving practices (speed and acceleration behaviour)
- and the design of the transport routes.

Transport and traffic planning can make a deliberate contribution towards controlling these factors.

3. The volume of traffic is first and foremost a function of the distribution of labour; this in turn closely interacts with social and economic structures. Changes to these will not necessarily cause a fall in living standards.

The volume of traffic can be reduced by more rational use of vehicles; higher variable levies seem to be particularly suitable as an incentive to achieving this.

4. If transport modes are not dictated by the structures referred to above (e.g. the need for markets to be served by heavy goods vehicles), the use of environmentally and socially compatible transport modes should be planned. This applies particularly to the opening up of regions in connection with raw materials programmes, where undesirable human settlement is to be avoided, and to often insupportable local traffic.

The poor condition of most state railway and shipping operations in many countries presents a particular problem with regard to the expansion of these transport facilities.

5. Environment-oriented transport planning focuses attention less on the planning of new transport routes and more on achieving specific reductions in the environmental impact of existing traffic and improving existing transport by rail and ship. Fiscal and administrative measures to encourage motor vehicles with low pollutant emissions, as well as environment-oriented provisions for upkeep and expansion measures, can help achieve these objectives.


6. References

[1] Hoppenstedt u.a.: Auswirkungen von Verkehrswegenetzen auf die Umwelt, in: Straßenverkehrstechnik, Heft 4/91

[2] OECD Report: European Conference of Ministers of Transport: Transport Policy And The Environment, Paris, 1990.

[3] World Bank: Environmental Guidelines, 1988.

[4] ADB: Environmental Guidelines for Selected Infrastructure Projects, 1988.

[5] ODA: Manual of Environmental Appraisal.

[6] Elizabeth Monosowski: Environmental Impact Assessment. Possibilities and Problems of Application in Developing Countries, in: World Letter/ Environmental Impact Assessment, January/February 1987.

[7] Institut für ökologische Zukunftsperspektiven : Ergänzung/Vertiefung ökologischer und sozio-ökonomischer Hintergrundinformationen zu den Umweltkatalogen Straßenbau und Straßenverkehr vom April 1987 (Entwurf).

[8] Operational Policy Note No. 11.02 from the World Bank: Wildlands: Their Protection and Management in Economic Development.

[9] Transport and the Environment, Department of Transport, UK 1991.

[10] R. Meyfahrt: Neue Verkehrsplanungskonzepte als Folge neuer Stadtplanungskonzepte; Bericht der Tagung der Gesamthochschule Kassel: Zukunft des Verkehrswesens Verkehrsplanung der Zukunft, 1986.

[11] R. Monheim: Aktivitäten und Aktivitätskoppelungen als Ansatzpunkt für eine Verknüpfung von Verkehrs- und Stadtplanung; Bericht der Tagung der Gesamthochschule Kassel: Zukunft des Verkehrswesens Verkehrsplanung der Zukunft, 1986.

[12] Der Stadtrat von Zürich: Zur Verkehrspolitik der Stadt Zürich, 1987.

[13] Infras-Gutachten: Stadt Zürich: Lufthygiene, Energie und Verkehr, December 1987.

[14] "Informationsdienst Verkehr" des Arbeitskreises Verkehr und Umwelt e.V. (Berlin 21, Kirchstraße 4), Heft 26 (April 1988).

[15] V. Gudehus: Ermittlung und Bewertung verkehrsbedingter Umweltwirkungen in Städten, Heft 45 des Instituts für Stadtbauwesen an der TU Braunschweig, 1988.

[16] Alternativas de Transporte en America Latina : La Bicicleta y los Triciclos: Schweizerische Kontaktstelle für Angepaßte Technik (SKAT), St. Gallen (Varnbüelstraße 14).

[17] Hennes: Umweltwirkungen und Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung, Vortrag im Rahmen des Grundseminars "Straßenverkehr" der KfW, May 1990.

Further recommended references (indicating main focus of attention):

Diandas, J.: Alternative Approaches to Transport in Third World Cities. Issues in equity and accessibility, in: Ekistics 51 (1984) No. 306, pp. 197 - 212: Space utilisation, energy consumption, pedestrians; Examples from Colombo.

Faye, Abdallah: En attendant la construction de parkings et voies pietonnieres (English-French), in: Planif. Habitat. Inform 94 (1979), pp. 47 - 48: Protection of pedestrians by imposing parking regulations and driver education.

Kühnert, H. und Trute, I., Institut für Verkehrssoziologie und -ökologie der Hochschule für Verkehrswesen, Dresden: Problemkatalog zur Umweltwirksamkeit von Verkehrsprozessen-Orientierung für verkehrsökologische Studien, in: Forschungsinformationsdienst ökologisch orientierter Betriebswirtschaftslehre (FÖB), Ausgaben 10/11 und 12, 1991: List of environmental impacts of traffic and of protective measures.

Nour, Magdi: Cairo street planning, speed, perspective and social interaction, in: Open House Int. 9 (1984), pp. 26 - 43; Loss of social relationships.

Rapoport, Amos: An approach to designing Third World environments, in: Third World Planning Rev. 1 (1979), pp. 23 - 40: Environmental planning and development on different spatial and temporal interacting levels, including transport.

Situma, Lan W.: Problems of public urban transport in Zimbabwe, in: African Urban Quarterly 2 (1987), No. 1, pp. 49 - 54: Competitive situation in regional versus national public transport.

TU Berlin, Heft 21 der Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Verkehrsplanung und Verkehrswegebau (Ed.): Verkehrsplanung in Entwicklungsländern. Mehr Straßen oder neue Wege? (deutsch-englisch), 1987: Quantifying the time savings of new roads discriminates the subsistence economy.

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