Transport planning has been dominated by single-purpose planners and designers.
To civilize means to “reclaim from barbarism”. This requires transport. Without it we would have no cities, no mass production, no specialization, no journeys to work, no tourism, no modern conveniences. Hilaire Belloc was clear on this point:
The Road is one of the great fundamental institutions of mankind… It is the Road which determines the sites of many cities and the growth and nourishment of all. It is the Road which controls the development of strategies and fixes the sites of battles. It is the Road that gives its frame-work to all economic development. It is the Road which is the channel of all trade and, what is more important, of all ideas…the Road moves and controls all history. (Belloc 1924)
But the planning and design of roads, like other modes of transport, tends to become the preserve of blinkered specialists infatuated with the dream of maximizing the transport mode for which they assume responsibility. They ignore other public goods. They neglect EID. With regard to highways Ian McHarg, the son of a preacher, observed that:
If one seeks a single example of an assertion of simple-minded single purpose, the analytical rather than the synthetic view and indifference to natural process—indeed an anti-ecological view—then the highway creators leap to mind. There are other aspirants who vie to deface shrines and desecrate sacred cows, but surely it is the highway commissioner and engineer who most passionately embrace insensitivity and philistinism as a way of life and profession…. There they go, laden with money, offering the enormous bribe of ninety per cent of the cost of realising their narrow purposes. Give us your beautiful rivers and valleys and we will destroy them… Give us your cities,