States across Australia are increasingly using market-led proposals to build infrastructure. The emerging problems reflect the inherent risks of projects that bypass proper public planning processes.
Transport modelling has been tarnished by its use to justify the predetermined projects politicians favour. But, if used more transparently, it's a valuable tool for planning our future cities.
While called a transportation plan,
it was heavily skewed towards roads. We need the type of city-shaping thinking that underpinned the plan, but today's plans must match 21st-century priorities.
Transport infrastructure has such an impact on what kind of city we become that more democratic planning is long overdue. But public consultation is typically limited and focused on design issues.
Melbourne's proposed road project relies on assumptions that inflate estimates of the traffic the new link will carry – but other choices about the future of transport are open to us.