Learning to plan? Knowledge framework and plan quality assessment dimensions for developing transport planning practice in South-East Europe
Development of urban transport planning practices in South-East Europe (SEE) must still rise to the standards of EU Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan guidelines. However, institutions in these regions also lack capacity for development, despite the urgency for action. As theory of transport planning focuses mostly on institutional contexts outside of SEE, and practical guidelines often lack depth for providing plan assessment recommendations, there is a clear need to develop further connections between theory and practice. This research synthesizes key concepts from neo-institutional, policy transfer, and organizational learning theory, to outline a knowledge framework for urban transport planning as a process. Suggesting that planning should be understood as an organized process of creative experimentation and learning aiming for sustainable outcomes, two dimensions for plan quality assessment are introduced. The framework is exemplified using a combination of quantitative and qualitative aspects for long-term organizational learning including plan quality assessment as a major milestone in the planning process. Future research directions should emphasise further the processual nature of planning, including a higher emphasis on collaborative and action-research methods, which would closely engage both practice and academia.
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