This week I was lucky enough to attend the annual EngNZ Transportation Group conference - always one of the highlights of my year. This year's theme, "The Changing Face of Transport", was particularly relevant. Not only in the context of Central Government change, and the associated policy changes that fall out of that, but in the changes we are seeing globally around drivers for transport investment and the form in which transport infrastructure is being delivered.
My 3 key takeaways from the conference were:
- Communication is crucial. There will always be those who mourn the loss that comes with change; we need to be smart about who we expend our energy convincing of the need for change and accept that not everyone will be on board from the beginning. We need to find and empower the positive voices within our communities to assist with promoting change.
- Strong leadership and accountability is necessary for success. To support our leaders who are willing to stick their heads above the parapet we can assist in delivering good results quickly.
- Transport infrastructure needs going forward are going to come with a high price tag and our current decision making frameworks are not fit for purpose. We need to recognise this and start planning for how we can get the necessary projects over the line before its too late.
Overall there was strong recognition that "business as usual" is not going to cut it going forward and we need to action change. The future looks bright but it's going to be an uphill slog to get there!
Lastly I’d like to congratulate Jeanette Ward, announced at the conference as the new Chair of the National Transportation Group Committee, the first female chair for the group!
Here are Abley's conference presentations:
Courtney Groundwater - Accommodating growth on urban transport networks
Becky Tuke - 4 Way Stop, whose move?
Becky Tuke - District Plans Fit for Purpose
Bridget Carden - Northland Programming Tool
Carl O'Neil - Crash savings achieved by Median Barriers
Ann-Marie Head - These streets are made for walking
Ruby Kim - Applying German Spatial Planning in Auckland