The purpose of this research, which was undertaken between July 2010 and June 2011, was to develop, test and recommend additional methodologies that could be used to quantify the economic productivity and land use impacts when assessing transformational or structural transport investments over time. Currently there is a knowledge gap in this area and the intention was to develop a more strategic approach to assist in gaining greater value for money from future transport investments.
We investigated how it might be possible to get a forward-looking view of the productivity and land use changes associated with transformational transport investments. In our view, the retrospective case study approach can be used to provide a predictive tool to assess land use and productivity effects of transformational transport investments.
One key factor that enables this is that the tool is intended to be employed at the project inception phase. It is not designed to precisely quantify productivity effects in the same way that agglomeration effects are quantified in the Economic evaluation manual. Instead, it is intended to indicate potential directions of changes to land use and productivity, and through these indications, provide feedback that can be used to better align transport investment with desired land use and economic change, based on what has been observed to happen in similar locations where similar projects have been implemented.