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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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Decision-Making Processes in the Implementation of Sustainable Road Policies

Investment and policy decisions in road transport infrastructure are often significant decisions in the life of governments and communities because of the large amounts of money involved and the impact that the construction and operation of the infrastructure can have on stakeholders, communities and ecosystems.

Although most decisions on whether or not road projects proceed are made by public officials, this is not always the case and both elected politicians and the community and business interests are more strongly influencing decisions in many jurisdictions and territories. This involvement and integration of the values and needs of the public in road transport decision-making is seen as a cornerstone of sustainable transport decisions.

A variety of institutional structures from different countries are examined in the report, including a discussion of experiences and the merits of top-down versus bottom-up planning. Whatever the institutional structures and methods used for planning and decision-making, the key factors in gaining community acceptance of road projects is conditional on transparency, honesty and seeing other people's points of view.

Public participation must be integral to the planning and development of road transport infrastructure, just as important as the engineering aspects.

Information sheet

  • Date: 2003
  • Author(s): Comité technique 14 Environnement / Technical Committee 14 Environment
  • Domain(s): Road Policies / Governance of Road Authorities / Project Management / Road Assets Management
  • Type: Bilingual English-French, published in 2003
  • PIARC Ref.: 14.04.BEN
  • ISBN: 2-84060-148-6
  • Number of pages: 144