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Engineers need to understand urban design

It is vital to ensure that engineers are trained to understand and use new urban design principles, but for the effective implementation of these principles, training of traffic engineers should be coupled with the increased use of spatially-trained transport planners at the design stage.

The transport planning profession contains a roughly equal mix of geographers and engineers, which should ideally allow technical engineering knowledge to be applied to design principles specified by practitioners who are skilled in spatial analysis and a holistic approach to movement.

To ensure that designs benefit from the wider perspective offered by geographically trained planners, it is important to ensure that practitioners from the two backgrounds work together and the cross-disciplinary approach is used from the initial stages, rather than pursuing parallel, but non-interactive lines of work.

JUDITH COHEN, assistant transport planner, RambollWhitbybird,

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