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Critical success conditions of collaborative methods: a comparative evaluation of transport planning projects


  • Alexander Walter


  • Roland Scholz


This paper explores critical success conditions of collaborative planning projects in the area of urban transport, evaluating the impact of new collaborative methods, instruments and processes on project performance. Hypothesis building is based on a comparative, empirical research design, rather than on deductive theory construction. Potential critical success conditions are derived from literature. Based on five urban transport planning projects in Gothenburg (Sweden), London (United Kingdom), Milwaukee (United States), Tokyo (Japan) and Mexico City (Mexico), a rough set analysis of the five cases reveals validated success conditions, which can be used for formulating hypotheses for further research or for policy and process improvement. The results suggest that a dedicated management of the multi-actor network, a high diversity of actors, as well as an extensive use of knowledge integration methods in combination with a high network density are critical success conditions of these planning processes. Surprisingly, the extensive use of unilateral methods also showed to be an important success condition. The traditional role of the planner will have to be complemented with the expertise of network and methodology management. The authors conclude that rough set analysis can be a valuable addition to narrative, single-case analysis of collaborative urban transport planning processes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Walter & Roland Scholz, 2007. "Critical success conditions of collaborative methods: a comparative evaluation of transport planning projects," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 195-212, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:34:y:2007:i:2:p:195-212
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-006-9000-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. P Healey, 1998. "Building institutional capacity through collaborative approaches to urban planning," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
    2. Judith Petts, 2001. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Deliberative Processes: Waste Management Case-studies," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 207-226.
    3. Karen Bickerstaff & Gordon Walker, 2001. "Participatory local governance and transport planning," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(3), pages 431-451, March.
    4. Lisa Kane & Romano Del Mistro, 2003. "Changes in transport planning policy: Changes in transport planning methodology?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 113-131, May.
    5. Richard Willson, 2001. "Assessing communicative rationality as a transportation planning paradigm," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-31, February.
    6. Scott Gissendanner, 2003. "Methodology problems in urban governance studies," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 21(5), pages 663-685, October.
    7. P Healey, 1998. "Building Institutional Capacity through Collaborative Approaches to Urban Planning," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Walter, Alexander I. & Helgenberger, Sebastian & Wiek, Arnim & Scholz, Roland W., 2007. "Measuring societal effects of transdisciplinary research projects: Design and application of an evaluation method," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 325-338, November.
    2. Wiek, Arnim & Walter, Alexander I., 2009. "A transdisciplinary approach for formalized integrated planning and decision-making in complex systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(1), pages 360-370, August.


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