Strategic planning is designed to help organisations (and communities) respond effectively to new situations. It is a disciplined approach to inform decision-making and plan the nature and direction of an organisation’s activities. These decisions typically concern the organisation’s mandate and mission, its end-product and service level - taking into account cost, financing, management and organisational set-up.
Across the world, the deployment of intelligent transport systems has been slower than anticipated, not because of technological limitations, but because of non-technical concerns such as institutional issues and commercial considerations. Although the vision for the role of ITS may be clear, in practice the path to deployment is often problematic. For example, ITS may require organisations to develop an operational capability that was not required previously. (See Basic ITS Concepts and Integrated Operations) ITS may also require heavy investment in “hard” and “soft” ITS infrastructure and “infostructure” involving the use of fast developing technologies. (See ITS Technologies).This can raise major public policy considerations, not least the appropriate level of public finance, or the contractual terms and conditions for private sector promoters of ITS. (See Procurement and Competition and Procurement)
At the local level, policy relates to activities within the political control of regional, metropolitan, rural and other non-national government bodies - such as network management of local roads and public transport, parking, environment, travel information. Public authorities need to create a framework within which to analyse and assess ITS services, both from the point of view of individual ITS applications and - at a more general level - from the perspective of the urban planning and the transport authorities in a city or region.