Covering aspects of national and city planning, regional planning comprises coordination of interdependent stakeholders to secure long-term infrastructure solutions. When updating the transport system plan in the Turku Region, Mäki-Arvela found that BRTUUS was a useful tool in communicating results to strengthen the collaboration between stakeholders such as the National Transport Office and municipalities. For instance, BRUTUS provided comparative analyses on how to improve mobility models on a regional plan that involved different transport policy measures and their effects.
As a regional planner, you always have an idea of what needs to be done but you don’t necessarily know in which order it pays to do it. BRUTUS is a very useful tool in delivering priority lists of different transport policy measures. In this way, we were able to predict if a problem were to arise in the new transport system and understand how to solve it beforehand, Mäki-Arvela explains.
In the Turku Region that meant identifying three transport policy measures to increase sustainability in prioritised order. The number one priority was to reduce travel time in public transport while improving cycling. The prioritised order makes possible for well-informed decision-making that considers the roles of the individual stakeholders and minimises unforeseen circumstances and expenses. For example, it was preferable to improve the quality of the existing transport network rather than constructing new high-speed lanes to accommodate priority number one.
Easy to use regardless of whether you have a technical background or not, BRUTUS excels in communicating detailed solutions to its users. According to Mäki-Arvela, the use of one common tool enhances stakeholder communication and coordination, resulting in efficient regional planning that takes logistics, budget and collaboration between all parties involved into account. For instance, the number of transport zones was expanded from two to 200, thereby optimising the outcome of the extensive work that regional planning is. With one common tool, this change was considerably easy to communicate.