Prediction has long been the foundation of transport planning.
We predict benefits -- how many people will use a service -- to calculate cost/benefit ratios and determine if a project is a good idea.
So what happens when the future is no longer predictable?
All our prediction methods assume that the future is broadly similar to the past, but is that still a reasonable assumption in a world punctuated by transformative shocks like COVID-19?
The emerging alternative is access analysis, which cares about expanding people's freedom rather than predicting their behaviour.
Jarrett Walker's public transport planning practice is founded on access-based thinking. Here, he explores how access analysis works, its limitations, and how it could help us deliver on goals that communities really care about.