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Unit of study_

CIVL5703: Transport Policy, Planning and Deployment

This subject aims to provide an environment for students to learn essential facts and develop models and frameworks to understand the development of transport policy, the making of transport plans, and the deployment of transport technologies. The unit uses a mixture of traditional lectures, and interactive learning through case studies and role playing. Both the lectures and the cases allow the students to develop an inductive understanding of transportation. The unit will be successful if at the end, the student has developed a worldview on transportation (not necessarily the same as the instructor's), and has an appreciation for merits and demerits of various perspectives on transport issues. The course seeks an integrative approach for transport, and though the stories in lecture will be told mode by mode, there are a number of opportunities to see the relationships between modes, in their structure in function, and in the learning as one mode adopts successful (and unsuccessful) attributes of others.


Academic unit Civil Engineering
Unit code CIVL5703
Unit name Transport Policy, Planning and Deployment
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

CIVL3703 OR CIVL9703
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator David Levinson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Assignment
32% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Case Study
18% Week 10 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Term Paper
25% Week 12 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO5
Final exam Final Exam
25% Week 13 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
  • Assignment: Games as Simulations - Compare outcome of transport game with historical system it reflects; Analyze the Historic Life-cycle of a Transport Technology; Network Design; Surface Transport Position Paper

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and Part One- Wave One: 1790- 1851 1. Rivers of Steam 2. Design by Design: The Birth of the Railway 3. The Turnpike Era Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Part Two: Phase 1 of the life-cycle 4. Inventing and Innovating Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3
Week 03 Part Three: Wave Two 1844-1896 5. Maritime Modes 6. Railroads Deployed 7. Good Roads 8. Transit 9. Telegraph Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 04 Part Four - Phase 2 of the life-cycle 10. Magic Bullet Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Part Five - Wave Three 1890- 1950 11. American Shipping 12. Taking Flight 13. Railroads Regulated 14. Bustitution 15. Public Roads 16. Urban Planning: Who Controls the Turf 17. Telephone Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 06 Part Six - Phase 3 of the life-cycle 18. Aging Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 Part Seven - Wave Four: 1939-1991 19. Logistics 20. The Jet Age 21. Railroads Rationalized 22. Interstate 23. Recapitalization 24. Lord Kelvin’s Curse Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 08 Part Eight - Life-cycle dynamics 25. Lifecycle 26. Meta-cycles Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 09 Part Nine - Wave Five: Modern times 27. Energy and Environment 28. Higher-speed rail 29. Internet 30. Technology: Hard and Soft Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 10 The end of traffic and the future of transport • Preface: The Lost Joy of Auto mobility • Climbing Mount Auto: The Rise of Cars in the 20th Century • Less Traffic is a Good Thing • What Killed America’s Traffic? • Pace of Change • Transitioning Toward Electric Vehicles • Autonomous Autos • MaaS Transport • Transit • Up and Out: The Future of Travel Demand and Where We Live • Adapting the Built Environment • Reduce, Reuse, Bicycle • Accelerating the End of Traffic via Pricing •Redeeming Transport Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Part Ten - Beyond the life-cycle 31. Policy 32. Speculations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO5
Week 12 Part Eleven - Afterwords: reflections on transport experiences 33. I-35W 34. Design of a Life 35. Commencement Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 13 Term Paper Presentations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO5

Attendance and class requirements to an external site.

  1. Students are required to be in attendance at the correct time and place of any formal or informal examinations. Non attendance on any grounds insufficient to claim special consideration will result in the forfeiture of marks associated with the assessment. Participation in a minimum number of assessment items may be a requirement of any unit of study.
  2. Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90 percent of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean or Head of School most concerned. The Dean or Head of School most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90 percent.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

  • Levinson, David and Krizek, Kevin, The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport.
  • Garrison, William and Levinson, David, The Transportation Experience . Oxford University Press, 2014. 0199389527.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. illustrate how technologies are innovated and identify the policy environments conducive to innovation
  • LO2. demonstrate the consequences of positive and negative feedback processes on transportation systems
  • LO3. explain the lifecycle model of technology diffusion (birth, growth, maturity) and its implications for current policy and investment
  • LO4. compare and contrast models and simulations of network growth with historical experience
  • LO5. develop and test original hypotheses with original data about transport systems.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Changes have been made since this unit was last offered: Some modules are pre-recorded and there are more in-classroom exercises.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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