Archive for October, 2013

Business Ethics and Organization Ethics

October 29, 2013

 

Business ethics and values is a vital part of the day-to-day activities in Marriott Hotels. Marriot International is known as an excellent world leader in hospitality as it upholds its conducts through responsible business policies in employment and through values that support integrity, pursue excellence and put people first. This is achieved by adhering to high ethical standards, without compromising the required legal standards. In fact, Marriott International maintains its business ethics by providing its employees, with sufficient guidelines on ways to conduct business ethically. This ensures that the company commits to Human rights, legal standards, code of ethics, and the principles of responsible business (Marriott.com).

The theory of utilitarian can be applied in understanding Marriott International business and ethical policies. According to Brenkert and Beauchamp (2010), one of the central focus of utilitarian theory is happiness. The theory takes happiness to be the only fundamental goal, and as a result, it defines what actions or policies should be considered right or obligatory. According to the theory, Marriott International moral and ethical policies maximize the balance of happiness over unhappiness in the world. The theory insists that in order to do the right thing, organizations or individuals must ordinarily make estimates of the good and bad consequences of their actions in order to maximize on the overall happiness and not misery.

The application of rights and duties in Marriott International portrays a high ethical standard. The organization has established policies and codes of conduct offers guidelines to managers and associates on what is right and wrong. More so, the organization offers training to employees, which helps to communicate their rights, their commitment to the law and human rights among others. According a sustainability report update (Marriott, 2013) has managed to maintain its ethics in rights and duties, even in the diverse and inclusive workforce by celebrating the cultural and traditional differences of all its associates without discrimination.

References

Brenkert, G. G., & Beauchamp, T. L. (2010). The Oxford handbook of business ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Marriott International Website http://www.marriott.com/corporate-social-responsibility/corporate-values.mi

Marriott (2013). 2013 sustainability report update. Retrieved from:http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/CorporateResponsibility/Marriott_Sustainability_Report_Update_2013.pdf

Body Weight Regulation and Anorexia

October 29, 2013

 

Body Weight Regulation and Anorexia

 

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Institution:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Weight Regulation and Anorexia

Obesity describes the context in which the body has too much body fats. This shows a clear difference between being obese and overweight. Being overweight means a body has extra muscles, bone, or water as well as having too much fat in the body (Dugdale and Vorvick, 2012, p 2, Para 8).  This shows that body weight is higher than the healthy levels recommended medically.

On this view, the scientific findings shed some facts on the problem of body weight regulation, which include:

  1. Eating more food than one body can use and utilize causing the accumulation of excess fats
  2. In addition the consumption of too much alcohol which the body liver cannot break down
  3. The view of not getting enough exercise due to the lack of free time on the daily schedule

The metabolic rate of an individual body changes with calorific intake. This is because the human body stores all the un-burnt calories in the form of fats. When an individual consumes low calories, the body homeostatic reacts by rather finding the other sources of energy to keep the energy levels at an optimum level (Dugdale and Vorvick, 2012, p 3, Para 8). Hence, this enables the vital organs like the heart, liver and kidneys to function well. This is by adapting to the catabolism of the muscles, which can lead to starvation, and emaciation of the body tissues. In addition, when large calories are consumed, the body uses some for normal cellular metabolism and stores the remainder as fats in the blood. This relative changes leads to changes in the calorific metabolism.

Some factors influence the body weights are:

  1.  Underactive thyroid gland treatment- this is caused by medical problems in the treatment process, which can lead to weight gain.
  2. Menopause for women, which can lead to the gain of 12-15 pounds during the first few months of the condition
  3. Medicines such as birth control pills antidepressants and antipsychotics, which cause the low calorie, break down in the body metabolism leading to overweight.
  4. Stress, anxiety, feeling sad and not sleeping well causes low calories break down leading to overweight.

Finally, cultural influences might contribute to eating disorders in the context whereby a culture is developed and many people consume heavy fatty foods and snacks, which the body cannot utilize them all and this consequently leads to overweight and eating disorders(Dugdale and Vorvick, 2012, p 4, Para 10). In addition, lack of aerobic exercises such as jogging, running and playing various games leads to high calories level accumulation, which consequently leads to obesity and related eating disorders. 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dugdale, D. and Vorvick, L. (2012). A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia. Obesity. (pp. 1- 6). Atlanta: PubMed Health. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth

 

STROKE

October 26, 2013

 

Part A:

Question 1

According to the AHA guidelines, I would collect the patient and the family’s significant medical history beginning with the OPQRS that is: What activity the patient was doing when the symptoms were first observed what time (how long ago) and whether the onset was sudden or progressive. I would also ask the family whether there was anything that they had done that made the symptoms better or worse. Another question that would matter is the description of the quality of the patient, how the pain on the patient’s head could be described and where it is emanating from. In addition, I would ask the parents to describe the severity of the pain the patient was experiencing. In addition, I would also inquire which medication if any the patient had been using.

Question 2

The first out of the three-step test checks for facial flop that requires the patient to glance in a medic’s direction and perform a facial expression such as a smile. A patient fails when motion from one side does not synchronize with the other. The second step involves arm drifting by the patient by elevating their arms. If one of the patient’s arms drifts different from the other, it is an abnormal occurrence. The third step highlights the speech of the patient with slurry and incoherent expression being a failure of the test. A stroke is present if there is a failure in any or all the tests.

Question 3

First, I would determine the status of the patient’s vitals (blood group, heart rate etc.), which is crucial as well as initiate a quick evacuation of the patient to a surgical equipped neurological center. I must ensure the patient remains stable and provide any services necessary. If the patient has difficulties in breathing, then oxygen administration will be necessary. If the patient is conscious, my crew and I will offer reassurance that all will be well which will go a long way in calming the patient and thus may prevent stroke attacks. Speed and efficiency will ensure that the patient gets to the health facility in perfect shape for the next phase of diagnosis and treatment processes.

 

Part B Responses:

Q#1

I agree with the AHA guidelines. This is because collecting a patient’s medical history helps determine their health conditions at an earlier stage and avoid complications later. A neurological analysis will determine how to proceed with the diagnosis upon confirmation.

Q#2

I agree this tool is necessary when screening for a stroke. However, it can prove a challenge to a paramedic who is not familiar with the concept. I would urge a routine exercise to familiarize the paramedics with the tool.

Q#3

I agree a paramedic should follow the status of the patient and organize quick transport to the receiving center for proper treatment. This entails comforting the patient despite the fear of the stoke case being confirmed

 

Discuss two or more media texts that you would define as postmodern and explain why you would give them this label.

October 25, 2013

McDougall, J. 2012. Media Studies: The Basics. Routledge, New York.

http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=Qfw9obCga14C&pg=PA90&dq=postmodernism+media+text&hl=en&sa=X&ei=p2ljUofvLYXUkwXZvoCgBQ&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=postmodern&f=true

Goody, A. 2013. Technology, Literature and Culture. Wiley, Hoboken.

http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=hFEWY27HOcsC&pg=PT163&dq=big+brother+tv+show+postmodern&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BOxjUqGJGcnOkgXDw4HYDQ&ved=0CEcQuwUwBA#v=onepage&q=big%20brother%20tv%20show%20postmodern&f=false

Flynn, R. and Brereton, P. (2007). Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema. Scarecrow Press, Lanham.

http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=bQT4XcCPDrYC&pg=PA174&dq=intermission+film+postmodern&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AQBkUoCkNoTTkAW5-IH4DA&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=intermission%20film%20postmodern&f=false

 

Degli-Esposti, D. 1998. Postmodernism in the Cinema. Berghahn Books, Kent.

 

http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=J0pqFfuEebYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=postmodernist+film&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PRdkUt-XNI7xlAXBuoCwAw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=postmodernist%20film&f=false

Discuss two or more media texts that you would define as postmodern and explain why you would give them this label.

October 25, 2013

Name:

Instructor’s Name:

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Date (Day/Month/Year)

Discuss Two or More Media Texts That You Would Define as Postmodern and Explain Why You Would Give Them This Label

            A large part of what makes the human personality so impressive is its capacity to conform and even oppose to the conditions of its environment. This is perhaps why, through the course of history, we have come to witness the emergence and disappearance of eras or different periods marked by distinctive characters wherein people held on to certain ideals which define their cultural values and political situations. This malleability of the human personality was the same phenomenon which brought forth the style and concept of postmodernism in the late 20th century. The purpose of this essay is to provide a thorough discussion on postmodern media texts. The major points for discussion will start with the exploration of the postmodernism concept. This will be followed by the significance of time and space and how such themes are represented in postmodern works. Lastly, this paper will examine how postmodernism is being represented in films by exploring three selected movies from the European cinema.

Postmodernism: Exploring the Term

There is no general definition for postmodernism except that it is a variation of the standards or norms of the modernism, a movement which developed during the late 19th and early 20th century periods which transformed traditional beliefs particularly those related to the ideals of the Roman Catholic Church (Oxford University Press 2013). But what is modernism in relation to postmodernism? Modernism is the product of what others would refer to as an experience called ‘modernity,’ wherein time, space, the self, and others are confined in an environment that assures adventure, power, joy, growth, and transformation while uniting mankind. However, this objective for unity would actually turn out to be suffocating, an issue which postmodernism has attempted to address (Harvey, 1989, p. 10).

Some critics of postmodernism actually viewed it as a cultural and historical human invention marked by superficial philosophical theories that mocks the standards of modernism. On a more favorable note however, there were also who considered postmodernism as that which affirms the role of a diversified culture in giving freedom and equal rights to every individual. This is opposed to the totalitarian principles of modernism which tends to become submissive to a centralized and dictatorial system (Harvey, 1989, pp. 7-8).

In Todd Gitlin’s (1976, p. 67) The Postmodern Predicament, at least nine styles and qualities of postmodernism are presented:

  1. Pastiche which is work of art that imitates a previous work;
  2. Blankness or emptiness of feeling;
  3. A sense of exhaustion which usually paves the way to a process of rediscovery;
  4. Mixture of levels, forms, and styles which provides volatility or unpredictability;
  5. Relish for copies and repetitions which is concerned more on making better replicas rather than maintaining original works;
  6. Knowingness that dissolves commitment into irony;
  7. Acute self-consciousness about the formal, construed nature of the work;
  8. Pleasure in the play of surfaces; and
  9. Rejection of history.


Postmodern Media Text

Postmodernism was brought about by the process of rediscovery as well as the shifting of already existing ideas on the origins and social relationships of human beings, resulting to a broader perspective of other disciplines such as the sciences of philosophy, history, mathematics, ethics, politics, and other studies (Harvey, 1989, p. 9). Its emergence was due to the reaction against the strict standards of traditional modernism (Jameson, 1982, p. 1). Furthermore, unlike the modernist concept, postmodernism principles are presented on beliefs that personal views, interpretations and opinions should be without restrictions. Therefore, any idea of truth during the modern era should be deconstructed and challenged. This is the same premise where the structure of postmodern media text is based upon, wherein the content of an original material is no longer an issue since it is basically a process of using classic genres in an altered form, some examples of which are the parody, a form of satirical mimicry and homage, an artistic work reproduced in order to show advantage to the original one. The main concern of postmodern media is to stimulate the imagination of the audience by allowing them to visualize different competing versions of a certain story, text or image. However this does not necessarily guarantee that whatever truth is being represented in postmodern texts is already the absolute one (McDougall, 2012, p. 90).

Time and Space in Postmodern Works

            It is almost hard to imagine how certain shifts in economic trends can also affect the composition of media texts. For the past decades, there has been the increasing demand to accelerate turnover time when it comes to the production of mass products (e.g. clothing, ornaments, decorations) and services (e.g. entertainments, spectacles, happenings). The turnover time for these goods and services even became faster with the increase in speed communications and information technology. In relation to media works, particularly with advertising, these economic and technological trends have allowed capitalists to manipulate the taste and opinion of the market group through the bombardment of images that are deemed acceptable in the society. Unfortunately, this focus on image defeats the purpose of informing and promoting reliable products and services to the public. Postmodernist Jean Baudrillard even emphasized this reality by stating that the Marxist analysis of commodity production is outdated due to such focus on images and signs rather than the goods themselves. This is why success and image building has been one of the most profitable formula in trading nowadays. It also paved the way for the production of counterfeit goods such as the case of a firm in California which successfully manufactured and sold imitation car telephones because the latter has become a status symbol to the public. This only proves that the public is no longer concerned mostly on the product itself but on the image it provides on the individual, thus it is no longer an issue if that product is just a replica (Harvey, 1989, pp. 285-289).

Simulacrum

            The aforementioned issue is being addressed by the concept of ‘simulacrum,’ a concept which means “a state of such near perfect replication that the difference between the original and the copy becomes almost impossible to spot” (Harvey, 1989, p. 289). In relation to this concept, Baudrillard also presented the idea of hyperreality which was described by using Disneyland as an example. Disneyland is real place which occupies a physical space but at the same time it is just a replica of Disney’s magical world as seen by the public on television shows and illustrations. Postmodernists assert that the world we live in is made up entirely of simulacra or imitations of the real world thus there is no longer a distinction between what is real and what is imaginary (McDougall, 2012, p. 90). This also brings to mind the acknowledged television genre called reality TV. One of its best examples was Big Brother wherein the participants get to be part of an unscripted show, thus allowing the audience to relate better with the cast unlike those with movies or TV shows. Big Brother creates the impression that anyone can be part of this media presentation. However despite the seemingly authentic selfhood being projected by the participants of this reality TV, the real self is actually still being manipulated and projected as would be deemed favorable in front of the camera, another demonstration of how the real and the hyperreal can be easily confused (Goody, 2013, no page).

            Media scholar Henry Jenkins provided this interesting view on the realities of postmodernism (McDougall, 2012, p. 91):

We are entering a period of prolonged transition and transformation in the way media operates. Convergence describes the process by which we sort through those options. Audiences empowered by these new technologies, occupying a space at the intersection between old and new media, are demanding the right to participate within the culture.

The internet is one example of media tool which has become easily accessible to the public. From desktop computers, this technology is already within reach 24 hours a day through gadgets like portable laptops and cellular phones. People are constantly exposed to media representations in their day-to-day activities whether at home, at work, or even while travelling. Postmodernists argue that because of this situation, the distinction between actual and virtual media representation already becomes confusing and sometimes even completely lost (McDougall, 2012, p. 92).


Film Analysis

            Some of the privileges of postmodern films is that they exist in an era that is blessed with many technological advantages that allows the information storage in great quantities. Computer graphics, CD-ROM, computer memory, and imaging have allowed postmodern artists to create more while saving time and money. These technological facilities have allowed the postmodern cinema to create films with scenes and stories that offer diversified perspective for the audience. There is also a different level of attention when it comes to details which are constantly scrutinized through an almost endless process of rereading and rewriting. The difference is also seen with the manner in which the narrator treats his audience, whose perspective is carefully analyzed through the camera lens, unlike the modernist cinema where the focus is merely on the actors (Degli-Esposti, 1998, p. 6). Technology and the audience’s opinion are important elements in the creation of a postmodernist film. In order to demonstrate the influence of these two, the following discussion will examine three films which, at the same time, will also demonstrate the theories of postmodernism. The movies to be examined are films from the European cinema starting with Germany’s Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders and Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer, and Ireland’s Intermission by John Crowley.

Wings of Desire

            Wim Wenders’s movie tells the story of Damiel, an angel who falls in love with a mortal. The story occurs in Berlin where the two separate worlds of angels and humans coexist albeit both beings are unable to make physical interaction. Under the theories of postmodernism, this setting is a demonstration of cultural fragmentation, wherein the spaces and culture of very different worlds seem to fold upon each other. This is shown in the film through alternate scenes of black and white and colored films, as well as with the existing mental and emotional strain between the celestial and earthly beings. Author and geographer David Harvey further affirms the movie as being a postmodern text although partly modernist on its second half which, according to him, tries “to resurrect something of the modernist spirit of human communication, togetherness…” (Caldwell & Rea, 1991, pp. 46-47). Damiel and his friend Cassiel, who is also a divine being, are able to see, hear, and read the minds people. During such scenes in the movie where the angels are reading the minds of mortals, the focus is more on the Berliners. But when the angels are done listening to people’s troubles and they interact with each other like ordinary humans, their characters become significant. Time-space compression also comes to mind, at least from the angels’ perspective, wherein the latter can simultaneously hear different human thoughts, an example of overcoming time and spatial barriers. If one takes a closer look at the film, several aspects are actually symbols of certain realities in human life. For example, Berlin represents all the cities in the world where inhabitants are constantly connected by information, transportation, and communication which serve as tools to bridge the gaps of human division. The film ends with Damiel becoming human and finally being with his love interest, Marion. From a postmodernist point of view, this final part of the film is like liberation from the indifferences of the modernist culture. Furthermore, the characters’ openness to learn new things about each other is similar to rediscovering old modernist concepts in order to create a more lively and colorful environment. In essence, postmodernism is actually an uninterrupted connection of modernism (Olivier, 1992, pp.1-5).

Run Lola Run

            Perhaps not everyone was very happy with the conclusion of the box office hit Titanic where Leonardo Dicaprio’s character died at the end of the movie. It would be possible also that many of those who watched the film had wished for a different ending but unfortunately that was the only way to make the story end. But for hyperfilms like Run Lola Run, the possibilities are endless. The film is composed of three scenarios with three different endings. The plot’s flexibility which made use of styles called circularity, repetition, and quanta is another demonstration of postmodernism because of the way it presents different options on how the story is going to turn out. There was also the clever use of time and space which were used in order to allow the retelling of the three versions of the story, wherein the third and last one had a happy ending while the first two did not. The overall result was a creative storytelling of a somewhat very simple movie. Run Lola Run is among the many different movies such as the remake of Bedazzled back in 2000 which makes use of alternative endings and hyperrealistic styles. Filmmakers nowadays are very lucky in such a way that they can change the original endings of their stories but without having to get rid of them. By allowing the audience to see different viewpoints, they are also provided with non-traditional perspectives which may either be artistic on one hand or humorous, immoral, and inappropriate on the other. Furthermore, despite the inappropriateness of some stories, the audience has already become more tolerable of multiple options and possibilities. In fact the issue no longer lies on how realistic the story is but rather, possibly, how real can a story get? The purpose of the film is geared toward the playful experimentation of hyper-reality and multiple perspectives which does not only tell the audience of what really happened in the story but also what will, could, would and, should happen (Lauer, 2003, pp.1-12). Furthermore, the system of arrangement is chaotic rather than organized in order to create a sense of individual freedom, a trait which definitely invokes the concept of postmodernism.   

 

 

Intermission

            This 2003 film has an ambitious plot with over 11 interconnected storylines and 54 characters. The movie has been shot in a documentary film format which invokes a sense of reality which the audience can easily relate to (at least with Irish natives). It begins with the scene of a seemingly casual romantic conversation between Lehiff and a shop assistant. Just when the latter was already showing signs of giving in to the romantic gestures of Lehiff (and presumably the audience was enticed as well), the latter suddenly punches her in the face and goes straight to the cash register to steal some money. This offensive act from the actor is a deliberate representation of the postmodernist concept and has drawn different reactions from the audience such as shock from the scene’s unexpected violence or amusement from its dark humor. The opening scene is followed by interwoven chain of events with twist and turns that captivate the audience who are caught unaware of what might happen next due to the chaotic transitions and contradictions of the scenes, until the movie becomes meaningful in its conclusion (Flynn & Brereton, 2007, p. 174). The film’s interweaving plot also brings to mind Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, another epitome of postmodernist film. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

            There is no doubt that the objective of postmodernism in liberating the minds of the people through mediums like TV shows and films has its advantages. After all, expressing one’s opinion about certain issues or against any established universal truth is a right and not a privilege, especially if this will help pave the way toward social equality. However, a word of caution: the present technological condition has allowed limitless social networking and media information. Countless information are being thrown from different parts of the world regardless if their sources are credible or not. These agents of postmodernism must still take into consideration the possibility of endangering the important values of human nature where great characters are built upon. Without these values, the society will be vulnerable to corruption and other forms of degradation. It is therefore recommended that whether it be in written or visual mediums, the practice of good values must still be encouraged. The destruction and reconstruction of any established truth may however be tolerated. After all it is only mankind, who has the tendency for manipulation, who created these standards for truth, which are not necessarily free from error.

 

Works Cited

Caldwell, D. and Rea, P. 1991. ‘Handke’s and Wenders’s Wings of Desire: Transcending Postmodernism,’ The German Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 1, pp.46-54

Degli-Esposti, D. 1998. Postmodernism in the Cinema. Berghahn Books, Kent.

Flynn, R. and Brereton, P. 2007. Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema. Scarecrow Press, Lanham.

Gitlin, T. 1976. ‘The Postmodern Predicament,’ The Wilson Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 67-76.

Goody, A. 2013. Technology, Literature and Culture. Wiley, Hoboken.

Harvey, D. 1989. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Blackwell, Cambridge.

Jameson, F. 1982. Postmodernism and Consumer Society. viewed 15 October 2013, http://art.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/Jameson_Postmodernism_and_Consumer_Society.pdf.

Lauer, A. 2003. ‘Run Lola Run at the Dawn of Postmodernity,’ Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-9.

McDougall, J. 2012. Media Studies: The Basics. Routledge, New York.

Olivier, B. 1992. ‘Postmodern Cinema and Postmodern Culture: Information-Communication, Otherness and History in Wenders’s Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire),’ Literator, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 1-12.

Oxford University Press 2013. Oxford Dictionaries, viewed 15 October 2013, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/modernism?q=modernism.

California English Language Development Test Process

October 24, 2013

Abstract

Learning a second language can at times be a bit challenging considering the intensity of learning something new under a new environment. The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) was developed to help students who want to learn English as a second language or those whose first language is not English. However, according Krashen and Cummmins, language acquisition and learning takes place in a different way and CEDLT is more of a language learning program. In another exciting twist and turn of events, acquisition and learning can interact in an intricate way in acquiring and learning a new language. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CELDT

The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) is a process use to test the proficiency of English principles to students whose first language is not English. Students’ grading, CELDT was developed in 2001 to identify and help students who are trying to learn English; by determining their level of skills in the language as well as their English language proficiency development. English learners are tested in areas of listening, speaking, as well as reading and writing. The CELDT test is given after a month (30 days) once a student is enrolled and is determined that English is not his/her first language (Ellis, 2011).

More also, CELDT is also administered to those who have had no prior testing in English language. It is there after given every year to check on the progress of the student and decide whether they have attained the recommended English proficiency levels. After the CELDT has been given and the process completed, the test score results are categorized as the proficiency level or the CELDT for the student. The levels are numbered numerically, 1-5, in descending order as Advanced, Early Advanced, Intermediate, Early Intermediate, and Beginning (Ellis, 2011).

How CEDLT is used in California Schools

In California Schools, CELDT is administered to any enrolling student whose first language is not English which are listed on the Home Language Survey (HLS). All school districts are supposed to administer the CELDT every year up to when the students are classified to Reclassified Fluent English Proficient. The Grading and level span is as follows. 1; K-2 – listening and speaking, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The testing window is from July 1st to October 31st (Oxford, 2008).

Reporting of the results is done by informing the student’s parents and guardians not later than 30 working days upon the time when the tests information is received from the test contractor. The proficiency level results are then printed at the back of the proficiency level report. The results are also posted online after the annual assessment window (Lessow-Harvey, 2009).

Instruction in the CELDT is done through summative test giving a general view of a student’s performance, definition of construct, identification of areas which are testable on the CELDT. Also, the knowledge and skills assessed by the CELDT is a representation and not comprehensive nor inclusive. Classroom information and instruction is more specific and assessment is often than the normal CELDT administrations.

The CELDT results are used for reclassification where school districts use it as one of the ways for considering the English learners to fluent proficiency in English. Other ways include, parent opinion and consultation, teacher evaluation and basic skills. State Board of Education (SBE) is responsible for approving reclassification.  The 4 criteria used in reclassification in English Proficient (FEP) are, 1. Student’s mean score is early advance and above. 2. Each skill are score of listening, speaking, reading and writing from kindergarten to grade twelve is intermediate and above, in English Learner (EL). 3. Student’s mean score is below early advance, and, 4. The overall score is early advance and above though one or more of the skill score is below intermediate (Ellis, 2011).

Second Language Development – Krashen and Cummins

The second language development can be used to explain the disparities between why the formal teaching of grammar has not been efficient in improving students’ writing. Most language teachers feel at a loss when trying to bring together their students to blend well between writing mechanics and the Edited American English. However, one Stephen Krashen has come up with the second –language acquisition theory (Ellis, 2011&Krashen, 2010).

 The main feature that stands out in the Krashen theory is the distinction between language learning and language acquisition. According to Krashen, learning is a conscious process while acquisition is subconscious. Both play and integral part in second language competence, although acquisition is far important since language competence is acquired and by which it is also generated leading to language fluency. Language competence gained by learning is used to modify what has already been acquired. This shows that learning/monitoring is a limited function in acquiring language competence (Krashen, 2010).

Language learning takes place in formal study under rules, regulations and patterns governing one to talk and consciously use the knowledge gained. However, language acquisition occurs and develops exclusively through understandable input. Second-language acquisition is through exposure to comprehensible language that has meaning to the student. Second-language focus more on meaning and later the language form. This is because acquisition goes beyong language structure, which the students already have, from their first language. Despite all that, acquisition may be hindered where the students fail to filter and pick up the numerous emotional responses that may or may not hinder understanding of meaning. These include things such as motivation, self-confidence, anxiety, and self-image(Oxford, 2008).

According to Cummins’ dual iceberg theory, social language is easy to acquire than to learn and academic language. As research shows, it takes 1-2 years to develop a second social language that is used in everyday and for basic communication, and an additional 5-7 years to develop and academic language found in textbooks and used in schools (Oxford, 2008).

Krashen observed that language development occurs when children come up with a language acquisition device when acquiring a new language. In addition, he proposed that language input is either heard or written and it becomes easier for the learner to understand. This includes visual and pictorial accompaniment when learning new vocabulary and communication concept, including drama, gestures, and music in second language lessons. Repetition of new words and vocabulary, as well as translation is very helpful in language acquisition. Without input that is comprehensible, a second language learner student is left with a bunch of words that seem incomprehensible to the language acquisition device. When students are enabled to match what they hear and see, and what they experience, they access meaning required in language acquisition. The comprehensible input should be adjusted often so that the student acquires more and more language. This makes the learner to acquire a bit more than her/his her previous level of competence (Lessow-Harvey, 2009).

How CELDT Is a Sound and Valid Assessment for Determining English Proficiency

The nature of CELDT makes it the meeting point between language acquisition and language learning. Although it is largely a language learning technique, it has a balance in acquiring a second language. According to Krashen observation, sometimes learning can lead to acquisition in an intricate way, where second language students observe their language so well, such that they come up with their own grammatical and correctly understandable input (Krashen, 2010).

In addition, the continuous assessment from time to time (kindergarten to grade twelve) is enough time to have both the learning aspect of English language and to have that exposure to acquire the understandable meanings(Ellis, 2011). This is evidenced by the parent involvement, skills of listening and reading, writing and speaking which are social and have been incorporated in the CEDLT tests. Again, the tests are administered annually and therefore it means that they keep the social part of language acquisition as by Cummins open to exposure. If the test can be, more standardized and open, the CEDLT test would be a good language acquisition tool (Oxford, 2008).

How CELDT Scores Help Teachers in Developing Effective Instructions

The rich feedback from the parents, students and the teacher’s own evaluation, can be a great help in identifying the formal, social as well as filters whereby a student’s language competence is hindered. From the parent, the teacher can be in a position to identify student’s fear and shyness, and know what instructions to give in order to counter that. However through the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, the teacher can identify where areas where more emphasis is required in order to enhance proficiency in the language. With the proper mechanisms in place, CELDT Scores will be able to giving a helping hand to the teachers especially in coming up with effective instructions aimed at enhancing student’s proficiency in English language.

 

 

 

References

Ellis, R. (2011). Theories of second language acquisition.Understanding second language acquisition. (pp 248-276) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Krashen, S. (2010).Bilingual education.A focus on current research.NCBE online library.

Krashen, S. (2010). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press

Lessow-Harvey,J. (2009). The foundations of dual language instruction.Whit Plains, N.Y: Longman.

Oxford, R. (2008). Language learning in a nutshell:  update and ESL suggestions.TESOL journal, winter, 18-22.

Sociology

October 24, 2013

Elements of culture refer to the factors that are related to social control. The first element of culture is language, which it forms the cornerstone of behaviors or patterns of communication for a particular community. It’s worth noting that all cultures have spoken language though it must not be necessary formal- written (Andreatta& Ferraro, 2013). From the fact that a society is made up of diverse communities, a vast range of local dialect- people speaking different languages exist. Therefore, language designates people to certain ethnic groups.

            Members of a society are known to organize themselves into sizeable numbers and strive towards attaining their basic needs. In a family set up for example, the young are expected to learn acceptable conducts and ethics from the elderly, and the married have an understanding of their roles in the extended family set up through their interaction with the other members of the society (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). The social organization is responsible for creation of social ranks and classes of people in a society according to their education and occupations among other social distinguishing factors.

The economic system of a society is another element, which dictates what its citizens are capable of producing, the radical changes in the production methods, and how they market it or basically who is the target for the produced products. People tend to consume less of the obviously limited resources in the scramble to satisfy their needs. Therefore, most societies overproduce what they rely on for survival. For example; gathering, hunting, herding cattle, making of tools and own clothes. This can be termed as the traditional economy. However, in as much as the government and individuals make concurrent economic decisions regarding the control and production of the goods, on the other hand the individuals will always have the lowest economic power (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). Other elements of culture include; religion, forms of government, arts and literature and customs/traditions of the society.

In conclusion, it’s advisable that the members in the society grow in all these seven dimensions of the culture. Cultural relativism refers to the tendency to understanding ones beliefs in terms of the individual own culture. On the other hand, ethnocentrism refers to the feeling of worthiness for one’s culture and the regard of this culture as a reference for others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Andreatta, S., & Ferraro, G. P. (2013). Elements of culture: An applied perspective. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage.

Sociology

October 24, 2013

Elements of culture can be defined as the aspects related to the social control, language and type of norms. Basically, language is the main element of culture; it forms the cornerstone. It’s worth noting that all cultures have spoken language though it must not be necessary formal- written (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). The society being made up of diverse communities, therefore this gives a vast range this gives a vast range of local dialect- people speaking different languages. The language therefore appears to designate people to certain ethnic groups.

            Furthermore, the members in the society we live in have been known to organize themselves into sizeable numbers with an aim of attaining their basic needs. In the family social set up, the young are expected to learn the acceptable conducts and ethics, and the married have an understanding of their roles in the extended family se up (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). The social organization is responsible for the creation of the social ranks and classes of people in the society accordingly to their education, money and occupations.

The economic system of nation dictates what the citizens are capable of producing, the radical changes in the production methods, and how they market it or basically who is the target for the produced products. As always people consume less of the obviously limited resources in the scramble to satisfy their needs. Therefore,  most societies tend to overproduce what they rely on for survival for example; gathering, hunting, herding cattle, making of tools and own clothes. This can be termed as the traditional economy, otherwise the government and individuals make concurrently economic decisions regarding the control and production of the goods but, the individuals will always have the lowest economic power (Andreatta & Ferraro, 2013). Other elements of culture include; religion, forms of government, arts and literature and customs/traditions of the society. In conclusion, it’s advisable that the members in the society grow in all these seven dimensions of the culture. However, there is need to understand ones beliefs in terms of the individual own culture; cultural relativism. But it’s amazing that certain societies have designated some central importance to their cultures centrally and measure worthiness of other cultures using it- ethnocentrism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Andreatta, S., & Ferraro, G. P. (2013). Elements of culture: An applied perspective. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage.

October 23, 2013

 

 

Canterbury (C)

Name

Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canterbury City, New South Wales, Australia

1-Births (from 2006 to 2011) (compare to NSW)

From 2006 to 2010, the number of births in Canterbury has been increasing but in 2011it decreased. There were 2139 people born in 2006, 2,240 births in 2007, 2,351 in 2008, 2,388 in 2009, 2,509 in 2010 and 2,442 in 2011. In New South Wales the total number of births in 2006 were 87,336, 89,495 in 2007, 94,684 in 2008, 92,783 in 2009, 95,918 in 2010 and in 2011, 95,879 children were born in NSW in general. Compared to NSW, Canterbury had experienced high births in 2006 according to the rate of population increase.

2-Deaths (from 2006 to 2011) (compare to NSW)

Those people who died in Canterbury in 2006 were 732, in 2007 788, 803 in 2008 746 in 2009, 770 in 2010 and 842 in 2011. In 2011, 110 children together with young people died in NSW, in 2010, in 2009, 45,678 people died while as in 2008 41, 908 people died in general. In 2007, 38,675 people died out of many causes like accidents and sicknesses among others. And in 2006, 39,987 people died. It is clear that many people died in NSW compared to those who have been dying in Canterbury in all those years.
3-Country of birth (2006 to 2011)

Canterbury (C) (LGA11550) 33.6 sq Kms

             

e:

                 

Country Of Birth Of Person(A) By Year Of Arrival In Australia (2 Of 2)

       

Count of persons born overseas(b)

               
                 
                 
 

Year of arrival

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011(c)

 

Total

                 

Bosnia and Herzegovina

0

0

0

4

0

0

 

Cambodia

3

4

0

6

0

0

 

Canada

3

0

0

0

3

0

 

China (excl. SARs and Taiwan)(d)

369

449

475

457

331

164

 

Croatia

0

0

0

3

3

0

 

Egypt

43

75

47

19

37

10

 

Fiji

19

12

25

17

19

17

 

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

3

3

3

3

4

0

 

Germany

10

3

10

3

3

3

 

Greece

13

6

8

0

6

5

 

Hong Kong (SAR of China)(d)

21

13

11

11

10

3

 

India

261

331

374

227

140

58

 

Indonesia

130

117

115

87

101

31

 

Iraq

32

24

16

23

41

20

 

Ireland

0

3

5

8

13

10

 

Italy

12

4

7

3

10

8

 

Japan

3

12

6

6

0

6

 

Korea, Republic of (South)

69

74

111

79

75

24

 

Lebanon

76

114

95

95

59

46

 

Malaysia

28

22

12

23

22

11

 

Malta

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Netherlands

3

0

0

0

3

3

 

New Zealand

68

58

63

57

67

55

 

Philippines

82

79

70

74

55

31

 

Poland

8

0

3

3

0

0

 

Singapore

5

4

13

0

0

0

 

South Africa

9

3

6

3

0

0

 

South Eastern Europe, nfd(e)

0

0

0

3

0

0

 

Sri Lanka

6

7

6

10

15

8

 

Thailand

13

15

24

24

14

5

 

Turkey

0

8

0

0

6

0

 

United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man(f)

26

19

14

22

13

8

 

United States of America

3

5

3

13

4

0

 

Vietnam

82

87

84

101

75

55

 

Born elsewhere(g)

832

1,180

1,170

1,163

825

442

 

             

 

Total

2,232

2,731

2,776

2,547

1,954

1,023

 

             

 

This table is based on place of usual residence.

           

 

(a) This list of countries consists of the most common Country of Birth responses (excluding Australia) reported in the 2006 Census.

 

 

(b) Excludes persons who did not state their country of birth.

         

 

(c) The year 2011 is the period 1 January 2011 to 9 August 2011.

         

 

(d) Special Administrative Regions (SARs) comprise ‘Hong Kong (SAR of China)’ and ‘Macau (SAR of China)’.

   

 

(e) Includes persons who stated their birthplace as Yugoslavia.

           

 

(f) Comprises ‘United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, nfd’, ‘England’, ‘Isle of Man’, ‘Northern Ireland’, ‘Scotland’, ‘Wales’, ‘Guernsey’ and ‘Jersey’.

   

(g) Includes countries not identified individually, ‘Australian External Territories’, ‘Inadequately described’ and ‘At sea’.

       

              There are many people born in some countries and migrated to Canterbury as compared to others. In Vietnam, China and Hong Kong, they are the countries with very many people compared to countries like Malta, Iraq and South Easter Europe which have very few people born there and migrating to Canterbury.
4-Number of Vehicles (2006 to 2011)

Australian Bureau Of Statistics  2006-2011 Census of Population and Housing

 

 

 

Canterbury (C) (LGA 11550) 33.6 sq. Kms

   

 

 

Number Of Motor Vehicles(A) By Dwellings

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

Dwellings 2006-2011

 

 

 Number of motor vehicles per dwelling:

   

 

 

None

 

8,041

7,131

 

 

1 motor vehicle

 

18,750

19,291

 

 

2 motor vehicles

 

11,002

12,716

 

 

3 motor vehicles

 

2,898

3,369

 

 

4 or more motor vehicles

 

1,269

1,467

 

 

Total

 

41,960

43,974

 

 

     

 

 

 

Number of motor vehicles not stated

 

2,299

1,953

 

 

     

 

 

 

Total

 

44,259

45,927

 

 

     

 

 

     

 

 

(a) The entire list of number of vehicles excludes motorbikes/scooters.

   

 

 

(b) It also excludes ‘Visitors only’ and ‘Other not classifiable’ households.

 

 

 

     

 

                                                   

Many people have one vehicle according to the graph above because in 2006 and 2011 statistical records, it is clear that majority of people have one vehicle followed by the number of these people who own two vehicles.

5-Average Tax Income (2006 to 2011)

Australian Bureau Of Statistics  2006-2011 Census of Population and Housing

         

List of tables

Canterbury (C) (LGA 11550) 33.6 sq. Kms

               

Concepts and Definitions

 

 

Average  Individual Income (Weekly) By Age By Sex (1 Of 2)

         

Census Data Quality Statement

 

Count of persons aged 15 years and over

           

© Commonwealth of Australia 2007

 

                 

 

                     

 

 

15-19

20-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65-74

75-84

85 years

 

 

 

years

years

years

years

years

years

years

years

and over

Total

 

 

MALES

 

 

                   

 

        Negative/Nil income

1,558

635

683

438

299

329

210

59

16

4,224

 

$1-$149      

942

413

223

235

237

249

286

168

36

2,787

 

$150-$249  

303

493

657

824

843

1,184

1,926

1,200

208

7,638

 

$250-$399

241

524

840

880

894

783

723

562

144

5,593

 

$400-$599

147

787

1,471

1,508

1,303

886

434

237

66

6,840

 

$600-$799

54

566

1,546

1,424

1,217

787

228

98

16

5,935

 

$800-$999

19

275

1,217

1,102

838

557

110

48

18

4,187

 

$1,000-$1,299 

7

139

1,048

1,069

832

480

81

29

7

3,691

 

$1,300-$1,599

4

53

446

660

487

220

36

9

6

1,919

 

$1,600-$1,999

0

4

273

402

310

130

20

11

0

1,147

 

$2,000 or more

5

6

241

461

300

120

22

14

0

1,170

 

                     

 

Individual income not stated

718

504

954

1,032

857

643

486

402

143

5,741

 

                     

 

Total

3,999

4,396

9,596

10,035

8,40

6,369

4,563

2,837

660

50,872

 

 

                   

 

 

FEMALES

 

                     

 

Negative/Nil income

1,475

679

1,355

1,009

948

723

268

124

41

6,623

 

$1-$149      

1,084

442

689

750

539

504

331

175

52

4,566

 

$150-$249  

328

559

1,061

1,355

1,358

1,807

2,166

1,319

349

10,303

 

$250-$399

192

557

1,026

1,283

1,048

852

965

994

377

7,295

 

$400-$599

133

836

1,460

1,720

1,413

795

310

240

68

6,979

 

$600-$799

41

569

1,195

1,093

919

372

105

60

22

4,377

 

$800-$999

4

266

891

691

555

268

54

25

12

2,763

 

$1,000-$1,299 

3

77

780

653

493

179

34

19

6

2,244

 

$1,300-$1,599

3

17

296

400

310

124

13

3

0

1,167

 

$1,600-$1,999

0

5

108

166

127

36

4

8

3

457

 

$2,000 or more

2

6

88

175

84

30

11

12

7

416

 

                     

 

Individual income not stated

567

465

939

906

772

569

484

510

303

5,514

 

                     

 

Total

3,838

4,479

9,887

10,202

8,566

6,259

4,744

3,489

1,240

52,704

 

                   

 

                     
 

15-19

20-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65-74

75-84

85 years

 

 

years

Years

years

years

years

Years

years

years

and over

Total

 

PERSONS

 

                   

Negative/Nil income

3,034

1,313

2,038

1,447

1,247

1,055

478

183

57

10,847

$1-$149      

2,024

856

912

985

776

752

616

343

88

7,353

$150-$249  

635

1,051

1,718

2,179

2,201

2,991

4,092

2,519

557

17,941

$250-$399

434

1,083

1,866

2,164

1,941

1,635

1,688

1,556

521

12,888

$400-$599

280

1,624

2,931

3,229

2,716

1,681

746

477

134

13,819

$600-$799

97

1,135

2,740

2,517

2,136

1,159

333

158

38

10,312

$800-$999

24

541

2,108

1,792

1,392

827

164

73

30

6,950

$1,000-$1,299 

10

216

1,828

1,721

1,324

659

115

48

13

5,935

$1,300-$1,599

5

70

742

1,060

798

344

49

12

6

3,086

$1,600-$1,999

1

9

378

568

437

166

24

19

3

1,604

$2,000 or more

7

12

329

636

385

150

30

26

7

1,586

                     

Individual income not stated

1,286

969

1,893

1,938

1,630

1,213

970

912

446

11,255

                     

Total

7,838

8,875

19,483

20,236

16,983

12,628

9,308

6,326

1,900

103,576

                     
                                                                                             

The graph above shows the average amount of tax income from 2006 to 2011 according to statistical records. Many people get low income and very few get high income. Majority of people get less than $ 250 while those who earn more than $2,000 are very few.

 

 

 

 

 

References

McManus, P., & Connor, L. H. (2013). What’s mine is mine (d): Contests over marginalisation of rural life in the Upper Hunter, NSW. Rural Society, 22(2), 166-183.

Reid, M. (2010). Hauora Waitaha i: Health Profile for Māori in Canterbury. Canterbury District Health Board.

Zander, A., Rissel, C., Rogers, K., & Bauman, A. (2013). Walking to Work in Sydney: Analysis of Journey-to-work Census Data from 2001 and 2011.

Sydney Road Maintenance Improvement with a Quality of Life Approach

October 23, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Road Maintenance Improvement with a Quality of Life Approach

Name

Tutor

Course

Institution

Date

Sydney Road Maintenance Improvement with a Quality of Life Approach

Abstract

Road maintenance serves an important role in development. Roads are constructed and maintained to serve pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and passengers. This function is vital in considering the approach to be taken when maintaining road infrastructure, this paper evaluates the condition of roads in Sydney and makes a comparison with Europe. The paper suggests a research that seeks to draw strategies of improving road maintenance in Sydney. The expected target strategy involves using the quality of life improvement approach in road maintenance. This improves road conditions and reduces traffic congestion caused by road damages and repairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Introduction

Roads are important modern transport infrastructure. Transport infrastructure has played a significant role in world development; roads propelled the industrial revolution in Europe and played an important role in significant wars. Roads allow movement of people and goods within countries and continents; they are the oldest form of transport infrastructure. They have played important roles in the development of other forms of transport and communication. The development index includes road infrastructure when determining development; countries that have thousands of miles of road networks are considered developed. These networks are pertinent to overall development on social, political, and economic levels.

Roads are essential for social development. People travel within their countries and exchange cultural ideas amongst themselves. Improved road networks lead to better interconnectivity and movement of culture within a nation. Social development is vital for any country. Political diversity is improved through improved road networks. Roads open up all parts of a country. Without roads, some regions remain undeveloped in terms of political ideology. Regional imbalance is a risky situation in any country. Roads can open up people’s political options, and propel development. Roads have their greatest implications on the economy of a country. Countries with efficient road networks have significantly better trading networks and higher volume of economic activities. Developing countries are focused on developing road infrastructure; most individuals in these countries use roads as their main transport system.

Roads are clearly crucial to development. Developed countries such as Australia invest billions of dollars on road infrastructure. Roads will continue to play a vital role in development, even though other transport and communication infrastructure have become prominent in fostering development. Roads have retained their significance over the centuries; this value will be enhanced in the future. Roads achieve these benefits through construction and maintenance. The value is drawn from their utility. This utility is enhanced through management of the road infrastructure.

  1. Problem Definition

Road management is an essential aspect of road infrastructure. There are different approaches to managing road infrastructure. Road management involves a range of repair activities focused on maintaining the value of the roads to the users. The approach of road management is different in every country. The process of road management affects other activities involving society. Road networks in major cities such as Sydney are busy. Thousands of cars use these roads on a daily basis. Road management involves disruption of normal road traffic during repairs. This is an opportunity cost of road maintenance. Roads maintenance often causes traffic congestion. Roads have to be closed to allow for repairs. Traffic congestion is an inconvenience to road users. Time spent in traffic jams is a waste economically.

Efficient road repairs reduce inconvenience and time, thus improving the quality of life for road users. Efficiency in road maintenance can also be measured through road durability. Roads are heavy investments for governments. They are expected to be durable. Durability depends on the techniques and materials. More often than not, the technique determines durability. The technique in this case refers to the technology and method used in the construction and maintenance of the road. Roads have to be repaired. Ware and tare is a reality of every utility, particularly one in public use. There have been drastic improvements in the technology and methods used to repair roads; these determine how often a road requires maintenance.

The Sydney Roads Services has an inefficient approach to road maintenance. The government responsible for road maintenance has failed in improving this infrastructure and raising its value to the citizens of the city. One of the problems associated with the approach taken is that it fails to address the traffic problem in the city. Sydney is a busy city with thousands of motorists. Traffic congestion is a norm within the city, especially during the busy hours of the day. Traffic congestion is supposed to be relieved by road maintenance; however, this problem has persisted despite the existence of a government agency tasked with this responsibility. Another problem arises in the condition of the roads. Roads in Sydney are in a poor state. They are characteristic of multiple potholes and patches. This problem fuels the traffic congestion within the city.

The approaches taken by the road maintenance authorities are inefficient. There is a need for improvement. Improvements in the Sydney road maintenance approach has to arise out of research and case studies. Authorities have to involve knowledge and techniques used in other parts of the world. The essence of world connectivity is that different countries can borrow ideas from each other. Road maintenance takes place across the world. Some developed and developing countries have practiced effective road maintenance. For instance, Europe road networks are efficiently maintained and Chinese road networks have exhibited tremendous improvements.

This is an evaluation of the condition of Sydney roads, their maintenance, and a comparison of industry standards. The proposal given is an effective solution to the problem of road maintenance in Sydney. Europe’s approach is effective and focuses on improving quality of life.

  1. Purpose of the Study

This study focuses on the inefficient road maintenance practices in Sydney. Sydney is a large city and involves a considerable size of road network. Maintaining this road network has been a challenge to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and associated parties. The roads are characteristic of potholes and heavy vehicle traffic. The approach in Sydney is inefficient and not practical. The fix is in Europe. European road networks are efficiently managed through a series of activities focused on enhancing users’ quality of life. The research problem entails the poor condition of Sydney roads and the inefficient maintenance system in place.

The first objective of this research is to evaluate the problems facing Sydney road maintenance. Varied aspects affect Sydney roads. Road maintenance should relieve the congestion; but the application of maintenance techniques does not result in a better roads.

The second objective of this research is to carry out a comparison between Sydney roads and European roads. This comparison will entail the physical and procedural levels of road maintenance. The physical comparison entails evaluation of techniques used by each country to repair roads and extend their lifecycles. This analysis involves a look into the costs and time taken to maintain the road, the frequency of repairs, benefits drawn from the repairs, and the materials used in these repairs. This comparison will result in an adequate analysis indicating appropriate measures for Sydney. The procedural comparison will entail a side-by-side comparison of the process of maintaining the road. This paper discusses the procedure followed in the UK. The research will compare this procedure with Sydney’s approach to road maintenance. The procedure determines the success of the techniques. Efficient road management is dependent on the process followed.

The third objective of the research involves drawing up a plan to improve road maintenance in Sydney using techniques developed in Europe. This plan will use information collected from the study to formulate an appropriate strategy for Sydney. Sydney’s approach to road maintenance requires a change. The main objective of this study is to evaluate standards in European road management and use this evaluation to improve the road maintenance practices in Sydney. The procedures used in Europe cannot be directly applied in Sydney. These procedures and techniques were developed for the European environment; however, the European approach can be customized to fit Sydney road maintenance needs.

  1. Background

Proper road maintenance is vital for improved road infrastructure and quality of life. This study details the problems faced by motorists in Australia’s premier city, Sydney. Sydney is 12145 square kilometers and has 2811 km of state roads and highway, 1155 km of council managed roads, and 792 bridges. This is significantly sized infrastructure, which is managed and funded by Australia’s Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). RMS is a government agency charged with ensuring roads are properly maintained. The agency is involved in practical and supervisory roles. National highways and state roads are under RMS purview while local government is mandated with maintenance of other road infrastructure. In the case of council managed road infrastructure, RMS plays a supervisory role, administering funds and evaluating management.

RMS is charged with three roles. The agency manages traffic. Traffic management involves effective planning and application of technology to ensure that road users experience few movement barriers. RMS involves technology experts, engineers, urban planners, and law enforcement in managing traffic flow. This is an essential role of the agency in Sydney.

RMS is involved in managing the road network in Sydney. According to the agency, they function as a balance for the needs of motorists, freight vehicles, pedestrians, public transport, and commuters. Given road infrastructural limitations, the agency determines the most appropriate way of assigning roads to these groups.

RMS is charged with designing and constructing roads, and maintaining the infrastructure. This is relevant to this study; it connects the purpose of the study to the role RMS plays in Sydney. This role illustrates that traffic congestion in Sydney is a result of inefficient road maintenance practice by RMS.

RMS categorizes road design, construction, and maintenance into five regions:

  • Northern Sydney

  • Western Sydney

  • Outer West and Blue Mountains

  • Southern Sydney

  • South West Sydney

This regional division is essential for road maintenance and evaluation of damages.

  1. Literature Review

Managing road infrastructure relates directly to the utility citizens draw from it. Good governance results in life satisfaction. Helliwell and Huang (2008) research the relation between governance and quality of life of citizen. There is a two way relation between these two aspects. Good governance leads to higher life satisfaction. Governments that focus their policies on improving the lives of citizens achieve better success in improving the quality of life. The research uses World Values Survey measures and compares different international government features. The authors assume that life satisfaction is a measure of utility. Helliwell and Huang (2008, p. 595) compare life satisfaction measures with several World Bank measures of quality of government. They evaluate this measure’s relation to per capita income measures. Life satisfaction is more closely related to good governance than it is to per capita income. This findings indicate that governments have to focus on citizens’ quality of life when developing policies. Europe’s policy regarding road maintenance and practice observed in the UK indicate that the research has a significant implication to this study.

There are different approaches to financing road construction and maintenance. Private financing in Spain is a common characteristic in European road maintenance. Acerete, Shaoul, and Stafford (2009, p.26) study the policy of private road financing in Spain and other parts of Europe. Financing road maintenance is a significant issue. According to the study, the lack of public financing for roads in Spain prompted the government to initiate private financing. Financing is repaid in different ways including toll charges. The authors find that private financing costs twice as much as public financing. Private financing is guaranteed by the government. Acerete, Shaoul, and Stafford (2009, p.26) find that this increases riks for taxpayers. This research illustrates the relevance of financing to the quality of life. The findings indicate that there are different aspects to European road maintenance; positive and negative. Sydney should mirror the positive aspects of European road maintenance and avoid the negative implications of this approach.

Lin and Waller (2009, p. 459) research the significance of traffic dynamics in road maintenance and planning. The research seeks to create a model that accounts for traffic dynamics in long-term road planning, construction, and maintenance. They find that long-term planning requires traffic considerations; without traffic dynamics, road maintenance costs increase significantly. The model they create reduces maintenance costs significantly by accounting for road traffic dynamics. This research provides a basis for the discussion of traffic control and road maintenance. Sydney’s road maintenance utilizes poor methods of traffic control. Utilizing traffic dynamics prior to construction and maintenance planning could reduce this problem for Sydney.

  1. Road Maintenance Factors in Sydney and Europe

Inefficient road maintenance approach in Sydney has resulted in low quality road infrastructure. Road congestion has become consistent in the city. There is a need for effective solutions to the road maintenance problem. The ideal situation in road maintenance involves improved efficiency and value for road users. The road maintenance agency in Sydney maintains about 3000 km of road infrastructure. The roles of the agency are clearly defined; however, there is a deficiency in the application of proper road maintenance.

Efficiently maintained roads are characteristic of low costs of maintenance, durability of maintenance measures, low road traffic, and improved transport for road users. Achieving these characteristic is challenging. This study is focused at how maintenance of Sydney roads can achieve these characteristics.

Sydney road construction and maintenance dates back to the 19th century. The city has seen progress in infrastructure development, techniques, and materials and technology used. This progress has halted in the 21st century. Sydney local government has about $4.5 billion in road infrastructure backlog. This is substantial backlog and causes deficits in the development of the city. There are inefficient practices that have resulted in this backlog over the last few decades. Agencies responsible for this have deficits in budgeting and practice.

Europe has an extensive road network that facilitates movement of goods and people across boundaries. Individual countries, the United Nations, and the European Union developed this road network. These roads have been instrumental in promoting trade and development on the continent. European road maintenance is based on an approach that targets quality of life. The quality of life of road users can be improved by effective road construction and maintenance. Effective road management results in cheaper transport costs, less traffic congestion, low accident rates, and low costs on fuel and vehicle maintenance. These are among benefits drawn from efficient road maintenance. This approach has resulted in a high quality road system in Europe. This approach could be effective in maintaining Sydney roads.

    1. Externalities in Road Maintenance

There are varied benefits and costs associated with road maintenance. These factors are considered when decisions are made regarding road repairs and general management. This study concerns improvement of road maintenance in Sydney. The externalities are essential to this study. Governments should consider these externalities in making relevant decisions concerning road maintenance. This is a cost-benefits analysis of developing an efficient road maintenance system.

    1. Road Damages

Road infrastructure deteriorates over time. This necessitates repair and construction of new road networks. Road damages are caused by different factors such as weather and climate, heavy vehicles, and low quality construction techniques and materials. These factors determine how often these damages occur.

Weather causes over half of all damages to road infrastructure. Elements in materials used in construction of roads react to different weather conditions in different ways. Climate determines the general condition of the roads in a region. Construction and management of road damages should involve an evaluation of the region’s weather and climate. This evaluation informs the appropriate approach for road management.

Vehicles have a role in road damage. Ware and tare is caused by vehicle impact on the road. Certainly, vehicle size is an essential factor in the type and range of damage on the road. Most countries regulate the use of heavy vehicles on roads to reduce road damage. Heavy freight vehicles cause potholes and other damages to roads. Consistent use by these vehicles deteriorates the road. There are different gauges of roads. Heavy vehicles are restricted to appropriate roads. Other countries restrict the load a vehicle can carry based on its axle weight. Weighing techniques are used to determine the appropriate axle weight for road use. Certain vehicles or machinery is banned from road use, since it damages the road. For instance, heavy military and construction vehicles are transported using trucks to avoid damage to roads.

Road damage is a cost of road maintenance. Road maintenance schedules and budgets are determined by damages on the roads. Road damages also contribute to the implications of inefficient maintenance. Australia spends billions of dollars on road repairs. Millions are spent in Sydney. Efficient road maintenance reduces the costs and frequency of road damages.

      1. Road Pricing and Investment

Road infrastructure is a significant investment for governments. There are short-term and long-term benefits of investing in road infrastructure. Roads in most countries are public goods; therefore, it is difficult to calculate the short-term or direct impact of a road. There is clear evidence that roads propel development. Development economists suggest that roads improve people’s lives through the three aspects of development discussed before: politically, socially, and economically. Road infrastructure spending by government depends on different factors. Each region has different road needs. For instance, population pressure determines the demand for road transport; consequently determining the investment.

The industrial revolution saw private entities and individuals construct and maintain roads, for which they went on to charge a fee. Private investment in England roads propelled economic development and opened up regions for industrialization. Present private investment in public roads has taken different forms, with the government paying investors in long-term agreements instead of individuals being charged. There are, however, cases of toll roads in certain places around the world. This said, most road infrastructure in Sydney are funded and constructed by government agencies and departments using public funds.

Public funding covers road maintenance costs. There are few direct charges on road use around the world; however, road users pay for road maintenance indirectly. Australia laws allow the government to collect a fuel excise that is directed at funding for road construction and maintenance. This excise can be considered pricing. Road pricing depends on the cost of construction and maintenance. There are challenges in determining pricing, particularly since pricing is not directly linked to usage; that is, excise charged on one vehicle is used to develop roads that this vehicle does not use.

      1. Road Durability

Road durability is an important aspect of road maintenance. Roads are primarily maintained to extend their lifecycle. Durability affects maintenance. Durable roads require less maintenance but require higher initial capital. Durability, however, is determined by other factors such as the techniques and materials used to build the road. Investment in roads considers the durability and cost. Durability is a benefit that is balanced with the cost of building the road. This comparison is made to ensure that just enough funds are invested in the infrastructure to avoid wastage. Durability is measured by thickness of the road and the materials used to construct the road. Some countries have a policy on the materials and techniques of building roads. Road durability in this case is determined by thickness.

Durability leads to other benefits, which should be considered in decision-making. For instance, studies find that investment in durable road infrastructure reduces costs of repairs such as resurfacing and improves future value of the road. Durable roads also reduce user costs; that are costs of repairing vehicles and excise charged on duties.

Sydney road maintenance authorities should consider this factor in making road construction and maintenance decisions. Durable road infrastructure could improve the condition of roads in Sydney. This could reduce maintenance costs and reduce traffic congestion caused by frequent road repairs. The benefits drawn from road durability are dependent on optimal application of durability practices. Sydney should consider this externality, when improving road maintenance efficiency.

    1. Current Incidence in Road Maintenance

Road maintenance has improved considerably over the last few decades. Every aspect of maintenance from techniques, knowledge, funding, and materials have changed. Evaluating practices in the current road maintenance field provides relevant information to this study. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate practices in Sydney and propose improvements to the practice.

    1. Road Maintenance Practice is Europe

This is the process followed in maintaining roads in Europe. The process includes industry standards. This section details the road maintenance process in Worcestershire County in the UK. This process involves partnerships, various methods of road maintenance and inspections. This process is a relevant part of the solution to the Sydney problem; it gives a glimpse of factors that contribute to Europe’s efficiency.

    1. Highway Partnerships

The county is adamant at delivering high quality service to citizens. Road maintenance in the UK is carried out under a goal of achieving high quality for the users. This entails using the best techniques and materials, and consulting the best experts in road maintenance. Private-public partnership in the UK is enhanced to improve service for citizens. The UK government developed a critically improved guide on contracts. All government agencies and departments apply this system. This improves overall quality of services. Road maintenance is a vital function of government. Private contractors are efficient in road construction and repairs. Their staffs are consistently trained in new techniques. The efficiency of the private sector, collaborated with the standards guidance, allows road maintenance to be carried out swiftly with minimal disruption.

Under the guide, partners work in good faith to achieve the goal of client. They collaborate with each other to meet the goals of the government. This means that partners granted contracts have to improve the quality of road transport for citizens. This step of the process is essential to the comparison with Sydney. The goal of achieving high quality service for citizens is relevant to the case.

The private-public partnership is an instrument of efficiency. This instrument should be implemented in Sydney to ease congestion. Private companies are able to maneuver challenges better than government institutions. The goal of this instrument is to enhance quality of life. This would contribute significantly to the problem fix.

Highway partnerships can improve the situation in Sydney. This is one of the features in European road systems suggested as a fix for Sydney’s inefficiency. This section has illustrated that partnerships improve quality of service. This is a tried and proven approach to road maintenance. Sydney’s improvement should incorporate public-private partnerships.

      1. Surface Dressing

Surface dressing is a technique that uses hot bitumen and chippings to apply a layer on the road surface. This method is cost effective and usually applied in highway maintenance in the UK. Most government agencies use this technique to maintain the road surface. One of the limitations of the technique is its weakness in high stress parts of roads, such as roundabouts. The technique is not applicable in case the road foundation is damaged.

This technique functions by sealing the road, preventing water seepage. The bitumen protects the road foundation while the chippings improve the skid resistance property of roads. A heavy roller is used to compact the materials. This technique improves the road’s appearance and does not require closure of the road. Surface dressing lasts between seven and fifteen years. . This extends the life of the road.

      1. Micro-asphalt Surfacing

This technique involves applying a combination of a bitumen and aggregate slurry to a road surface. A paving machine is used to lay the cold emulsion on the shape of the road. This functions in a similar way as the surface dressing technique, improving skid resistance. The technique improves stress absorption property of the road. This property makes this technique appropriate for high stress road parts such as roundabouts.

This technique involves application of the emulsion in multiple layers. This improves the quality of the road and the road surface created has a low noise characteristic. The slurry emulsion is cheap, making this method efficient. The process of application is fast; it reduces the time spent repairing the road and results in minimal road disruptions. The road surface is viable for five to ten years.

      1. High Friction Surfacing

Europe has drastic climatic conditions, which affect road use. Rain and snow can result in fatal accidents on major roads. Wet roads require improved skid resistance properties. The friction between the road and the vehicle determines skid resistance. High friction surfacing is a technique used to increase skid resistance in particularly risky road surfaces.

High friction surfacing involves application of a range of materials on risky road patches to prevent vehicle collusion and protect pedestrians. High friction surfacing is common at road junctions and pedestrian crossings. These areas of the road require vehicles to stop, sometimes instantly. Road maintenance in this case involves ensuring that risky road patches remain skid resistant, particularly in the rainy and snow seasons.

This technique is applicable in all types of roads and has a life expectancy of five to ten years. The concept has been applied in Europe and the US for over six decades. Road maintenance experts observe that the technique has helped save many lives by reducing pedestrian and vehicle accidents.

      1. Conventional Surfacing

This technique is used to improve the road’s skid resistance and drainage. Drainage improvement is an essential function of road maintenance. Roads are affected by rain. Rainwater seeps into the road and causes potholes. These potholes disrupt road transport and cause fatal accidents especially in freeways. Unattended potholes can lead to sink holes due to poor drainage. Road drainage should reduce the amount of water flow on the road. Conventional surfacing improved drainage on the road, therefore, extends the roads lifespan.

This technique is applied as either an inlay or an outlay. An inlay involves removing the surface of the road and replacing it with a new layer. This approach is applied where the road surface is destroyed and cannot be repaired. The inlay is applied in urban areas where road transport is consistent and a patch of the surface does not improve the road.

An overlay is common in rural settings. Materials are added on top of the existing road to strengthen the road and improve its appearance. Some parts of the road are reconstructed before the overlay is applied. This technique uses bitumen macadam, hot asphalt, and stone mastic asphalt.

      1. Re-treading

Re-treading is an industry standard approach to managing pavements. Pavement management is n important function of road maintenance. Roads are usually related to vehicle passageways. Pedestrian roads still fall under this purview. Re-treading involves strengthening the pavement by treating the top 75mm and adding aggregate and bitumen. A roller is used to compact the treated pavement. This seals the pavement surface and forms a re-vitalized pathway.

The techniques addressed here include industry standards. They cover most of the technical challenges faced in Sydney road maintenance. Different solutions are applied for different problems in the UK. This should be an appropriate approach for Sydney. Sydney’s road network is faced by numerous road maintenance challenges. Technical maintenance is an important aspect of the solution. The solution has to incorporate policy and technical issues. Policies are used to influence technical solutions. Applying the appropriate solution for road repairs reduces congestion and improves durability of the fix. Each of these techniques has advantages and limitations. These should be considered subject to the road problem before applying a fix. Efficient road maintenance reduces costs. This is an instrumental benefit for Sydney, which is facing billions in deficits.

      1. Inspections

Road inspections are part of the industry standard. Road infrastructure depends on thorough evaluation of the current situation of roads. Roads in the UK are inspected to determine points that require maintenance and the urgency of these repairs. Inspectors are trained professionals who are able to determine the road’s efficiency and identify problems affecting road transport. These professionals are trained to evaluate problems and draw relevant solutions to these problems. Inspectors then inform the appropriate department of the road maintenance needs and suggest appropriate approaches.

There are two main types of inspections in the UK; coarse visual inspections and safety inspections. In-house inspectors are tasked with inspection of major roads once a year. This inspection involves an evaluation of the freeways and pavements. Inspectors collect data on the condition of the road and upload it to a national system, which forms indices for the roads. In addition, this survey indicates the actions taken to maintain the road and their cost.

Safety inspections are meant to address safety defects on major roads. Road damages, which could cause fatal accidents, are addressed within 24 hours of their detection. The Highway Officer is tasked with evaluating reported safety concerns on roads. They use an ascribed guide to determine whether the damage is a safety hazard. If deemed a safety concern, immediate attention is given; otherwise, the problem is logged for later resolution. Different roads are assigned different risk factors. These risk factors determine the frequency of safety inspections. This frequency ranges from every month to one per year (Worcestershire County Council, 2013).

Inspections are essential in road maintenance. This approach taken by the UK is an appropriate method of protecting motorists and pedestrians, while improving and recording the situation of the road network. This approach is user oriented, rather than fund oriented. The UK set a system that prioritizes road damages that could cause accidents and reduces traffic disruption due to road repairs.

Sydney’s approach to inspection follows inefficient methods, which serve to increase traffic problems, rather than alleviate them. The Europe fix is appropriate to the case. Inspection policies in Europe address the problem of road damages and traffic sequentially. A priority system is set in place to measure the merits of road maintenance activities and their impact on traffic. The gravity of the damage is considered when determining the priority. This approach would help Sydney navigate the three problems associated with road maintenance in the city. Sydney would be able to balance road repairs, road budgets, and traffic congestion. A priority system facilitates efficient processes in road maintenance.

      1. Emerging Developments in Europe and Sydney Road Maintenance

The road maintenance will change with technology, economic situation, social needs, population pressure, and political atmosphere. Roads have remained unchanged for centuries. New techniques and materials have been applied to the construction of roads, but the basic design and functionality of roads has been constant. Driving laws have remained constant despite changes in technology, especially in the vehicles. There is an inconsistency between the development of roads and development of cars. Cars have become more efficient and automated; while roads have remained inefficient and dormant. Some experts and visionaries argue that roads and their applications should be redesigned to fit modern society and technological progress. These emerging developments in road maintenance will influence future trends and standards.

Emerging developments have positive and negative effects. Various factors influence these developments. Despite the significance of road infrastructure, simple issues in modern society, such as political atmosphere, affect it. This section evaluates and compares different trends in Sydney and Europe. These trends affect the efficiency of road maintenance programs. The main issues discussed here include outsourcing and smart roads. These two concepts have been observed in Sydney and Europe and have had different implications to the road maintenance programs. This section compares the concepts in Europe and Sydney, illustrating the significance of each to managing road infrastructure.

    1. Outsourcing Road Maintenance in Sydney

Outsourcing business functions has been an instrumental concept in the 21st century. Businesses have adopted the idea of outsourcing nonessential functions to outside parties, who specialize in that function. Outsourcing has been found to improve productivity of businesses, since they concentrate on the core activities of their trade. Outsourcing has succeeded in some functions of government. Governments around the world outsource functions such as technology development and weapons to private companies. Governments draw significant benefits from outsourcing certain functions. They access intellectual knowledge, that may be out of reach for them and research that is proprietary to private organizations. Outsourcing government functions is not a popular concept in some governments due to sensitivity of government services. Outsourcing is associated with privatization of government services, which may lead to discrimination of public goods depending on wealth.

Outsourcing road maintenance has benefits and limitations. Road maintenance is a crucial public service. Public goods are meant to add value to citizens. Outsourcing road maintenance may reduce the utility drawn by citizens. Outsourcing road maintenance involves allowing private entities to carry out either all or some of the activities involved in road maintenance. The extent of the outsourcing depends on government policy regarding the same. Outsourcing differs from partnerships, as observed in the European system. Outsourcing involves autonomous programs run by private entities. The government has a contractual agreement with the organizations. These organizations are then involved in all activities pertaining to road maintenance. The government has diminished supervisory powers in this case, as compared to partnerships.

Australia has recently seen an emerging trend as governments outsource road maintenance services to private companies. The RMS has plans to outsource most of its road maintenance functions. The government cites efficiency as the main reason for outsourcing. Sydney has nearly 5000 km road infrastructure. The government wants to outsource all activities pertaining to road maintenance to private organizations, which are deemed more effective. While private companies are more efficient than governments, the question is whether the public good is enhanced by this approach. Do the benefits of outsourcing road maintenance in Australia justify the limitations suffered?

Outsourcing road maintenance has faced opposition from workers unions in Sydney. Thousands of people could lose their jobs upon the implementation of this strategy; however, it can be argued that efficient management of road services will create more jobs indirectly. The larger concern, however, is that thousands of jobs are lost without immediate reprimand. Outsourcing will play a vital role in revolutionizing road construction and maintenance in Sydney and around the world.

 

    1. Benefits of Outsourcing Road Maintenance

Private firms follow strict business strategies, which involve reducing costs and maximizing outputs. Governments on the other side, have no profit motive. Firms are more efficient than governments. Outsourcing road maintenance might improve efficiency. Sydney road maintenance is not efficient under the RMS. The roads have potholes and traffic congestion keeps on rising. Under the RMS, the costs of maintaining roads are high, and the deficit is almost $5 billion. There is a need to improve efficiency. Outsourcing is an appropriate way of improving efficiency. The profit motive ensures efficient processes. Less time is used in maintenance; hence, the resulting traffic is low. The firms carry out research to improve their techniques, which increase output quality but reduce or hold costs constant. The approach by the Australian authorities in Sydney and other cities will improve efficiency.

Outsourcing reduces the wage bill. Road management involves thousands of employees. Economic hardships have forced government agencies to cut their budgets. Outsourcing has been identified as one of the ways to cut costs without compromising output. Government agencies have more employees than required. Private firms are careful about the number of employees they hire. They optimize on existing employees and only hire when necessary.

Outsourcing road maintenance grants the government access to expertise. Private firms hire and train their employees frequently. The pool of practical knowledge in government is less than that in private firms. Outsourcing road maintenance could improve the quality of the road. Government employees are often complacent and rarely advance their studies. This reduces their expertise.

Outsourcing allows Sydney authorities to focus on other pertinent projects. Road management is one of many projects within the city. For instance, other transport infrastructures require attention, such as the railway and air transport. Road maintenance is extensive and time consuming. Outsourcing this function would allow the government to concentrate on railway and air transport. This could reduce the pressure on road infrastructure.

      1. Limitations of Outsourcing

Private firms’ priority is profit making. Government priority is citizen safety and convenience. The profit motive of firms is a limitation in road maintenance. Businesses have to make money out of every project they undertake. Road maintenance projects could harbor deep-seated problems not recognizable at first glance. The approach of government in this case would involve procedures to correct the problem on the road. The firm, on the other hand, would see a problem that would cut into its profits. Priority in road maintenance is important. Road infrastructure is a public good. This means that the use of this good shall not be restricted or discriminated. Private firms’ involvement in road maintenance could place emphasis on profit more than on public safety. This contentious issue is critical to decision making.

Citizen convenience and provision of high quality services is compromised in case of outsourcing. The RMS in Sydney has illustrated disregard for citizens. Traffic congestion has become a norm in the city. Outsourcing road maintenance will lead to difference in objectives with each project. Each company has its goals. Outsourcing these core roles would subject road maintenance and citizens to the private firm’s goals. This is inappropriate for the function being served.

Unlike the UK approach, which involved partnership with private entities, the Australian approach involves outsourcing these services completely. The government has little control or supervisory role in the maintenance of the road infrastructure. This violates the law, which states that the government shall provide necessary services to the citizens. The UK governments are involved in the day-to-day operations of their road management. Outsourcing reduces the power of government to control road management. This is a significant failure in the outsourcing approach.

Outsourcing road maintenance does not follow the concept of outsourcing. Outsourcing involves allowing outside parties to carry out nonessential roles for the business. The business is allowed to concentrate on the main role. RMS’ main role is to manage road infrastructure. This role is essential; thus does not meet the threshold of outsourcing. This said, it should be noted that this is not constant and relies on the decision of the business. RMS’ role is diminished significantly if road maintenance is outsourced.

      1. Outsourcing versus Partnerships

Partnerships in the UK have succeeded in improving road maintenance services. The equivalent of this approach in Sydney is outsourcing. The two activities involve private entities but differ in their relationships. Sydney is attempting to improve road maintenance services by outsourcing to private companies. The approach has worked with other services such as weapon construction. The challenge in outsourcing road maintenance is the magnitude of the project and the number of people it affects directly. Road maintenance is a sensitive government service on which millions of people rely.

Partnerships are more appropriate to road maintenance than outsourcing. Partnerships are governed by government policy, which allows the government to set one unified goal. Private companies collaborating with the government have to follow government guidelines. These guidelines include quality of roads and traffic management. The government can change the policy easily in partnerships. Since the programs are not autonomous as in outsourcing, government can reduce or add resources to certain programs, or eliminate ineffective programs. This gives the government an upper hand in managing road maintenance. Partnerships are less constraining in terms of contractual obligations. This is an important factor in road maintenance. Outsourcing road maintenance gives the private company authority to make decisions without consulting the government, as long as the decisions pertain to the goals of the contract.

Partnerships have limitations. Private entities devote part of their resources to partnership programs. They do not own the projects, since they are not contractually protected. To protect their financial stability they devote significant resources to other business interests, which are assured. This may affect efficiency. This problem can be resolved through measures that provide additional protection and confidence to private partners.

      1. Smart Roads

Technology has affected every industry around the world. As previously stated, experts argue that a redesign of the road system is necessary for progress. Some experts and designers are rethinking the concept of road infrastructure and maintenance. Innovation in the field has not applied to practical situations. Smart roads are roads focused on sustainability, perception, and safety. Smart Highway was a design involving a five-step plan to revolutionize European road transport. This idea won the 2013 Index awards. Smart roads would revolutionize road maintenance. For instance, current practice involves physical inspections carried out periodically. However, Smart roads allow roads to prompt authorities on road damages, measure the depth of the damage, and categorize the damage in terms of urgency. This would improve the quality of service provided.

Smart roads have a potential to grow into practical techniques. Future roads will apply technology to improve efficiency. The idea of Smart Highway involves application of latest energy and light technology. This road design uses light, road signs, and energy to create an interactive road infrastructure that functions beyond the current scope. The road design uses dynamic paint, which changes figures depending on the weather and road condition to indicate to the driver. Interactive light technology saves energy by shutting the light after the vehicle passes. The roads embrace innovative technology by incorporating induction priority lanes for electric cars.

This emerging subject in road maintenance improves quality of road service provided in Sydney. Smart roads are interactive and are conditioned to adjust to traffic. Future development of these roads could eliminate the need for conventional road maintenance as discussed here. Applications of this idea could involve the development of self-maintaining roads, which fill up their own potholes without disrupting traffic or redirect traffic to unoccupied routes.

A limitation of this idea is cost and time. Roads are built to last for decades, even centuries. Road infrastructure built today cannot be easily replaced with smart roads. Smart roads are costly to install. They involve the application of considerable technology and involvement of highly skilled labor. The idea is not feasible in current technological environment. There are concerns that implementing this technology could lead to higher maintenance costs. Maintaining today’s road is considerably cheap than it would be to repair a damaged smart road. The design involves considerable incorporation of technology, such as the application of induction on one entire lane of the road. Implementing this plan would face considerable resistance from workers unions, politicians, and construction companies. These would ensure that they protect their interests in the road maintenance industry.

Smart roads are futuristic designs. Their application is theoretical in the current context; however, the benefits of such a concept are real. The application of smart roads could solve most problems associated with road maintenance. This concept was developed for European road networks; this indicates Europe’s commitment to improve the quality of life through road maintenance. This idea could change the dynamics involved in maintaining roads. Sydney should consider developing a similar plan for the road network or adapting this development to its roads. Smart roads could be decade away from being implemented, but their implications can be observed.

Sydney will be faced with increased road maintenance challenges including population pressure, financial limitations, and repairs. Smart roads, although expensive to implement, could resolve these problems.

      1. Other Emerging Issues

The road maintenance industry involves broad areas of application and knowledge. The industry is dynamic and changes considerably with time. The following are future trends illustrated by the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (2012). These emerging issues are important to the improvement of Sydney road management.

There will be a rising road maintenance costs. Materials and labor used in the construction and maintenance of roads have increased costs considerably. This trend is bound to continue as labor becomes more specialized and non-renewable materials become scarce.

Extreme weather events will happen frequently. Extreme weather damages roads. Climate change is influencing the change in extreme weather. This will be a concerning issue since road maintenance will become more difficult. This will contribute to deteriorating road services.

Oil based road surfacing will become unfeasible. Nonrenewable materials are expensive for road maintenance. Prices of these products will increase as scarcity creeps in. This is an emerging issue, which will require strategic planning.

Increased environmental conservation intervention will increase public walking, cycling and public road transport. This trend might emerge out of increased fuel costs.

Resource shortages will become more prominent. This will necessitate the use of new techniques to reduce resource use or replace them efficiently.

Freight vehicles damage roads. They are increasing in size and weight. This could cause considerable damage to road infrastructure. Freight vehicles should be logically discussed and a cost benefit analysis carried out.

    1. Implication of the fix to Sydney

Sydney has considerable road maintenance problems. There are different approaches to solving these problems. Solving these problems will require considerable resources. Applying this fix will cause changes in other areas of theory and practice. This section elaborates the implications of this implementation to other theoretical and practical areas.

    1. Extending Current Knowledge

There are multiple ways this project contributes to the knowledge pool. The project approaches the problem of traffic congestion from road maintenance perspective. There are multiple causes of road congestion. Road maintenance contributes to slow movement of vehicles and disruption of traffic during roadwork. Sydney’s current situation calls for improvements. Sydney is a metropolitan city in Australia with about 5000 km of road network. The network is inefficiently managed. For this project to be effective, it is important to understand the problems facing road management in Sydney.

The scope of the implementation covers the solution offered by RMS for road maintenance. The current fix in road maintenance is an essential aspect of the study. Few proposals have been drawn to improve road maintenance in Sydney. Understanding the demands of the city road network, and the fixes offered helps evaluate the problem or inefficiency with the fix. The solution to the problem cannot be 100% effective or efficient. Improvement of the service is the important factor.

The project looks into the practice of the European agencies in road maintenance. Europe’s approach to road maintenance follows a common goal of improving the life of commuters. The quality of life is a measure that provides relevant incentive for any development goals. This incentive is used to improve road maintenance in Europe. Every partnership, technique, or employee focuses on improving the quality of life of the user. This approach has improved the European road network. The project will contribute to the knowledge base behind this philosophy.

      1. Improved Practice in the Field

This project is an improvement of the practice in Sydney. Implementing the proposed fix contributes to practice in the field. Other projects can use the elements of this project to improve practice. The project will evaluate the problems Sydney faces and suggest methods to alleviate these problems. This solution can be applied in Sydney, and other similar cities. Cities across Australia are faced with similar problems in road infrastructure. Drawing suggested practice improvements could be used in other contexts. The context would change but parameters would not significantly change. The project can be used as a reference for service improvement across Australia.

      1. Change Prevailing Beliefs

Current practice in road maintenance is Sydney follows a philosophy of maintaining roads at the discretion of authorities. Availability of funding is used to determine when road maintenance activities are carried out. This approach has become common belief among individuals involved. This research seeks to change this belief. The European approach involves changing the quality of life. The system is set to honor other factors such as resource allocation, but efficiently utilizes available factors to maintain roads systematically, starting with the most affected areas. This approach leads to an improved road network.

Sydney is taking the outsourcing route to improve efficiency. The suggested approach is partnership. Outsourcing improves efficiency but has a number of other effects such as compromised citizen safety. Businesses are profit driven. In case of an under budget they cut costs by buying cheaper materials and employing less workers. This has an impact on the quality of the road. Partnership, on the other hand incorporates government involvement in private road maintenance. The government plays a supervisory role and protects the public interest.

The incorporation of new solutions and approach to managing roads challenges current practice. Techniques and methods that have built monumental road infrastructures are challenged by this research. Improvement can only occur where the affected party can abandon common practice and use new approaches. The emerging techniques discussed here indicate that progress only occurs when prevailing beliefs are challenged.

  1. Conclusion

Roads form an important link between people and foster social, political, and economic development. Roads are responsible for the development of most countries around the world. Despite other transport infrastructure becoming dominant, roads have maintained their role as the most used transport infrastructure. Billions of dollars are invested every year in the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure. Developed countries have wide road networks, which facilitate economic development.

Sydney is an excellent city in Australia. The Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) is responsible of about 5000 km of road maintenance and funding. Billions of dollars are spent maintaining roads in the city; however, roads in Sydney are inefficiently maintained. There are potholes and traffic congestion on roads. This is an inappropriate situation for a city of its status. There are numerous problems facing the RMS in this region. Their approach to maintaining roads has no consideration for public good.

The European road network harbors characteristics that could benefit Sydney in improving road maintenance. European road maintenance involves a strategy that focuses on improving users’ quality of life. This approach defines every aspect of the process followed. Resource allocation, inspection, and road repairs are carried out with quality of life in mind. This approach allows road maintenance authorities to balance between road repairs, traffic congestion during repairs, and technique used in the repair.

This paper has illustrated that the European road industry is experiencing revolutionary changes. Smart Highways are designed to improve sustainability, perspective, and safety. The study proposed in the paper seeks to draw precise lessons from the European case and apply them in the Sydney case through strategy. Sydney road maintenance should use the user-focused strategy to improve citizens’ lives through efficient road maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Acerete, B., Shaoul, J., & Stafford, A. (2009). Taking its toll: the private financing of roads in Spain. Public Money & Management, 29(1), 19-26.

Helliwell, J. F., & Huang, H. (2008). How’s your government? International evidence linking good government and well-being. British Journal of Political Science, 38(04), 595-619.

Lin, D. Y., & Waller, S. T. (2009). Optimal LongTerm Infrastructure Maintenance Planning Accounting for Traffic Dynamics. ComputerAided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 24(7), 459-469.

SBENCR 2012. The Future of Roads: Reducing Environmental Pressures, Managing Carbon, and Considering Future Scenarios. Retrieved October 2013, from Sustainable Builty Environment National Research Center: http://www.sbenrc.com.au/research/greening-the-built-environment/the-future-of-roads

Worcestershire County Council 2013. Methods of Repair & Inspection. Retrieved October 2013, from Worcestershire Resident: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/roadworks-and-road-closures/methods-of-repair-and-inspection.aspx