Problems to be solved
Project PROSPECTS is designed to help city authorities meet the challenges set in "The Common Transport Policy" which advocates the achievement of sustainable mobility. Sustainability in that sense is currently jeopardised by the growth in car ownership and use, the parallel dominance of road vehicles in freight transport, and the decentralisation of urban land use. The resulting problems include congestion, which is extending over longer period and larges areas; increased pollutants, noise and visual intrusion; higher levels of fuel consumption, and hence carbon dioxide emissions, adversely affecting the global environment; higher numbers of road accidents; reduced accessibility by public transport and lower quality journeys on foot and by cycle, thus aggravating problems of social exclusion; and, though all of these, a deterioration in quality of life and in the efficiency of the urban economy. City authorities have available an increasing range of policy measures to tackle these problems and are actively seeking integrated solutions. However, it is often difficult to identify that combination of measures that will achieve the optimal strategy for a particular city. Moreover, there are several barriers to implementing optimal strategies, including practical problems, lack of legislation, division of responsibilities, lack of finance and, above all, lack of public acceptance.
Scientific objectives and approach:
The principal objective of PROSPECTS is to provide cities with the guidance which they need in order to generate optimal land use and transport strategies to meet the challenge of sustainability in their particular circumstances. The sub-objectives, each of which is associated with a separate technical Work Package, are: To identify the decision-making needs of cities. To assess and enhance evaluation tools to aid decision-making. To assess and enhance forecasting and analysis tools for the land use/transport system. To publish a Decision-Makers' Guidebook and supporting Methodological and Policy Guidebooks. To disseminate the results and exploit the three Guidebooks and the enhanced tools. The first Work Package involves defining cities' policy objectives, underlying trends and future scenarios, policy options, decision-making processes and barriers to implementation. These are identified initially with the Core Cities and then tested through the wider survey. The second Work Package focuses on the tools necessary for evaluating strategies against the specified objectives, identifying optimal strategies in terms of these objectives, and presenting information to decision makers and the public in an easily interpreted form. It develops current methods for multi-criteria analysis and optimisation against objective functions, and extends their application to land use measures. It uses GIS tools to aid presentation of results. The third Work Package develops existing forecasting and analysis tools. It starts with a review of the requirements arising from the review of decision-making requirements, and the ability of existing tools to meet those requirements. It then develops existing policy explorers and sketch planning models for application and testing in the six Core Cities, and enhances four existing Core City land use/transport interaction models. The models are used both to illustrate decision making methods and to test policy options.
The principal outputs are provided by the fourth Work package, which produces the three Guidebooks. The first of these is a Decision-Makers' Guidebook, designed for politicians, senior officials and the public, and outlining the approach to decision-making, the policy options, and the support tools available. The second, the Methodological Guidebook, is designed for professionals, and provides more extensive advice on the support tools for evaluation, forecasting and analysis. The third, the Policy Guidebook, describes current experience with the full range of policy options, and is of interest to politicians, professionals and the public. The three Guidebooks, covering decision-making, methodology and policy advice, will be designed for ease of use by city authorities, and by the public in their cities. The advice will enable them to enhance sustainability, the environment, social inclusion and quality of life through the design of more effective land use and transport strategies. In addition it should help in improving the efficiency and accessibility of the transport system, hence reducing costs and increasing competitiveness. Our work in OPTIMA and FATIMA identified strategies that increased economic efficiency by 20-30% over previously preferred strategies, using transport policy measures alone. We would expect to be able to improve further on this by including land use measures and we will assess the potential scale of these benefits for all our Core Cities. The advice will also help to identify the key barriers to implementation, and the case for overcoming them, thus facilitating the achievement of optimal strategies. In all of these ways cities' competitiveness, both economically and as places to live, should be significantly enhanced.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CB5 8BA Cambridge
100 44 Stockholm
GU21 1DD Woking