Problems to be solved More than three-quarters of the population of Western Europe live in cities. Their quality of life, health as well as safety are to a considerable extent affected by the environmental quality, provision of and access to services, and safety of their home cities. Part of the economic efficiency of urban regions is lost due to urban congestion and pollution. Methodologies are needed for predicting and mitigating negative changes and for bringing about positive ones. PROPOLIS project addresses these issues by enabling the prediction of the impacts of urban transport and land use policies. The problems of growing traffic and the sprawl of urban areas together with the associated adverse environmental, social and economic impacts are experienced everywhere in Europe. Therefore, accumulating know-how, developing methodologies and searching for sustainable urban policies is no doubt of strategic importance and a field meriting a European-wide approach and concentration of know-how and resources. ROPOLIS contributes to the implementation of many of the EU's policies, especially environment, energy and transport. It also addresses questions of European wide interest and of strategic importance. Scientific objectives and approach The objective of PROPOLIS is to research, develop and test integrated land use and transport policies, tools and comprehensive assessment methodologies in order to define sustainable long-term urban strategies and to demonstrate their effects in European cities. The work is executed through developing a set of indicators measuring the environmental, social and economic components of sustainability. Values for these indicators are calculated using enhanced urban land use and transport models and new GIS and Internet based modules. A decision support tool is used to evaluate the sets of indicator values in order to arrive at aggregate environmental, social and economic indices for the alternative policy options. To include the long run land use effects a time horizon of 20 years or more is used. The innovations of the PROPOLIS project are related to the integrated and comprehensive approach, to the common framework for analysis with different land use and transport models, to the combination of strategic interactive land use and transport models and GIS techniques. The feedback from the attributes of environmental quality to the locating process of households and firms is part of the innovation. The approach is also likely to produce innovative policy recommendations, as the system is able to reveal the interactions and multiplier effects by following the impact chains in the system. Expected impacts PROPOLIS approach is used to systematically analyse policy options in 7 European cities to reach general recommendations for optimum combinations of different policy types. The strategies improve urban sustainability in general and radically reduce urban pollution and congestion without compromising economic efficiency and social sustainability. The benefits at the European level are mostly related to the general conclusions and recommendations for European urban regions. Efficiency increase will lead to improved competitiveness and employment, to better economy and welfare. The project also produces a set of well-defined indicators for use for benchmarking purposes throughout Europe. The national and local authorities in the case city regions benefit from the project by having updated and enhanced urban models and evaluation system available for their use. This system can be used when planning new policies, plans or large-scale projects. The system is especially well suited for environmental impact assessments, which are forced by law for any large-scale project. The achievement of the goal - to specify and demonstrate the effects of long term strategies that could be generally adapted in different European urban regions - would lead the way to better environment, land use patterns, transport systems, economy and social conditions for European citizens - towards sustainable development.
i) The general approach has been defined. The approach has been successfully tested and applied in seven case cities;
ii) The software tools and the interfaces between them have been developed, tested and successfully applied in the policy testing process in seven case cities;
iii) An operational PROPOLIS system now exists in Helsinki, Dortmund, Vicenza, Naples, Bilbao, Inverness and Brussels.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
WC1E 6BT London
CB2 2HZ Cambridge