Problems to be solved:
European cities are affected by pollution and congestion problems created by unsustainable transport patterns. This, to some extent, could be addressed in the long run by integrated land use and transport planning. The current problem to be solved is the lack of a consistent and widely spread bulk of knowledge and coherent institutional/action framework to integrate land use and transport policies at urban, regional and national level. This integration process is to be made towards common goals of sustainable transport and urban development.
The lack of integration among:
1) urban departments in charge of different policies;
2) layers of government -national, regional, local- with different planning and regulatory powers;
3) public administrations and citizens' associations or other private stakeholders interests, causes several socio-economic problems, including:
a) social tensions coming from the realisation of projects which do not meet people needs;
b) waste of economic resources which occurs when the impacts of non integrated projects are conflicting;
c) exaggerated exploitation of environmental resources due to an irrational city development which fails to minimise space consumption and travel needs. TRANSPLUS addresses these problems through the analysis of best practice and planning tools aimed at reducing private car use, fostering public and non motorised transport modes. The main contribution of TRANSPLUS to the solution of the urban problems is to promote and monitor the replication on an European-wide scale of the most effective integrated solutions, i.e. those which can be easily transferred between different member states and applied without any significant modification to existing institutional frame conditions. TRANSPLUS highlights also the possible modifications to the organisational, legal, financial and other non-technical national frameworks which might facilitate integrated approaches.
Scientific objectives and approach:
The project embraces an integrated land-use and transport planning approach to manage transport demand and contribute towards the creation of a common understanding of the issues at stake and the possible ways to tackle them. TRANSPLUS initiates and fosters a continuous learning process involving consultants and European cities interested in exploring and adopting innovative policy measures.
The research process is articulated as follows:
1. System analysis of megatrends in urban development and strategic approaches towards sustainable transport. The latter includes three general categories -collective transport promotion; promotion of non motorised modes; restriction of motorised individual transport- and identifies specific strategies with close land use inter-relation;
2. Learning process involving researchers and users for the analysis, for each identified strategy, of the overall planning and implementation cycle, including the design of specific measures and ways of gaining political acceptance, and the evaluation of final outcomes and side effects;
3. Analysis of barriers to realisation and appraisal of structural compatibility and potential transferability of policies implemented in different contexts, based on the lessons learned in the analysis of significant practices;
4. Analysis of different methodologies to promote citizens, stakeholders and users participation to the different phases of policy planning and implementation;
5. Networking and dissemination activities supported by the development of a web site, realisation of an introductory brochure and subsequent newsletters, organisation of workshops enriched by the participation of interested cities, and the final production of TRANSPLUS guidelines.
TRANSPLUS is included into a cluster of five research projects on "strategic approaches to integrate transport and land use planning".
- identification and evaluation of best practice case studies;
- assessment of best ways to combine land use and transport policies in the urban context neutralising barriers, ensuring compatibility and transferability between countries and cities, based also on citizens participation;
- identification and development of a consistent set of relevant indicators to evaluate the success of such policies;
- identification of practical criteria for land use and transport policies/infrastructures impacts evaluation, apt to be included in the eligibility criteria for infrastructure projects which require the EU financing, and widely dissemination of them using the TRANSPLUS guidelines;
- harmonisation of the national land use and transport planning and policy frameworks in EU Member States, thanks to the detailed knowledge of the barriers to the transferability of the most effective practices at the country and city level, and the identification of those potentially removable, produced by TRANSPLUS;
- support to the application of the EU Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) directive in Member States, improving the knowledge about the typical environmental impacts of integrated land use and transport policies and projects, thanks to the analysis of best practices identified by TRANSPLUS;
- finally, promotion of the European Spatial Development Perspective in the EU Member States, thanks to the common understanding and awareness of new more sustainable planning concepts and practices at all the levels of government -local, regional and national- created by the TRANSPLUS research and dissemination work.
The impacts listed above represent an overall improvement in the capacity to understand the viability of integrated solutions and their potential benefits in different frame conditions. But the success of any integrated solution depends on its practical application. This will be mainly reached through networking activities, that ultimately will reach a significant sample of local decision makers. The idea is to supply them with valuable and constantly updated information on best practice, tools, indicators of integrated land use and transport policies. Interested actors will have the possibility to join the TRANSPLUS network, also beyond the project end, on a voluntary basis, continuing the exchange of information, know-how and strategic thinking about integrated approaches for sustainable transport and land use policies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
81 332 Gdynia
3000 Louvain / Leuven
2628 VK Delft
812 45 Bratislava
WS13 6LL Lichfield
RG11 6AU Crowthorne
WC1E 6BT London
MSD 06 Msida