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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Sustainable urban transportation


Problems to be solved.
Transportation problems are among the most pressing strategic development problems in many cities, often a major constraint for long-term urban development in general. The problems to be solved are the inefficiency of urban transportation systems and underlying land use patterns, which negatively affect quality of life, economic efficiency, and the environment; the high (and often hidden) costs of urban transportation in both socio-economic and environmental terms; and in particular the environmental consequences both in terms of physical aspects that include land and resource use, ecological aspects, and human health problems. Tools for comprehensive strategic analysis that are directly useful to city administrations are lacking. New strategies for sustainable mobility will require a combination of measures with impacts on improved land-use/economic development planning; improved planning, management and use of transport infrastructures and facilities; incorporation of the real costs of both infrastructure and environment in investment policies and decisions and also in user costs; development of public transport and improvement of its competitive position; continued technical improvement of vehicles and fuels; encouraged use of less polluting fuels; promotion of a more environmentally rational use of the private car, including behavioural changes.
Scientific objectives and approach
These problems can only be addressed with a consistent and comprehensive approach and planning methodology that helps to design strategies for sustainable cities. This will include an integration of socio-economic, environmental and technological concepts including the development, integration, and demonstration of methodologies to improve forecasting, assessment and strategic policy level decision support. From a technical perspective, the project aims to develop and apply an indicator based approach compatible with Agenda 21 and common indicators for urban sustainability for a baseline analysis, ranking and benchmarking (within the participating cities and across all of Europe) that will ultimately support a discrete multi-criteria selection mechanism. It will use traffic equilibrium modelling to evaluate alternative transportation policies, including multi-modal systems and their relation to land use, technological development, socio-economic development, and spatial and structural urban development (land use scenarios) in general. Air quality modelling will be used to translate transportation scenarios and their resultant emissions into ambient air quality estimates and population exposure. Economic analysis and energy systems analysis and modelling using well established modelling approaches such as MARKAL, will identify and evaluate cost effective transportation scenarios, consistent with the larger economic and technological framework. Environmental impact assessment is used for the comprehensive evaluation of alternative transportation scenarios, using a rule-based checklist approach to cover environmental effects beyond air pollution, such as noise, waste including the complete life cycle of vehicles, space and resource requirements for the transportation infrastructure and its maintenance, and the effects of accidents. The long-term development scenarios, defined for each of the case study cities, will consider the current base line, a do-nothing scenario and a set of probable development strategies in terms of demographic, socio-economic, spatial and structural (land use), and technological developments over the next decade and beyond (30 year horizon).
Expected impacts
The primary expected impact is to improve the quality of urban life, health and safety by contributing towards sustainable transportation in sustainable, economically efficient, attractive, enjoyable and liveable, cities. Solutions for sustainable transportation leading to the improvement of the quality of life in urban communities and the associated urban regions, and thus the competitiveness of European cities are the goal. A better information basis, planning and decision support tools designed for the direct use by city administrations is the means. Citizen and stakeholder participation in urban decision-making processes, but also the underlying awareness building and educational aspects will be supported by making the project results available as a public information system on the Internet. SUTRA will also contribute to the implementation of European policies, Directives, and guidelines, including the European Community programme of policy and action in relation to the environment and sustainable development (OJ C 138, 17/05/1993), the Air Quality Framework Directive (96/62/EC) and several Community Directives and communications related to transportation and sustainable development.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Kalkgewerk 1

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Total cost
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Participants (7)