The SCATTER Project - Sprawling Cities And Transport: from Evaluation to Recommendations

The SCATTER Project - Sprawling Cities And Transport: from Evaluation to Recommendations


S Gayda, STRATEC, BE; M Batty, University College London, UK; G Haag, STASA, DE; A Martino, TRT, IT, K Lautso, LT Consultants, FI



1.General objectives

SCATTER is a project under the European Commission DG Research, which started on January 1st 2002 and will last until June 2004.

SCATTER tackles the issue of urban sprawl, in particular in the context of cities implementing new suburban public transport services.

Urban sprawl, which is a common problem encountered in Europe, is closely related to transport. The spatial pattern which results from sprawl, characterised by low population density and spatially segregated land uses, is unfavourable to the development of public transport and other sustainable transport modes. On the contrary, urban sprawl induces high level of private car use. The negative effects of urban sprawl on transport are therefore an increase of trip lengths, congestion on the radial roads giving access to city centres, increase in fuel consumption and in air pollution. As an example, many transport experts estimate that the increase in car-kilometres in metropolitan areas, during these last decades, is due for a significant part to the increase of the trip lengths.

To limit these damages, numerous European cities are implementing suburban public transport services, such as heavy or light rail, linking the suburban areas and the urban centre. But by improving the accessibility, the authorities simultaneously create an incentive for a new wave of urban sprawl. In parallel with these new public transport services, accompanying measures have therefore to be elaborated and implemented, in order to prevent, mitigate or control urban sprawl. The SCATTER project tackles this issue.

The final objective of SCATTER is to provide recommendations and guidelines to

Everything discussed above can be summarised by the following questions:

(1) What is the total fiscal balance (additional revenues minus additional costs) of a new housing development for the municipality taking the zoning decision or approving the investor?s request?

(2) How does this fiscal balance change with the characteristics of the location relevant to its future traffic generation?

(3) What signals does therefore the German fiscal system give to municipalities when taking land use decisions (seen from a traffic planner?s point of view)?

(4) What should and what could be modified in our fiscal system so that traffic efficient land use decisions by municipalities get rewarded by attractive fiscal balances in their budget while highly traffic generating projects do not pay off for the hosting communities?

In my presentation / paper I will try to answer these questions using own survey data and conclusions from the following studies:

(i) An interview series with mayors and municipal land use planners in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, conducted in 1998 and published as a working paper of our institute (J.-M. Gutsche: Die Rolle der Gemeinden bei der Umsetzung verkehrssparsamer Raumstrukturen, ECTL-Working Paper Nr. 1, Hamburg, 2000)

(ii) A survey on travel behaviour of households in recently constructed houses, conducted in 2000 und 2001 in the Greater Hamburg region with trip protocols of about 4.100 persons, published as a working paper of our institute (J.-M. Gutsche: Verkehrseffekte des Wohnungsneubaus im Grossraum Hamburg, ECTL-Working Paper Nr. 6, Hamburg, 2001)

(iii) A detailed model calculation on the fiscal balance of new housing developments using data from additional own surveys on municipal spending regarding new housing develop-ments as well as a raster-GIS to appropriately take into account the spatial aspects of the fiscal system. The model calculation is finished, results will be published until April 2003 as a working paper of our institute (J.-M. Gutsche: Auswirkungen neuer Wohngebiete auf die kommunalen Haushalte, ECTL-Working Paper Nr. 18, Hamburg, 2003)

As the innovative aspects of this paper and the related presentation I see the following points:

(i) connecting the fiscal system (as one of the driving force of the land use and transportation developments) to the transportation and mobility patterns in conurbations

(ii) presenting up-to-date travel behaviour data exclusively of people having just made a private location decisions and now living in a new house being the result of recent zoning decisions


Association for European Transport