An Integrated Planning for Cities to Promote Sustainable Mobility

An Integrated Planning for Cities to Promote Sustainable Mobility


A Bastos Silva, A Narciso Ribeiro, University of Coimbra, PT


This paper looks at strategies applicable to manage urban mobility, given the trade off among the goals of accessibility and environmental quality of urban spaces. A case study of a medium size town is presented based on multi/intermodality concepts.


Mobility is a determinant factor on sustainable urban development. However, the growing dependence on private vehicles and the consequently growing traffic congestion problems became bottlenecks on most cities functional systems and act negatively on their citizen?s life quality.
The European Commission draws attention to following figures: the transport sector is a leading responsible for anthropogenic emissions, having a contribution of 21% for the green house emissions (GHG emissions) and 56% for the NOx emissions, in the EU-15. In the transport sector, urban transport accounts for 70% of GHG emissions and 75% of NOx emissions.
Improving urban sustainable accessibility is a fundamental step for the promotion of global urban environment quality. It also acts as an incentive for economic growth and for the associated externalities control. The answer to that is a development of sustainable multimodal and intermodal public transport system.
The Portuguese Project for Sustainable Mobility, promoted by Portuguese Environment Agency and partially financed through the EU FEDER-AT-QCAIII programme, was fundamental for a change on the urban mobility paradigm, both on national and local levels. This project involved 15 universities and 40 municipalities, and searched for strategies and actions able to improve mobility, minimize environmental impacts and promote urban cities life quality, meeting community and national sustainability guidelines.
Among several others, the project selected the Portuguese city of Santarem as an example of a medium size city. Its scale is adequate for the implementation of sustainable mobility strategies (about 60000 inhabitants), and the concentration of urban activity and people movements reinforce the success in the implementation of these strategies.
An empirical survey was developed, in order to point out opportunities, consequences and problems in carrying out these policies.
The proposals that came out from this Project in Santarem become fundamental contributions in the town transport and urbanism policies and actions, on the level of priority adjustments and on the level of technical skills, in the different solutions proposed.
There was also a fundamental contribution for a better cooperation between several City Council Departments, which is a fundamental step in attending the urban mobility multidisciplinary nature.
The work developed also enhances knowledge exchange and the cooperation between the city council (local knowledge) with the engineering school (scientific knowledge). This resulted on actions that are more efficient and that can be applied in other towns with similar characteristics.
In this paper, we give special attention to the way the Project promoted the local mobility paradigm change in Santarem through the development of a supply in multimodal possibilities in the central town public space. In this development the articulation between transport modes was fundamental, namely between the motorized and the pedestrian modes and new complementary possibilities as cycling. Although in the view of the City Council the promotion of cycling mobility was not initially one of the priorities, it became a central new reality. This change is a paradigmatic example of the results that come out from this quality level of cooperation between the institutions involved.

The plan defined using a methodology of integrated design, became a catalyst for urban upgrading: on one hand traffic control, through traffic calming techniques, and enhancement of alternative transport modes, and on the other hand on urban space design, able to satisfy the various user needs, be globally perceived and to induce appropriate behaviors?.


Association for European Transport