Urban Mobility ? Exploring Policy Options for EC Support to Cities with Urban Mobility Policy
R. Ossevoort, A. Baanders, ECORYS Nederland, NL
The EC intends to support cities with the challenges they face in terms of urban transport and mobility. In our article we will explore which policy options the Commission could use to support cities in this field.
Cities and their transport systems are important for Europe. However, the concentrating activities in relatively dense areas causes a number of problems, which can be grouped into three categories:
- Road congestion and its costs
- Emissions of greenhouse gases, other harmful emissions, and noise and their health impacts
- Imbalanced social development and increased social exclusion
There are two other issues associated with urban mobility which are of a different nature. First of all, there is a lack of data to support policy development. This lack of data is a handicap for governments at all levels. Secondly, from a European perspective, policies and solutions are fragmented. This fragmentation is a barrier to the free movement of goods and people: solutions can not be used by visitors for example.
The European Commission expressed its desire to support European cities in meeting the challenges they face in terms of the mobility of their citizens, workers and visitors; as well as the supply of goods and materials needed in the urban economy. ECORYS provided the Commission with a range of policy options to supporting cities in dealing with the challenges for consideration.
The article will further explain some of these options and discuss possible impacts. We will combine our discussion with indications of stakeholder support. Below are seven examples of such options.
> Require cities to set modal split targets:
This policy option proposes to require cities to set targets for modal split, including larger shares of the sustainable modes, but leaving them the freedom to decide how to achieve them. The objective would be to increase the share of sustainable modes in urban mobility and transport.
> Ban private cars use in city centres:
The policy option proposes to require from all cities to ban cars from their centres (although allowing exceptions) in areas that do not comply with EU environmental legislation. The objective would be to obtain an important improvement of the environmental quality and liveability in city centres.
> Require zero CO2 propulsion for urban public transport:
Cities and urban area authorities have a large influence on the vehicles used in public transport. This policy option proposes to require cities to work towards zero CO2 emissions from urban public transport by a given date in the longer term future, leaving them the freedom to decide how to obtain it. The objective would be to lower CO2 emissions from urban mobility and transport.
> Require designation of ?green? zones in sensitive areas:
An increasing number of cities are designating environmental or ?green? zones in sensitive areas. The policy option proposes to require all cities to designate such zones for sensitive areas not complying with EU environmental legislation in a harmonised way. The objective would be to obtain an important improvement of the environmental quality and liveability in urban areas.
> Require creation of Urban Mobility Authorities in urban areas:
Under this policy option, the establishment of Urban Mobility Authorities becomes mandatory in all major European urban areas. Such Authorities would coordinate spatial development, transport planning, economic development and the operations of transport services across city-boundaries. The objective would be to integrate transport into other development decisions beyond the boundaries of one city in an urban region.
> Raise the minimum age for driving licences to 25:
This policy option proposes to require national authorities to increase the minimum age for the final driving license exam to 25 years. For persons between 18 and 25 years a temporary license could be issued after an initial exam that can easily be withdrawn. The objective would be to improve urban road safety.
> Improve data harmonisation, collection, validation and reporting:
The objective of this policy option is to strengthen the basis of policy making by providing policy makers with easy access to information describing the situation of urban mobility and transport in all of Europe?s cities. This initiative will have to add value to existing data and information platforms. In the longer term and working closely with other Commission services, the action could result in a permanent monitoring system.
The article will elaborate the options and explore what is feasible from a economic, social and technical perspective. We will also pay attention to stakeholder support when appropriate. Political constraints will be left to a discussion afterwards.
Association for European Transport