SESAME: Urban Form and Mobility



SESAME: Urban Form and Mobility

Authors

SHARMAN K and PAULLEY N, Transport Research Laboratory, UK MARTENS M and VERROEN E, TNO-INRO, The Netherlands

Description

SESAME is a research project carried out for the transport Directorate-General (DG VII) as part of the Urban program within the 4 th Research and Development Framework Program. The main objective of the project SESAME is to facilitate policy decisions on

Abstract

SESAME is a research project carried out for the transport Directorate-General (DG VII) as part of the Urban program within the 4 th Research and Development Framework Program. The main objective of the project SESAME is to facilitate policy decisions on mobility and land use by providing and exploiting a pan-European database.

This paper presents the results of the analysis phase. These analyses were based on the work performed in earlier stages of the project, such as: the definition of urban areas and relevant indicators, the data collection for these indicators and the development of the SESAME database.

The primary aim of the analysis of the SESAME cities data was to provide statistical insights into the relationship between urban form, travel demand, transport supply and relevant impact categories such as externalities. Another objective was to yield some policy conclusions with respect to promising tactics for land use and transport planning. Finally, the analysis phase was also aimed at the formulation of recommendations for further harmonisation of urban data collection throughout the EU member states, in order to improve the possibilities for comparing the characteristics of cities with respect to land use and transportation policy formulation and evaluation.

The SESAME database contains an impressive amount of well-structured information about the land use and transport characteristics of 40 European cities (see Table I). It provides a broad range of insights into various aspects of land use, transport supply and travel demand in these cities. The analysis was intended to give a comprehensive overview of the main similarities and differences between the cities, and how the land use and transport systems in European cities are related. These insights from the analysis results were mainly descriptive in nature. As other research has shown, relationships within the urban system are very complex. Moreover, the number of cities in the SESAME database is limited, and much of the available data in Europe is not yet fully harmonised. The analysis was thus primarily aimed at identifying the significance and magnitude of the relationships considered, rather then deriving accurate models which are able to predict cause and effect mechanisms in the urban system.

Comparative studies across different countries always face definitional problems with unequal data collection areas and different data sources. In this context, the definition of the zoning system was one of the most important and, at the same time, problematic factors. The harmonised zoning was set up to include the zones which describe the relative competition between the different modes and, therefore, specific problems had to be solved in order to choose the study area:

* Availability of data in land use and transport fields as existing data had to be collected,

* Relevance of the definition of urban area for land use/transport analysis.

Thus the study area has to be a compromise between the requirement of relevance and of being operational. For the purpose of the analysis this equated to the central city and its hinterland (described as the local urban area).

Publisher

Association for European Transport