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EU launches new web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies

The European Commission (EC) has launched a web-based urban transport roadmaps tool to help city authorities develop plans that address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues faced by their transportation systems between now and 2030.

European cities face increasing challenges to their mobility systems, such as congestion, air pollution, ambient noise, CO₂ emissions, accidents and urban sprawl. To tackle these problems, the EC wants cities to develop and implement coherent and challenging Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPS).

Central to the development of effective sustainable transport strategies is the availability of tools and guidance documents, helping policymakers to understand the range of possible actions and steps to successful implementation. The Urban Transport Roadmaps project, supported by the EC’s DG Move unit, is now providing a web-based support tool to help cities explore policy options for SUMPS.

The tool provides cities with the ability to identify, develop, screen and assess different transport policies and measures. In particular, it helps cities to quickly and easily assess the likely costs and impacts of measures that could help them improve the sustainability of their transport systems. Cities can explore combinations of different policy scenarios and assess the impacts of these scenarios on the environment, safety, mobility, the economy, and the city’s transport system.

This type of scenario analysis helps cities to rapidly identify which policy measures are likely to be useful in supporting their own urban transport sustainability goals. A key benefit of the new tool is that users do not need any prior experience in transport modeling, as it is user-friendly, and has a simple and intuitive graphical user interface.

The Urban Transport Roadmaps tool was co-developed with the assistance of project partners: the Ricardo Energy and Environment consultancy; the TRT (Trasporti e Territorio Srl) transport planning company; and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability worldwide association. The tool is aimed at the large number of small and medium sized cities in Europe that may not have the resource for major policy assessment and modeling work. Using this tool cities can:
• Explore and identify appropriate sustainable transport policy measures;
• Quantify the transport, environmental and economic impacts of these measures;
• Consider an implementation pathway (roadmap) for the policy scenario.

Its unique features are that it:
• Directly quantifies the benefits of a policy in relation to different impacts, such as emissions or mode split, rather than giving a qualitative assessment or rating;
• Considers these benefits, taking into account the local situation of each city;
• Allows packages of measures to be assessed, taking account of how they will interact, to meet objectives out to 2030.

February 13, 2018

Written by Adam Frost

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