PLUME: Planning and Urban Mobility in Europe (2002-2005)

PLUME was a research network in the thematic area "City of Tomorrow" of the 5th Research Framework Programme of the European Union. PLUME built on the projects of the Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) project cluster and other national and international projects on the integration of urban and transport planning. In addition to synthesising the results of these projects, PLUME's main contribution was to bring together researchers and users with the aim of using research results quickly and efficiently to promote the sustainable development of cities in Europe. For more information, see the PLUME page.

S&W's participation in PLUME and the LUTR cluster was based on the LUTR project PROPOLIS ("Planning and Research of Policies for Land Use and Transport for Increasing Urban Sustainability"), carried out together with the Institute of Spatial Planning at the University of Dortmund.

PLUME was organised in four groups: the Project Group, the End User Group, the Advisory Group and the Exploitation Group. S&W worked in the Projects Group. The Projects Group was responsible for summarising project results, formulating recommendations and providing overviews of the state of research. The Projects Group produced three reports on the state of the research. The reports summarised recent research findings and made recommendations on which measures and instruments make the greatest contribution to the goal of sustainable development, taking into account user needs and implementation barriers. The reports are structured according to 23 "themes". Each theme was additionally addressed in a "Synthesis Report". The final State of the Research Report contains summaries of all Synthesis Reports: problems, challenges, measures, processes, decision-making tools and the "vision" of a future European city.

The main finding of many LUTR projects has been that integrated land use and transport strategies are more successful than isolated individual measures:

- Land use and transport measures only bring about a reduction in trip lengths and car journeys if they make car travel less attractive, i.e. more expensive and slower, and at the same time offer attractive alternatives to suburban living.

- Land use measures to promote dense and mixed urban structures without simultaneous measures to make car travel more expensive or slower have little effect because people continue to travel long distances by car in order to maximise the number of opportunities visited within their transport cost and travel time budgets. But such measures are important because they set the stage for less car-dependent lifestyles in the future.

- Transport measures that make driving less attractive reduce trip lengths and the share of car trips in a very effective way. However, this requires a spatial structure that is not too dispersed. In addition, highly diversified labour markets and different jobs of working people in multi-income households set limits for an optimal allocation of jobs and residential locations.

- Large, non-integrated retail and leisure facilities increase the distances travelled by car and the proportion of car trips. Land use measures to prevent such facilities ("push") are more effective than land use measures to promote dense, mixed-use urban structures ("pull").

- Transport measures to increase the attractiveness of local public transport have generally not led to significant reductions in car traffic and only slightly to settlements at rail transport stations, but they have often contributed to the further suburbanisation of residential locations.

The successful implementation of recommended measures often depends on the ability of politicians and decision-making processes to overcome traditional barriers against such measures. Social acceptance is crucial to the success of many land use and transport measures. Equally, it is necessary to create institutional frameworks that enable legal, institutional, financial, political and cultural barriers to be overcome.

The PLUME network comprised 36 research institutions in 23 cities and 17 countries, coordinated by Transport & Travel Research Ltd (TTR), Nottingham, UK.

The following PLUME reports can be downloaded:

Jopson, A., May, T., Matthews, B., Marshall, S., Negrenti, E., Wegener, M. (2005): PLUME – Planning and Urban Mobility in Europe: Third Annual State-of-the-Art Review. Leeds: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds.

Clifford, S., Blackledge, D., May, T., Jopson, A., Sessa, C., Haon, S. (2005): PLUME – Planning and Urban Mobility in Europe: Final Report. Lichfield, UK: Transport & Travel Research Ltd.

The results of all LUTR projects and PLUME reports are summarised in:

Marshall, S., Banister, D., Hg. (2007): Land Use and Transport. European Research towards Integrated Policies. London: Elsevier.