Planning and Urban Mobility in Europe

PLUME was a thematic network in the Key Action "City of Tomorrow" of the 5th RTD Framework Progamme of the European Union. PLUME built on projects of the Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) cluster and other national and international projects on the integration of urban planning and urban mobility. In addition to synthesising the results from these projects, the key contribution of PLUME was to bring researchers and users together with the aim of exploiting the results of the research quickly and efficiently in order to assist in the sustainable development of cities throughout Europe.

S&W's involvement in PLUME and the LUTR cluster originated from the LUTR project PROPOLIS ("Planning and Research of Policies for Land Use and Transport for Increasing Urban Sustainability") conducted in co-operation with the Institute of Spatial Planning of the University of Dortmund.

PLUME was organised in four groups: the Projects Group, the End User Group, the Advisory Group and the Exploitation Group. S&W contributed to the work of the Projects Group. The Projects Group was responsible for the synthesis of project results, providing recommendations and reviews of the state of the art. The Projects Group produced three State of the Art reports. The State of the Art reports conveyed recent research findings and made recommendations as to which policies and tools best meet the need for sustainable development taking account of user needs and barriers to implementation. The reports are structured in 23 "themes". Each theme was also addressed in more detail in a separate Synthesis Report. The final State of the Art report includes summaries of all Synthesis Reports: problems and challenges, policies, processes, decision support tools and a "Vision" for a future European city.

The most important finding of many of the LUTR projects was that integrated land use and transport strategies are more successful than isolated individual policies:

- Land use and transport policies are only successful in reducing travel distances and the share of car travel if they make car travel less attractive, i.e., more expensive or slower, and provide attractive land use alternatives to suburban living.

- Land use policies to increase urban density or mixed land use without accompanying measures to make car travel more expensive or slower have little effect as people will continue to make long trips to maximise opportunities within their travel cost and travel time budgets. However, these policies are important in the long run as they provide the preconditions for less car-dependent lifestyles in the future.

- Transport policies making car travel less attractive are very effective in achieving the goal of reducing travel distances and the share of car travel. However, they depend on a spatial organisation that is not too dispersed. In addition, highly diversified labour markets and different work places of workers in multiple-worker households set limits to an optimum co-ordination of work places and residences.

- Large retail and leisure facilities that are not spatially integrated increase the distances travelled by car and the share of car travel. Land use policies to prevent the development of such facilities ("push") are more effective than land use policies aimed at promoting high-density, mixed-use development ("pull").

- Transport policies to improve the attractiveness of public transport have in general not led to a major reduction of car travel, attracted only limited development at public transport stations, but have often contributed to further suburbanisation of residences.

The successful implementation of policy recommendations often depends on the ability of politicians and decision-making processes to overcome traditional barriers to these policies. Social acceptance is vital for the success of many transport and land use policies. It is also necessary to implement institutional frameworks which allow legal, institutional, financial, political and cultural barriers to be overcome.

The PLUME network comprised 36 research institiutions and 23 cities in 17 countries under the co-ordination of 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., Eds. (2007): Land Use and Transport. European Research towards Integrated Policies. London: Elsevier.