EPOMM e-update February 2015
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Dear reader,

Land use planning, urban development and transport planning are usually handled quite separate from one another. To achieve sustainable development, these instruments should be applied together. Mobility management can be the “glue” that integrates the disciplines – and we will show how European countries and cities are exploring and reinforcing this integration. Large parts of the text are based on the results of the MAX project. Links can be found at the end of this e-update.

“Transportation professionals can no longer pretend that land use is not their business. Transportation projects that were not integrated with land use planning have created too many negative impacts to ignore.”

Project for Public Spaces



Why is it effective to apply Mobility Management in land use planning?

Freiburg-Rieselfeld (Germany)

The integration of Mobility Management (MM) with Land Use Planning (LUP) can lead to very good conditions for MM: it means that MM measures are applied at the right spot – there where the traffic is generated. It also means that MM measures arrive at the right time – before all framework conditions are already set and behaviour is already established. Framework conditions for MM, including the securing of adequate funding, can still be strongly influenced or even determined. Finally, such an integrated planning process is an excellent point to secure a good cooperation between stakeholders: planners, developers, future tenants, residents and decision makers.

An integration of LUP and MM leads to many positive outcomes: sustainable transport considerations (walking, cycling, public transport, shared cars) are taken into account from the very start, stakeholders co-operate, modal split targets are set. The process can lead to an urban environment that is more socially just, more economically efficient and more ecological. This helps deliver a better use of the land and a better quality of life.


Preconditions for effective Mobility Management

Aspern Seestadt Metroline

There are two basic preconditions for Mobility Management to be effective when it is linked to land use planning:

  • There must be good infrastructure for non-car traffic: an attractive pedestrian environment; bicycle paths, bicycle lanes and bicycle parking; and attractive public transport (including attractive nodes, short intervals and good connections).
  • It must be possible to have restrictions on car use (car free zones and limits to street width, parking and speed).

Furthermore, it is difficult to impose this when density (inhabitant or users per area) is low and zoning is single use. Therefore density should be medium or high, and land use should be mixed so local needs can be accessed nearby. It is very helpful when public transport is available before new tenants and residents arrive, thus before they can establish car-based transport behaviour.


Entry points for MM into the planning process

Spanish planning simulation workshop in Getafe (© Mattsson, ETT)

The most important entry points to integrate MM into the planning are:

  • When a detailed site development plan or building permission request is developed, MM measures can be part of the submission or part of the requirements set by local authorities.
  • MM can either be enforced or be entered as an option by legislation: for example as part of environmental legislation, parking regulations, as part of the planning conditions.

MAX developed a tool called “Planning Simulation Workshop” – a workshop in which important stakeholders are brought together – this is an excellent departure point to start the integration of MM into LUP.

Organisational changes can be very helpful: For example in the city of Leuven, Belgium, the mobility team is deliberately installed as a part of the land use department instead of a separate department. Another example for organisational change: Vienna installed a separate development institution in the new city district Aspern Seestadt.


Examples for supportive legislation, concepts and pilots


The importance of the integration of MM and LUP is widely recognised, but rarely put into practice. In the past few years several EPOMM countries took initiatives to reinforce this crucial link.

In Austria, the Austrian Spatial Development Concept contains so-called “implementing partnerships” to work on relevant themes such as mobility. The national programmes klimaaktiv mobil and e5 offer support to municipalities and regions to develop reduced-traffic settlements. The ELAS project produced a calculator to make all energy impacts (including from mobility) of a residential area comparable. Read more about the Austrian programmes

In the Netherlands, the national government introduced a “ladder for sustainable urbanisation” (link in Dutch). Municipalities have to go through three steps to justify new urban development:

  • Is there a regional need that is not covered by other developments in the region?
  • If so, can that need be accommodated in the existing urban realm?
  • If not, look for an area that is or can be made accessible in a multi-modal way

In Switzerland the MIRA project recently published an extensive set of manuals and checklists to integrate MM into the planning process of new buildings and areas and redevelopment projects (available in German, soon to be translated in French and Italian).

The Portuguese Institute of Transport and Mobility (IMT) published the "Mobility Package” to define a strategy for accessibility, transport and mobility and their relation with the territory. It contains guidelines (link in Portuguese) that give a conceptual framework, a state of the art and recommendations for municipal land use planning; as well as National Directives on Sustainable Mobility and Transport, a set of supportive brochures and a guide to mobility plans. IMT also published “Guidelines and key issues in the analysis of Master Plans” (link in Portuguese) to accommodate the need for more practical strategic guidelines.

In Finland the Ministry of Environment and the Finnish Transport Agency launched a two-year project with pilots in five municipalities. The pilot in Tampere will find ways to decrease the need for car parking space in a new stadium with integrated housing, e.g. through specially designed light-rail stops for visitors and new tickets that integrate PT and events held at the stadium. Turku will focus on a Smart Travel brand as a part of the general brand for a new developing area.

Twelve Swedish municipalities participated in a network called “Possibilities of mobility management in land use planning”, initiated by the Swedish Energy Agency. Local development sites served as test cases. Seminars and workshops with politicians and relevant departments were held. Increasing knowledge of MM turned out to be one of the principal success factors, and a combination of MM and parking measures proved to be successful. The city of Lund developed an “Idea book for developers” to increase the knowledge and understanding of MM measures.

In France, laws on urban renewal have greatly improved the link with land use planning in French SUMPs. For instance, each SUMP has to determine the areas where the standard minimum parking requirements can be lowered, because public transport services are very good. Some SUMPs were even cancelled by the administrative court for failure to do so! Read more in the factsheet 30 years of SUMP in France on p.5 and p.11 (also available in FR, ES, and PT)


MM measures in developments

Aspern Seestadt Vienna

The Green Quarter in Antwerp

Ghent Sint-Pieters Info Point - © Project Gent Sint-Pieters

Lisboa - Lisbon

We will illustrate some MM measures related to LUP by way of examples of recent new developments in EPOMM countries.

One of them is Aspern Seestadt, an area 14 km from the centre of Vienna, Austria. In 2007 a project began to develop the area by 2025 into a new city district with about 25,000 inhabitants and 20,000 jobs. A team of MM consultants was involved from the very start. They set ambitious modal split targets (25% car, 40% PT, 10-15% bike, 20-25% on foot), and wrote mobility guidelines for the development, of which many already have been turned into practice. The local development company was keen to get all stakeholders involved and the mobility consultants held five workshops to generate a fresh perspective and new ideas on different aspects of mobility with all professionals involved in planning - architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, developers, environmental and transport planners and more. They used the MaxLupo method of the planning simulation workshop.

A nice example for good preconditions for MM is the “Green quarter” in Antwerp, Belgium (link in Dutch). This former military hospital site will be redeveloped as a residential area embedded in a large ‘city garden’ and hosting several shops, offices, workshops and restaurants, one of which ran by a famous Belgian chef. The site will be crossed by many footpaths and cycle paths, and car traffic will be banned as much as possible. In Vienna-Aspern, the new metro line was running before the first residents moved in.

Of course the standards for bicycle parking spaces can be set high. One particular residential development in Vienna (link in German) even has 120 bicycle parking spaces and only 8 car parking spaces for a total of 65 adults and 27 children. The “inconvenience” of this low number of car parking is compensated by the other features of the project: a luxurious tool workshop, roof gardens and sauna, guest apartments, children’s play rooms, garden installations, event rooms, and a communal kitchen.

When a good transport offer is in place, the most simple MM measure is to supply mobility information. In Aspern Seestadt, there are information packages for new inhabitants, new companies, developers, and schools, supplied to the relevant institutions, through an information centre and a webpage with mobility information.

The city of Gent launched a large-scale project to adapt the main railway station Gent Sint-Pieters and its surroundings to the needs of the 21st century. By 2020, the area should be transformed into an accessible and comfortable area for living and working, with good intermodal connections. This project has an enormous impact, not only on the surrounding neighbourhoods, but on the whole city and its inhabitants. The city installed an information point that organises communication and participation of citizens, both in the planning and the implementation phase. They are not only responsible to communicate about the vision and the progress of the redevelopment, but also to deliver up-to-date and clear information about changes in the different transport modes, such as accessibility of train platforms, relocation of bike parking, etc.

Parking management is maybe the most important tool. On the one hand, on-street parking can be limited and adequately priced. On the other hand, minimum parking requirements in the building permit process can be replaced by maximum parking allowances. Aspern Seestadt has the ambitious allowance of 0.7 parking spaces per dwelling, which is even lower than in the centre of Vienna! Part of the money that the developers save in this way, is invested in a mobility fund that pays for MM measures. An alternative to maximum parking allowances was implemented by the Swedish city of Umea with a green parking pay-off. Also in Sweden, the city of Vasteras is working on new standards that allow lower numbers of car parking spaces if MM-measures are implemented. For example car pools reduce the car parking requirements by 20% and implementation of five MM measures adds another 10% reduction.

In the Green Quarter in Antwerp, residential parking will only be possible in four collective underground garages. When access to the car is less direct, residents tend to make more use of public transport and other sustainable modes. In the Positive Footprint Housing project in Gothenburg, Sweden, there will be no parking at all for privately owned cars.

The city of Lisbon included in its Master Plan (link in Portuguese) lower parking parameters for areas in which Public Transport supply is better.

A good overview of MM measures can be found in the MaxLupo Compendium of site based MM measures.


Discover more



Upcoming events

  • ECOMM – European Conference on Mobility Management
    May 20-22, Utrecht, Netherlands
    see website
    Registration just opened - you can register here
  • 3rd World Collaborative Mobility Congress (Wocomoco)
    June 25-26, Innsbruck, Austria
    see website

For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.

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