Integrated public transport planning and land use planning
Refer to a vision (set in the urban transport policy/plan) which stays, and carefully integrate transport planning with urban land use planning at an early stage.
To be able to create a sustainable and attractive city it is necessary to develop a planning strategy which favours accessibility of “green transport modes”, such as public transport, bicycle, walking, etc. To be able to create the best possible conditions for these modes, they have to be considered in the very first stages of the planning process. Otherwise the result is often lack of space or difficult planning conditions for these modes. In order to achieve high quality bus corridors in urban areas, it is crucial that land use planners, right at the start of the land use process, plan space and infrastructure for public transport into the various land uses of the city.
Recommendations that can be found within the HiTrans project (HITRANS 2005a) can be summarised as “the importance of integrating land use and transport planning”. Examples of this are:
Select for investment in public transport those corridors that have a land use that can enable maximisation of both accessibility and patronage;
Focus development along corridors and at public transport nodes;
Ensure that this development supports public transport use,
Use public transport to revitalise the city or parts of it,
Provide complementary transport policies to support a high quality public transport service, e.g.: urban design and traffic measures to promote pedestrian and cycling access to stations, parking policies that complement rather than undermine public transport, and management of public transport to make best use of high quality services.
The implementation of a policy on served / unserved areas may assist in delivering a trade-off between social and economic demands. Because small and medium-sized cities usually have some low-population-density areas on the edge of cities, public transport provision to 100% of the citizens may fail due to inappropriately high costs. Therefore, the policy should be to fix the minimum standard of access for citizens to the public transport network (e.g. 90% of the inhabitants should live within 400 metres walking distance to the nearest bus stop). In order to achieve such a policy, public transport has to be considered as an integral part of the land use planning. Citizens living in unserved areas may be provided with a basic public transport supply (e.g. a dial-a-ride service).
It is essential to stress the importance of an integrated planning approach for local decision makers. This can be made through seminars and workshops where an integrated mobility policy is presented and discussed. The policy gives the framework of how the development in land use planning should proceed in the city. All political decisions in the future must be evaluated against the policy; does the decision follow the policy or is it a contradiction? In conclusion, it is technically and economically possible to define sustainable transport solutions for any city, but their implementation depends on the strong political will of local policy makers.
A good co-operation between urban developers, planners, financial and transport planners is a prerequisite for success. Often different ‘departments’ of the local administration have responsibilities for land use planning and the implementation of the land use planning guidelines.
Several cities studied by PROCEED have agreed strategies for integration of public transport planning and land use planning. Localisation policies seek to locate functions with high transport generation near to public transport, but the policy is sometimes affected by other aspects that are prioritised higher. There has to be a detailed consideration between all aspects affecting decision-making.
Almere (The Netherlands): The city of Almere is situated north of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was planned and developed as a completely new settlement in the early 1970s. Since the first inhabitants moved into Almere (1976) the yearly growth has been about 6,000 inhabitants each year. By 2010 the city will have approximately 200,000 inhabitants. From the start of the development of Almere public transport was an integral part of the plans (e.g. dedicated bus lanes, and accessibility standards - the majority, about 90%, of the houses and businesses are within 400 metres of a bus stop). Therefore, the public transport buses in Almere can now use an extensive network of dedicated bus lanes (the total one way length is 105 km). The buses have priority at all intersections. The average speed of the MAXX bus system (26 km per hour) is comparable with light rail. The lines are as much as possible cross-city (i.e. from one district via the City Centre / Central Station to another district).
Freiburg (Germany): The city of Freiburg developed two new residential areas (Rieselfeld, commencing from 1994, and Vauban, a former military camp, starting from 1997 as a ‘car-free’ neighbourhood) and considered public transport objectives from the early beginning of the urban land use planning. The tramway was extended to both areas. The tram line to Rieselfeld had been already opened before completion of the new settlement which supported the image of a neighbourhood with attractive public transport connections. The city has about 220,000 inhabitants.
Jönköping (Sweden): The city of Jönköping has integrated sustainable transport visions into their urban planning vision. This means that sustainable transport modes such as public transport are always taken into account when planning and/or developing areas in the city. This has been especially important for the continuity of the development of Jönköping’s trunk line network.
Linköping (Sweden): The future urban development including the master plan for Linköping is based on new buildings around two new bus roads (which are planned to be tram lines in 15-30 years time).
Parma (Italy): In Italy the national policy establishes a comprehensive perspective, integrating all modes of transport and giving balanced consideration to the needs of all stakeholders. It required that a local plan should be based on a clear and concerted policy aimed at reducing the market share of private motorised traffic by providing more environmentally friendly ways to travel. The local administration of the city adopted the PDU (Urban Mobility Plan) to define the principles for the organisation of passenger and freight transport. The plan contributes to reducing private car traffic, and to increasing the use of alternative transport modes. It also intends to develop maximum interaction between all parties concerned.
Sint-Niklaas (Belgium): In the 1990s, a "traffic calming plan" for Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) was set-up, fixing three focal points of urban development: the market place, the main station and the shopping centre with many activities for town and region in-between: all together forming a "corridor". Thus, the concept for restructuring “mobility” follows the spatial structure. Between these three nodal points priority is given to urban, local traffic and life. Pedestrians and cyclists received an upgraded network and a busway was built to connect all three nodal points along the corridor, with all buses using the busway, or at least a part of it. A logo (Figure 2‑1) was used as a communication tool to explain the new concept that the mobility plan proposed.
Figure 2-1: Logo of the mobility plan of Sint-Niklaas (Belgium)
outlining the bus corridor in city centre (bus way starting from the station in the north via the market place to a shopping centre in the south, grey = railway lines, coloured bus lines, black = motorways/trunk roads)
HiTrans (2005a) Public Transport & Land Use Planning. Best Practice Guide 1. Self-published by HiTrans Consortium. ISBN 82-990111-2-4 www.hitrans.org
PGN Planungsgruppe Nord (2006) Der Beitrag von Stadtbussystemen zur Verbesserung von Mobilität und Standortqualität in Klein- und Mittelstädten. Kurzfassung / The contribution of Urban Bus Systems to the improvement of mobility and location advantages within small and medium sized towns. Summary. Kassel (Germany): Self-published. Download: http://www.mowin.net/upload/media/8345/FoPS%20StadtBus_Kurzfassung%20de_en.pdf (in German and English)