The integration of mobility management with land-use planning in local authorities has a large potential to influence both mode choice and travel demand. Twelve municipalities in Sweden have for three years (2012-2014) participated in a network established by the Swedish Energy Agency called ‘Possibilities with mobility management in land-use planning’.
The municipalities have tested and adapted the European Platform on Mobility Management’s ‘MaxLupo’ planning principles. The aim has been to see which mobility management and parking measures can be implemented and how they can be implemented in different stages in the planning process. The consultancy Trivector has been co-ordinating the network.
The work in this project is based on the Swedish guidelines MaxLupoSE, which in turn are based on the MaxLupo guidelines developed in the MAX project. These guidelines contain 10 planning principles which local authorities in the network have had the chance to test and evaluate in local projects. The local authorities are: Borås, Eskilstuna, Huddinge, Jönköping, Linköping, Lund, Norrköping, Umeå, Uppsala, Västerås, Örebro and Örnsköldsvik. They represent towns from the north to the south of Sweden, and are all small- and medium-sized towns.
The Swedish Energy Agency started the network with the aim to test and adapt the planning principles to Swedish conditions, and to gain new knowledge and create examples of how land-use planning principles can be integrated in real life. All of the local authorities in the network have implemented one or more of the principles, and these have been followed up and evaluated.
The local authorities have all had local projects to test the planning principles. There has been a particular interest in combining mobility management and parking measures as they provide a way to significantly influence travel demand and mode choice to a site. One example that has been implemented in several local authorities is that of flexible parking standards which allow lower numbers of car parking spaces in new developments when mobility management measures or measures supporting sustainable mode choice (e.g. car-sharing, access to good public transport, bicycle parking, etc.) are implemented.
Through packaging mobility management measures in a travel plan, it can be used in negotiations between local authorities and developers in order to allow a deviation from parking standards and reduce the number of car parking spaces. For example, the city of Linköping offers a reduction of 25 per cent of the parking places if car-sharing is introduced and promoted for a development area.
Another principle tested was the ‘green parking pay-off’. The city of Umeå had a bundle of parking-related measures, including an agreement to reduce the parking standards for parking places for employees by 40 per cent. The reduction in the parking standard came hand-in-hand with measures to promote other modes such as high-quality bicycle parking, car-sharing, public transport campaigns and a communication plan focusing on sustainable travelling.
All the municipalities have focused on increasing knowledge among public and private stakeholders and partners through seminars, workshops, one-to-one discussions and informative brochures. That has been vital for the success of the understanding and acceptance of the subject.
The main result is that including mobility management early in the planning process is a good way to enhance sustainable travelling. Combined with parking measures it can be a very effective way to influence travel demand and behaviour. A number of local authorities have in their local projects reduced car parking spaces as a result of the work done; approximately 2 400 car-parking spaces will be saved due to work in this project.
The participants in the project considered there to be a lack of support in existing local policy documents and guidelines as to how to implement the MaxLupoSE planning principles. This was particularly relevant regarding the principles related to parking, and many authorities have during the time of the network started revising their parking standards and policies.
This includes the city of Lund, Örebro, Eskilstuna, Norrköping, Örnsköldsvik, Västerås, Borås and Jönköping which all have developed or are developing new parking standards which allows for new ways to deal with parking in new developments. Huddinge, on the other hand, has seen the need to develop a comprehensive mobility management plan for the entire municipality as a support for further work with mobility management.
The project also revealed that there is a lack of knowledge on sustainable travel in local authorities; among civil servants, politicians and developers. Several of the local authorities had several seminars and workshops on the topic in order to get everybody ‘on the same page’, and to be able to continue working with these issues in the future.
It is recommended discussions take place with all departments who are involved in some way in the planning process. With regards to developers, it is important to show the benefits to them of working with sustainable travel (e.g. building fewer parking places saves money).
Challenges, opportunities and transferability
The planning process takes time, and there are still many aspects to test, evaluate and further develop. Three years of networking are not enough to plan, build and evaluate a development site. However, the authorities have through the network been able to increase their knowledge, exchange ideas and test ideas at real development sites. This way of networking has proved to be very effective and appreciated by the participants and could be transferred also to other countries and regions. The network has been successful since all municipalities have approximately the same size with similar problems, and could exchange thoughts and results in a natural way.
There are also a number of challenges still to test and evaluate. Since no test site, except for the one in Umeå, has any users yet (this will be evaluated in spring 2015), it´s not possible to see the effects, short-term and long-term, of the measures implemented. Thus, there are few results to use in arguments and negotiations with politicians, developers and other partners. Another challenge is how to secure mobility management through inclusion in planning conditions and obligations. This is an area of further exploration and where pioneer municipalities are needed so that other local authorities can learn from them.
It is also important to remember that localisation and local conditions play a very important role regarding which measures can be implemented, and what the effects of these measures will be.
See below to download the Max Lupo guidelines and the final report of the network.
Image: Ida Blank
22 Jan 2015
25 May 2015