Strategy for a more sustainable transport system (Estonia)

By Jan Christiaens / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
Public transport, cycling and walking should be given clear priority along with maintenance of existing infra-structure and sea and rail freight, states the new Estonian Sustainable Transport Report.
Sustainable transport was one of the research topics the Estonian Commission for Sustainable Development focused on in 2010. The aim of the newly published Sustainable Transport Report was to evaluate the Estonian transport system and mobility trends from the point of view of sustainable development and to give recommendations for a more sustainable transport policy. The report focuses on several aspects of how the government could enhance transport energy efficiency and increase public transport use, encouraging cycling and walking instead of intensive car use.

The growing Estonian economy is one of the most transport- and energy-intensive in the EU, and the trends are pointing towards increasing private car use and road freight. Urban sprawl and a decreasing proportion of public transport use and walking in daily mobility are not supporting sustainable development.

Regardless of rapid motorisation, mobility patterns in Estonia are still more diverse than the European average. To continue the positive development it would be easier to develop public transport and alternative modes of transport, and to avoid possible growth in car use rather than expecting a reduction in private car use in the future.

The report calls for a greater consistency between strategic transport goals and financing priorities. When planning land use in urban areas, locations with existing and good public transport networks should be preferred and further developed. Public transport, cycling and walking should be given clear priority along with maintenance of existing infrastructure and sea and rail freight.

Apart from actions like taxation, energy labelling and general strategic planning, public companies are encouraged to focus more on increasing consumer awareness about the impacts of transport on the environment and people’s health and quality of life. The BASE scenario and 13 sustainable transport indicators presented in the report show that if current trends continue, Estonian transport and mobility will not achieve goals for more sustainable transport.

The summary of the full report can be found here (in English)

Source: SD Network (in Estonian)
Urban mobility planning