Small and medium sized cities are often overlooked when it comes to Sustainable Mobility Plans (SUMPs). A lot of attention is often dedicated to grand projects in large cities, yet the innovative measures pioneered by their smaller neighbours are too often unnoticed. The Italian city of Ravenna’s latest plans to upgrade its mobility exhibit the innovative measures that such cities have to offer.
The city of Ravenna is home to 160,000 inhabitants and boasts the only commercial and tourist port in the Emilia Romagna Region. The city has embarked on a comprehensive programme to upgrade and expand its sustainable mobility through its SUMP, which addresses active travel, the inclusivity of services, parking and road safety, and aims to move reliance away from private passenger vehicles.
The city has placed active travel at the heart of its plans, expanding cycling infrastructure with new cycle lanes (almost 200 km of new cycle lanes) and sharing schemes. These have been essential not just for local citizens, but also for tourists who, when arriving at the port, are encouraged to opt for more sustainable means of travelling around the city and the surrounding region.
There has also been a concerted effort to encourage the use of public transport. As well as the introduction of zero emission buses, services are utilising the latest developments in mobility technology, with an app available to identify bus stops, buy tickets and deliver live travel updates. Here, particular focus has been paid to the inclusivity of services, with the use of physical infrastructure and software to make it easier for older, or less physically-abled passengers, to access services.
Safety is also critical. Pedestrianisation has been implemented in many districts of the city, with appropriate speed limits set. There has been a particular focus on the safety of school-aged children through the appointment of dedicated mobility managers.
Freight infrastructure is also being rapidly developed, with centralised depots and bike courier services expanded, thus reducing the volume of delivery vehicles traversing Ravenna’s city centre.
This article originally appeared as a video, produced by the Municipality of Ravenna and published on their YouTube channel on 22 April 2021.
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