UNECE launches new report to help steer cities' green recovery

By Patrick Troy / Updated: 02 Nov 2020

In October 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) launched its ‘Handbook on Sustainable urban Mobility and Spatial Planning’. The aim of the publication is to support cities in Europe to plan their territories in a way that supports the transition to a low carbon and sustainable mobility future. 

The handbook was developed in the framework of the Transport, Health and Environmental Pan European Programme (THE PEP), which is an initiative of the UNECE and the World Health Organisation. The focus of the publication is on identifying the strong links between different areas of city planning. Urban policy and decision makers can use the guide to support a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable urban mobility.

The handbook includes case studies and good practice from various cities, covering themes including: public transport planning; spatial planning in support of sustainable urban mobility and accessibility; active mobility and its contribution to health and environmental objectives; and the potential of intelligent transport systems.

The handbook highlights the "avoid", "shift", and "improve" principles, so:

  • Avoid transport by: Developing compact, dense and public transport-oriented urban areas, combined with promoting mixed land use, reduces the need to travel;
  • Shift by: Developing public transport and active mobility-oriented urban areas, which supports the shift to cleaner and healthier transport modes; and
  • Improve by: Developing and adapting new technologies in urban areas, which supports the improvement of the urban transport system.

With 3.5 billion people living in cities worldwide this handbook could prove to be of interest to many authorities that are working to improve city dwellers livelihoods.

Original article first published 16 October 2020 by UNECE

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