Cities constitute the backbone of European historic development and provide the basis of its economic future. The near neglect of cities in existing European policies for sustainable growth and development such as the Europe 2020 strategy is untenable. The 2011 White Paper has sought to face this challenge in the transport area, but what should really be the role of the EU? Pioneering cities have undertaken successful initiatives without common regulations, but more attention is needed on the great majority of other cities where little positive change is reported. It is clear that comprehensive sustainable urban development will not occur by itself but will require regulations. The White Paper defined rather narrow urban goals - to reduce and eliminate the use of ‘conventionally fuelled vehicles’ and to obtain near- CO2 free city logistics. There is a need to formulate a broader set of desired outcomes for urban transport that cities and citizens can identify with, and which can easily be monitored. It must be hoped that the Commission’s upcoming Urban Mobility Package will not only provide a clearer definition of the existing urban transport goal but also help widen and balance the scope to help cities implement comprehensive, ambitious Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. A crucial point is the need to pay more attention to the political aspects of urban mobility. Game changing results can hardly be obtained by better planning procedures alone. Courage and will on the side of policy makers seem essential to move cities beyond business as usual. Research-wise we need to understand in more detail the political and contextual background for successes - and failures - of European cities. This could help build an effective multi level governance framework for sustainable urban mobility that moves beyond narrow targets, individual solutions, and technical planning procedures.
Sustainable Urban Mobility: a Change in Governance, 2013
Main Research Area:
4th European Urban Transport Regulation Forum, 2013
European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Andvanced Studies