KOPANEZOU Eleni - Abstract
Urban transport and Cohesion Policy
Good transport is a key element of cities’ attractiveness. To attract employment and facilitate
growth, cities need good connections to inter-urban and long distance networks. They also
need to ensure clean, efficient, affordable and effective intra-urban mobility. The large
majority of European citizens lives in urban areas and they all share the same infrastructure
for their mobility. It is therefore no surprise that all major cities in Europe face common
challenges of reducing congestion, accidents and pollution while at the same time wishing to
increase mobility for businesses and citizens - including those that face social exclusion or are
unable to drive a car.
Cities are different from each other and, therefore, cities are themselves in the best position to
select the right mix of measures to implement, always as part of an integrated approach. But it
is clear that creating sustainable urban mobility includes making best use of transport
infrastructure, a good co-ordination and co-operation between the various transport modes,
improving the affordability, efficiency and effectiveness of public transport, and the
promotion of the clean and energy efficient transport modes. It also means recognising that
road transport plays an important role in society and in daily life, and ensuring the
development of good transport links to major airports and to the axes of the trans-European
Transport Networks (TEN-T).
One of the key questions for the future of good urban transport is funding, not only for new
investments but also for maintaining and improving existing infrastructure. Public budgets are
under pressure in many cities but will continue to play an important role, as do the revenues
raised from users. The EU makes funds available to eligible regions through its Cohesion
Policy. The European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development can contribute with capital and expertise. Private financing, usually in the form
of public-private partnerships, can also contribute but requires stable legal frameworks and
long term strategic policy visions.
The importance of urban questions within the EU’s Cohesion Policy has been recognised by
the Council, the Parliament and many external stakeholders during the past years. The
Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 pay particular attention to the needs of urban
areas. The Commission’s recent Communication on Cohesion Policy and cities1 emphasises
the importance of good accessibility and urban mobility for urban growth and jobs. An
overview of possible urban transport measures that could be funded with Cohesion Policy
funding is attached.
The EU offers support to local, regional and national authorities through different means. The
EU promotes the study and exchange of best practice in many fields, for example through the
CIVITAS Initiative2, the URBACT3 programme, through its multi-annual RTD Framework
Programme and through the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. New legislation on public
services in public transport will provide a clear and stable legal framework for new
investments in public transport infrastructure and operations. In the framework of the
COM (2006) 385
A new call under the CIVITAS Initiative particularly addressing new Member States and Acceding Countries
is foreseen for late 2006/early 2007, more information will be made available on www.civitas-initiative.eu
Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment guidance on sustainable urban transport plans
will be published.
In the second half of 2007 the Commission will issue a Green Paper on urban transport to
launch a debate on potential European added value to action at the local level. One idea that
might be addressed could be an examination for which fields, while fully respecting the
subsidiarity principle, there is a consensus to develop of “joint solutions” of a common
European interest. The Commission will invite cities, transport operators, citizens groups and
technology providers to become involved in the preparation of the Green Paper, and in the
debate that will follow its publication.
DG Energy and Transport
Head of Unit - Clean Transport and Sustainable Development
Annex - Ideas on Clean Infrastructure for Urban Transport
Cohesion Policy funding could be used for the following measures. They should, in principle,
be part of a strategic local mobility plan.
I. High quality public transport
Construction/upgrading of public transport infrastructure for trams, metros and high
quality bus networks (for example dedicated separated lanes). This includes the
construction/upgrading of energy supply infrastructure for trams, metros and trolley buses.
Construction/upgrading of passenger terminals/interchanges and the provision of shelters.
For terminals/interchanges and shelters the extra infrastructure that is necessary for the
provision of connections with other public transport services and with other transport
modes (walking, cycling, private road transport) should also be covered, including road
signs and provisions for parking.
Introduction/upgrading of accessible, clean, energy efficient public transport vehicles. In
the case of buses the use of alternative fuels (such as biofuels, natural gas) should be
promoted, together with the production, storage and supply infrastructure.
Construction/upgrading of major roads, station/interchange areas and pedestrian zones,
ensuring safe and dedicated (separated) infrastructures for public transport, walking and
Introduction/upgrading of intelligent, integrated and interoperable ticketing systems,
passenger information systems, traffic management systems, public transport management
systems, public transport priority systems, including Galileo-based applications.
Accompanying activities for promotion, education, sales, customer care, evaluation and
Construction/upgrading of infrastructures for "Clean Zones" or “Environmental Zones” in
sensitive urban areas, where access is restricted to only public transport and/or clean
vehicles using alternative fuels.
II. Ambitious integrated clean urban transport policies
Besides investments in public transport and in alternative fuels, authorities could decide to
extend these investments with additional measures and follow a more ambitious integrated
approach. Such integrated packages of clean urban transport measures should support
transport, energy and environment policy objectives. This integrated approach is tested and
demonstrated in the Commission’s CIVITAS Initiative4.
The following additional measures could be considered:
Introduction/upgrading of urban demand management systems based upon the use of road
pricing, parking pricing, public transport pricing, parking regulation, speed management
or access regulation, including Galileo-based applications.
Introduction/upgrading of measures to improve safety and security in urban transport.
Introduction/upgrading of measures to ensure access to urban transport for people with
Introduction/upgrading of freight terminals and other dedicated solutions for urban freight
Introduction of measures to promote less car-dependent lifestyles, such as the introduction
of car free housing, car sharing, car pooling and measures for walking and cycling.
Establishment and introduction of modernised organisational, planning and institutional
Accompanying activities for information, promotion, education, mobility management
(such as company travel plans), public participation schemes, evaluation and monitoring.
Brussels, 10 August 2006