A Need for New Methods in the Paradigm Shift from Mobility to Sustainable Accessibility

Planning of the transport system is usually based on forecasting of future traffic volumes. The forecast is based on current trends in the society, predictions of future economic growth and costs of transport. In all parts of Europe these trends and models point towards further growth of transport and traffic volumes. The highest growth is predicted in the Eastern part where car ownership is getting closer to the levels in the Western part. Safety factors and seamless mobility can justify improved road network but the forecasts also indicate a need for larger roads with more capacity. These new roads not only induce more traffic and thereby more emissions of greenhoue gases (GHG) but also larger energy use and emissions of GHG during construction, operation and maintenance. In the last report Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that infrastructure developments that lock societies into GHG-intensive emissions pathways may be difficult or very costly to change. This reinforces the importance of early action for ambitious mitigation. To reach the climate objectives there is a need for technical solutions in energy efficient vehicles partly or fully dependent on electricity and a replacement of fossil fuels with bio fuels. These solutions however are not enough. There is also a need to change direction in planning and development of society and infrastructure in accordance with behavioral changes. It is a clear paradigm shift from planning for more traffic with cars and trucks towards a more sustainable mobility with accessibility through walking, cycling and public transport with less cars and improved logistics and modal shift instead of more trucks. Under such conditions of paradigm shift forecast is a very unreliable method. So there is a need for other methods. This paper is a result of the work within the CEDR I4 group on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Based on examples from Sweden, Norway, Hungary and Poland within the group the paper explores an alternative method for planning. The first step is to describe the current situation, what the trends are and what the drivers are, to get a general picture of the problem. A clear objective is also needed. Since most countries do not have precise GHG objectives for road transport example is given how national objectives can be translated to a road transport objective. Then the gap between the trend and the GHG objectives can be described for road transport. An inventory should be made of possible measures to reduce the GHG emissions. This has been done in many countries and by European Union (EU) commission which can work as a basis, but update may be necessary and there should be space for new ideas. The measures can be clustered into packages. From them scenarios can be built and tested towards the GHG objectives and other targets. Backcasting from the scenarios that fulfill the objectives can be used to develop an implementation strategy with policy instruments and measures to move in the direction towards the objectives. Due to uncertainty check points are recommended some years in between to adjust the strategy.


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  • Accession Number: 01608195
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:26AM