SUTRA: Final Report

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Sustainable Urban Transportation was the topic of SUTRA (EVK4-CT-1999-00013), a project within the Key Action of the City of Tomorrow:

Over a three year period, the project has developed and successfully tested in the case study cities Gdansk, Geneva, Genoa, Lisbon, Thessaloniki and Tel Aviv an approach to design consistent policies and strategies for sustainable urban transportation and land use, using the cornerstones of sustainability as the guiding principle: economic efficiency, environmental compatibility, and social equity. The approach developed was based on a broad integration of socio-economic, technological and environmental issues, within the interdisciplinary and integrative spirit of the Key Action.

SUTRA successfully used a scenario analysis approach, embedded in a framework of Indicators of sustainable urban transportation.
A cascade of simulation models was used to represent the individual scenarios of urban development. The core of the modeling system is a transportation model that describes an equilibrium-based solution to satisfy the transportation demand expressed in an origin-destination matrix given a transportation network and its capacities and constraints, which feeds a set of environmental impact models. To ensure consistency of the scenario assumption, a techno-economic optimization model is used as the overall framework.

A set of common scenarios is defined across all case study cities using the basic framework of indicators to specify consistent change and development scenarios.

The four main common scenarios are defined as follows:

  1. Dynamic and virtuous (technologically and environmentally)
  2. Dynamic and vicious (emphasis on individual transport)
  3. Stagnant, aging, but virtuous (virtuous pensioners' city)
  4. Stagnant, aging, but vicious.
The scenarios vary in their assumptions about demographic development, land use development, structural economic development, the availability of new transportation technologies, and citizen's behaviour. Results for many indicators show differences of more than 100% between the extreme scenarios. This suggests there is ample room for improvement.

However, no single measure included in the scenario analysis alone can make such a major impact within the ranges of plausible rates of change in the driving forces. Clearly, a well balanced set of integrated measure is necessary to maintain and improve sustainable urban transportation. This set of measures must be defined for each city considering its structural, socio-economic, and technological constraints to find the best, cost-effective solution.

For this purpose, the approach and integrated set of tools developed by the SUTRA project is now being made available to potential end users world wide. Exploitation activities are exploring EU programs such as INTERREG, LIFE, ASIA-URBS, EUREKA, but also UN sponsored efforts such as the WHO's Healthy Cities program in addition to direct, commercial offerings to individual city administrations. To support the exploitation, the SUTRA web site is continuously developed, with all project results available on-line, as well as on-line access to the SUTRA City data base, the European City Benchmarking tool, and the interactive city-level air quality modelling:

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