3.1 – Mobility problems in contemporary cities
Throughout history, cities have been founded along transportation routes. Initially these routes were rivers or seas, then paths and roads were built to connect cities and include them in a wider spatial context.
The growth of accessibility of private transport after the World War II brought about a major transformation. Cities started to grow and city edges slowly disappeared, blending into the regional landscape. The use of cars, which allowed for urban sprawl, has become an increasingly growing problem. There are several reasons for this:
- social reasons: because of the advantages of motorised traffic some places in the city became dedicated exclusively to mobility rather than urban programmes and social contacts. The sprawl of suburbs adapted to motorised traffic leads to social disintegration
- environmental reasons: exhaust, gas emission and noise deteriorate the environmental situation in cities and reduce the quality of life, while the increase in traffic reduces safety in cities
- economic reasons: the increase in personal motorised traffic increased the costs of transport infrastructure building and maintenance
3.2 – Mobility Planning: Traditional / historical approach – more roads more cars
The city road networks are complementary with the morphology of the built fabric. The road network, testifying to the history and development of a city, determines its character in many ways. The road network reflects the characteristic schemes of individual historical periods, Archaic, Roman, Middle Ages, the Early Modern Period, Modern, and Contemporary. In its development continuity we identify and assess the organisation and structure of a city.
The layout typology of the road network includes, among others, branched-out networks characteristic for small and organic towns, medieval layouts and contemporary cities that did not follow integrated urban designs but integrated, with their traffic network, the former satellite (fringe) towns into the continuous urban fabric of today. The historical centres and branched-out traffic structure of many European cities is characterised by this layout.
The orthogonal grid network is characteristic for pre-planned cities. Such networks date back to Antiquity, with Hippodamus’ layout of Miletus in the 5th century BC, also called the Hippodamian plan or layout. Such layouts are found, for example, in European cities from the 19th century AD and in Manhattan (USA).
The city layout with its radial network is often completed with circular connections in the form of rings that connect the radial ends into a web-like network. Such layouts are, for example, found in Vienna (Austria) with its ringroad and in Ljubljana (Slovenia) with its Inner and Outer ringroad.
Combined or mixed network systems are typical for larger cities that developed in various periods in line with the existing planning doctrines. Thus, many European cities have remnants of the Roman Cardo and Decumano, a medieval organic structure, a 19th century orthogonal layout, as well as modernistic neighbourhoods. All partial networks are interconnected in a more or less recognisable structure such as that one of Barcelona (Spain).
Historically, the main thoroughfares went through city centres. Increasing traffic also caused more negative impacts and the creation of cities-built ringroads for transit traffic.
Along with relieving the city centres from congestion, this measure allowed the transit traffic a faster route past the city. But soon partial or complete rings no longer sufficed.
Contemporary concepts of regulating road transport involve the hierarchical method of transport distribution according to its destination. Transit traffic uses express thoroughfares that run past smaller towns. The traffic then splits off onto radial roads with important programmes along the road and the city centre and from there onto local access roads.
The siting of stationary traffic areas depends on the hierarchical structure of thoroughfares. Park and Ride (P&R) parking areas are located on the outskirts, along motorway or ring road access points. Parking areas are generally provided outside urban centres. Access for motor vehicles in city centres is decreasing as parking is restricted.
Public Transport is the backbone of an efficient mobility system, particularly in large cities and densely populated regions. An efficient public transport system requires a branched out and well-structured network, frequent arrivals, short travel times, good integration of stations and stops within the urban space, comfort, safety and security.
In less densely populated areas it is more difficult to achieve the appropriate accessibility standard, particularly in terms of good land coverage and frequency of arrivals.
3.3 – Sustainable Mobility: Accessibility and economic advantages v environmental burdens
The goal of sustainable mobility is to satisfy everyone’s needs for mobility and, at the same time, to reduce traffic, pollution, GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption.
Sustainable Mobility is characterised by the so-called Reverse Traffic Pyramid – priority in transport organisation is given to the weakest road users and those modes of transport that cause less negative impacts when satisfying the mobility needs.
The main orientations for the future are to encourage walking, cycling, and public transport as well as to improve traffic safety and promote inter-modality.
The conventional transport planning in the second half of the 20th century used to address traffic-related problems primarily in relation to travels by car. Contemporary transport planning gives equal weight to all means of transport, while in cities it gives priority to walking, cycling and public transport.
The goal of sustainable mobility is to create a safe, healthy, efficient, lively and economically attractive city that takes care of environmental conservation and dedicates its public space to people rather than cars. Sustainable Mobility can be addressed from various viewpoints:
- Traffic Safety
- Spatial Efficiency
- Environmental Protection
Traffic Safety – Along with providing accessibility, motor traffic speed reduction is the necessary measure to provide the safe use of public areas in cities. At a speed above 30 km/h the possibility of serious injury of pedestrians and cyclists increases quickly. It increases from 10% at 35 km/h to 45% at 55 km/h.
Health – Motor traffic adversely affects human health and the environment as it causes pollution and noise and thus reduces the quality of life in cities.
Walking and cycling do not cause emissions and positively affect human health, as they encourage people to be more physically active.
Spatial Efficiency – The problem of city traffic is that it is heaviest where space is most precious – where it could be dedicated to other uses. The goal of sustainable mobility is to provide more public areas to people and only the necessary part thereof to various means of transport.
A simplified but very telling illustration of this fact was shown in 2001 in Münster, Germany: 60 people were first transported by cars and then by a bus – in both cases the usual vehicle occupancy was taken into account; finally, they were transported by bicycles. While car users occupied almost the entire four-lane road in a length of almost 100 m, in the second case all passengers were transported by a single bus.
Socialisation – Public space is the generator of urban life; it is multifunctional, changing, contextualised and culturally specific. It is a space of experience and the unexpected.
On the other hand, traffic space is regulated, predictable, monotonous, systemised, impersonal and intended for transport only.
Economics – The increase of the share of public transport, cycling and walking reduces the financial burden of the public and private sectors. Every time you travel, you put money into the system, but you also represent a cost to the system. Your contribution to and burden on the system differs depending on how you travel. For example, when you ride the bus you pay a fare (i.e. money) into the system. Your burden on the system includes the costs of operating the bus and also – less obvious – impacts like emissions and noise pollution. By looking at the ratio of what we put in versus our cost to the system, we see that different ways of travelling are more subsidised than others.
The cities where most journeys are travelled by public transport, bicycle or on foot have lower total traffic-related costs.
Environmental protection – Traffic is a large consumer of energy, which is particularly important in relation to suburbanisation such as the urban sprawl, that is the migration of population and activities to the outskirts of cities or the wider region.
A suburban household spends more than half of its energy in traffic. Also, the suburban household’s energy consumed in traffic is larger than the total energy consumed by a comparable urban household.
3.4 – Smart and Integrated Mobility Planning: Spatial planning concepts
The measures that changes the culture of our movement, our travel habits and thus our public space are divided in soft measures and infrastructural measures.
3.4.1 – Soft Measures
Soft measures are introduced as various types of awareness-raising, promotion, campaigns and similar. Soft measures do not involve construction or any major financial input. Examples of soft measures:
- The walking school bus and the bicycle train are two organised forms of accompanying children to kindergarten or school. Children and parents are thus encouraged towards everyday sustainable mobility, in all kinds of weather or season
- Appealing public transport
- Mini bus in pedestrian zone. Areas for pedestrians who live more than 300 m away from the nearest urban public transport stop should be connected in an alternative form of public transport as is the case of the kavalir in Ljubljana. This service is an on demand and free-of-charge, mostly intended for the elderly, vulnerable groups and tourists
- A free-of-charge, small-scale public transport, which allows for the appropriate frequency of journeys, is an on-time, attractive, accessible and efficient measure suitable for all cities sizes. Bus stops must be appropriately designed, comfortable, and equipped with timetables and information boards, giving information about bus arrivals in real time. The possibility of using the positioning applications and implementation of a single ticket further helps to increase the system efficiency
- Extending the existing public transport bus lines to the key locations within the city is more user-friendly than transferring to suburban bus lines
- It is important to provide efficient forms of inter-modality or combine various ways of transport. The simple exchange of the mode of transport along the Merano–Malles railway line allows for fast boarding and disembarking from the train to the bus or from the bicycle to the train
- Integration of school bus rides on regular public transport lines lowers budget costs and increases the efficiency of journeys.
- An important measure to increase safety of people and cyclists is speed reduction using systematic and automated speed control. This measure is of key importance particularly for residential areas, areas of kindergartens, schools, retirement homes, and city centres. Car speed reduction increases walking and cycling, social activities and alternative ways of using public space.
3.4.2 – Infrastructural Measures
Infrastructural measures necessitate considerable financial input and involve spatial implementation measures. Their effectiveness increases in combination with soft measures. Infrastructural measures considerably calm motor traffic and simplify the movement of cyclists and pedestrians. Some examples of infrastructure measures, which make walking and cycling more competitive to driving follow:
- A dead-end street for cars, while the street is passable only for cyclists and pedestrians, thus reducing transit traffic and creating public areas free of cars, intended for socialising and vegetation
- Raising crossing floor ensures safety for pedestrians and cyclists, while in the same time reduces the speed of cars
- Installation of raised pedestrian road crossings while reducing the width of the road before the intersection improves safety and increases the public space for people, while the reduced turning radii and speed bumps lower the speed of the cars in the intersection
- Chicanes, i.e. a feature creating turns in a road, are used to slow traffic while the public surfaces dedicated to pedestrians increase
- Many low volume residential streets (with narrow curbs) operate de facto as shared spaces, in which children play and people walk, sharing the roadway with drivers. Depending on traffic volume these streets have the potential to be redesigned as shared streets. Shared streets can meet the desires of adjacent residents and function foremost as a public space for recreation, socialisation and leisure
- The central traffic island serves the same purpose in the case of wider roads
- Two-way bicycle traffic (or “counter-flow”) on a one-way road is a safe measure for comfortable cycling as well as a traffic-calming measure.
- A bicycle road is, first and foremost, intended for cyclists. It can be used by other vehicles, but their driving must be adapted to cyclists. Cycling in parallel is allowed. Motor vehicle traffic is either one-way or two-way. The maximum speed permitted is 30 km/h. This specifically applies to the roads with low motor traffic and the roads where cyclists prevail
- Shared space means the disappearance of physical separations between the space exclusively intended for motor traffic and the space for pedestrians and cyclists. The intention of such a regulation is to encourage walking, cycling, socialisation, local businesses and at the same time reduce traffic accidents. The measure of shared space that considers the principles of the “naked” street (i.e. where all markings and signs are removed) which makes people to observe other road users, the surroundings and solve conflicts. The drivers’ awareness about cyclists and pedestrians increases: as all signalisation is removed, the participants feel less safe and are therefore more cautious.
3.5 – Benefits of a Sustainable City
A sustainable city offers safety, health, multi-use of public areas, socialisation and a healthy and stimulating environment. A sustainable city can be designed anew or as a transformation of the existing city, which brings several advantages over designing new cities.
“Improvements in road infrastructure will not reduce traffic congestion. In fact, improvements in the road infrastructure can make congestion worse if the infrastructural improvements make public transport less inconvenient or if such investment causes disinvestment in the public transport system.
The only way to reduce traffic density and congestion is to reduce the number of passenger cars“.
“If you plan cities for traffic and cars, you get traffic and cars. If you plan for people, you get people”.
Fred Kent of the Project for Open Spaces
3.6 – Examples of Sustainable Holidays Touristic Products
In this paragraph there is a selection of touristic products that are offered in the cities that participated in the S.T.R.E.E.T. project.
The “from Pearl to Pearl by train” route: Arosa – Disentis – Interlaken – Schynige Platte – Glacier 3000 – Les Diablerets.
There are 4 “Alpine Pearls” in Switzerland. The first pearl awaits you in Arosa at almost 1800 metres above sea level. The All-Inclusive Card allows you to enjoy numerous attractions free of charge, before you board the red carriages of the Rhaetian Railway to travel on to Disentis. Once there, you can discover the second pearl: visit the Benedictine Monastery and be transported 1400 years back in time. The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway will take you via the Lötschberg tunnel to the third pearl. In Interlaken – the tourism resort at the foot of the famous triple peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – it’s time to savour the intercultural ambiance. Enjoy the day excursion up to Mt. Schynige Platte. The nostalgic cog railway brings you up to a wonderful viewpoint. The next day you board the GoldenPass panoramic train to continue your journey. A must-see attraction along the way is the Glacier 3000 with the spectacular “Peak Walk”, before you reach the last pearl – beautiful Les Diablerets.
Follow the pearls one by one through Switzerland and enjoy the country’s diversity in comfort by relying on ‘gentle mobility’. Gather a wealth of unforgettable experiences as you travel, soak up the natural and scenic splendour and take a ‘string of pearls’ full of memories home with you.
Day 1 – Individual arrival – Train trip from Swiss airport (Zurich / Basel / Geneva) to Arosa
You travel along Lake Zurich and through “Heidiland” to Chur the capital of the canton of Grisons.
From here the mountain train winds up to the resort town of Arosa at almost 1800 metres above sea level. Overnight in Arosa
Day 2 – Arosa-Disentis
This relatively short leg allows you to enjoy one of the mountain cable cars in the morning before continuation by train towards Disentis. From Chur on, you will follow the route of the famous Glacier express, through the Rhine valley and the impressive “Reinaulta” Gorge. Disentis is famous for its 1400 years old Benedictine monastery. Overnight in Disentis
Day 3 – Disentis-Interlaken
The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway climbs over the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of the Glacier Express route to Andermatt. Then through the Furka Tunnel and the Rhone valley to Brig. Change here for the train to Spiez and further on to Interlaken.
Explore Interlaken with its famous “Höheweg” (promenade) facing the Jungfrau Mountain or take a stroll through the old town of Unterseen across the river Aare. Overnight in Interlaken
Day 4 – Excursion: Interlaken-Schynige Platte
Today’s full day excursion takes you from Interlaken up to a fantastic viewpoint “Mt. Schynige Platte”. Overnight in Interlaken
Day 5 – Interlaken-Gstaad-Les Diablerets
By regular train from Interlaken to Zweisimmen. The GoldenPass panoramic train leads from Zweisimmen through the Simmental to the town of Gstaad. A Swiss PostBus brings you to the Col du Pillon.
Excursion: Visit of the Glacier 3000 with great views and the spectacular Peak Walk.
Continuation by PostBus from the Col du Pillon to Les Diablerets.
Overnight in Les Diablerets
Excursion Glacier 3000 – Details
At the Col du Pillon you can board the cable car to the Glacier 3000. Stunning views over the Glacier including the Matterhorn await you. Attraction: Try the spectacular Peak Walk.
Day 6 – Individual departure
Train trip to Swiss airport (Zurich / Basel / Geneva)
“Turismo Torino e Provincia” is the Convention & Visitors Bureau for the city of Turin and its provincial territory. Created from the merging of three local tourism agencies (ATL1 “Turismo Torino”, ATL2 “Montagnedoc” and ATL3 “Canavese e Valli di Lanzo”) in 2007 and by incorporating the “Torino Convention Bureau” in 2010, it is the organisation for promoting the province of Turin as a tourist destination for leisure, sport, nature, culture, individual and group trips, conferences, conventions, incentive travel and business travel.
Their mission is to organise all the actions for promoting Turin and its province, welcoming and providing information to tourists coming for leisure purposes or relating to the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events) category. This means creating tourism products and services that meet the needs of tourists, conference participants and organisers of events, facilitating and extending people’s stay in the territory and increasing the tourist flows and the number of events.
This work consists of communication – developing and producing information material for promotion and hosting – which presents the “Turin and Province” product in an integrated and appealing way according to the needs and trends of the market in Italy and abroad.
“Turismo Torino e Provincia” has a wide and diversified tourist packages services that enable tourists to experience everything the city and its territory offer, also with the chance to take part into different events, both about international and local traditions. All over the territory there are guided services for individuals and organised groups as well as many other services to appreciate all aspects of villages and cities: Culture, Food & Wine, Nature, Nightlife, Sport, Shopping and more.
Due to such a huge amount of available tourist packages services, it would be too long and boring to make a description of all tourism opportunities available in Turin and Piedmont whereas some services are provided all year round and some others are not provided in Winter.
One stands out as it recalls the glorious past times when Turin was first the capital of the Savoy kingdom for centuries and then became the 1st capital of unified Italy in 1861. This package is called “Castelli e Dimore Storiche” (Castles and Historic Homes).
Taking a trip along the rivers and hills in the province of Turin, there are 23 castles and historic homes with their medieval towers and moats and also the welcome of the beautiful country residences belonging to the Savoy aristocracy. The package offers the opportunity of admiring their architecture while discovering all the history, the intrigues and the passions locked within their ancient walls. They are open every last Sunday of the month, from May to September.
What’s more, in some historic homes it will be possible to enjoy a testing of the Wines of the province of Turin (leaflet describing this touristic package).
Another example of tour aimed at discovering the architecture of Torino is “Torino Liberty”. As Torino is considered the “Capital of Art Nouveau”, this tour guides tourists through this particular cultural and artistic context.
An event that joins both culture and local food is “Aperitivo Reale Con Sua Maestà E La Bela Rosin”, that is a special tour of the “Reggia di Venaria”, with theatre actors guiding visitors through the building.
As an example of service proposed by Turismo Torino e Provincia merging both nature, culture and sport, we can mention the “Royal E-Bike Tour” that is a way to live an easy, funny and sustainable experience to discover Torino and its Royal Residences. The tours with e-bikes take tourists along specific cycling paths while admiring famous places and being entertained with anecdotes and interesting stories.
As many other European cities, also Turin enjoys the City Sightseeing® Bus service that allow visitors to get involved into the charm of a city with over 2,000 years of history. City Sightseeing Torino currently offers 3 routes:
- the Line A, to explore the city centre and the hill, overlooking the Po river with the Valentino Park, the village and the medieval fortress;
- the Line B, to get to sites of unexplored charm as the Automobile Museum, the Lingotto exhibition centre, the “Pinacoteca Agnelli”, Eataly, the 2006 Winter Olympic sites and the “Officine Grandi Riparazioni”
- the Line C, to visit the Allianz Stadium & Juventus Museum, Reggia di Venaria (Venaria Royal Palace) and “La Mandria” Castle.
The tourist services are not only restricted to the Metropolitan Area of Turin. Indeed, there are also several sustainable tourism initiatives that take place in 2018 in the municipalities belonging to the “Olympic Mountains” areas.
The activities mainly focus on cycling pathways, both with mountain bikes and e-bikes, and on the discovery of the area in its cultural, historic and œno-gastronomic aspects.
Specific areas for recharging electric cars and bikes are being set up and with the closure of some main roads to vehicles during the summer weekends, it is hoped to foster cycling, walking and horse-riding itineraries. Relevant websites are:
The selection of a touristic product concerns the MOBILITY OFFER FOR TOURISTS ARRIVING IN BLED WITHOUT CAR. Visitors arriving in Bled without car have several options to move around:
- Walking: Bled is a small town and it is completely accessible on foot
- Cycling: in 2017 the Municipality of Bled and Bled Tourism Board established bike sharing system – “Bled. Green Ways.” There are also many bike rental shops
- Local buses: about 85 buses on average stop in Bled and drive into different directions every day. They serve Bohinj, Gorje, Jesenice and Ljubljana
- Trains: there is a train station “Bled-Jezero” on the western side of the lake in the middle of the line Jesenice – Nova Gorica. About 4 km away there is another train station “Lesce-Bled” that connects Jesenice with Ljubljana
- Hop-on Hop-off bus: it is a tourist bus based on timetable that operates on three lines (popular with tourists):
- Bled – Radovljica – Kropa – Radovljica – Bled
- Bled – Vrba – Žirovnica – Begunje – Brezje – Radovljica – Bled
- Bohinjska Bistrica – Pokljuka
- Rental cars
- A Touristic train operates around the Lake Bled every day in summer season (June – September), from 9am until 9pm every 45 minutes. In spring and fall (May, October) it runs on weekends in case of good weather between 10 am and 5 pm. The train schedule is available at the train stops around the lake
- Fijakers are open carriages with a long tradition in Bled. Fijakers are driving you around the lake, to the Bled Castle or even to the nearby or more remote surrounding countryside
- Wooden boats, traditional Pletna boat and Bled boat lines are ideal ways for reaching the island
London is the capital of the UK and with its 8.8 million inhabitants (2018 forecast) is the largest city in Europe second only to Moscow (11.5 million, 2010 census). This means London has a huge touristic offer that would be impossible to list in this paragraph.
The Official Tourist website is Visit London that is managed by London & Partners, the Mayor’s of London’s Official Promotional Agency. On Visit London it is possible to find hundreds of touristic packages, travel information, maps, etc.
Tourism plays a vital role in London’s economy: it employs 1 in 7 London’s workforce, strengthens London’s reputations an open and welcoming city and represents the 11.6% of the capital’s GDP.
Visits to the capital by 2025 are projected to attract 40.4 million international and domestic visits annually – 30% more than in 2016. But such growth and associated economic benefits will only be realised with a coherent vision and the means to implement it.
How London can get there – This vision outlines how creating a world-class visitor experience will be crucial to growing London’s tourist sector. The industry believes this can be achieved through activity in four areas:
- Pre-visit promotion: convincing more visitors to choose London by attracting more first-time visitors; drawing more visitors during off-peak seasons and directing them to locations where London has capacity; showcasing London’s cultural offer.
- Visitor experience and information: providing visitors with information to help them do more and see more in London; improving information to help them find rewarding food experiences and encouraging visitors to explore areas beyond central London and connect with Londoners.
- Infrastructure and amenities: ensuring London can sustain and accommodate growing numbers of visitors; investing in culture, amenities and digital infrastructure.
- Developing the infrastructure for business visits and events: strengthening the meetings and events proposition by understanding drivers for growth and reviewing capacity constraints; creating a world-class business visitor experience through greater coordination across the city; addressing regulatory constraints that make London less attractive for delegates.
According to the concept of Sustainable Tourism that has led the development of the S.T.R.E.E.T. project, we include a small selection of packages that allow excellent visits to be made in a sustainable way:
- Top Bus Tours of London. These include the Hop on Hop off Bus Tours, Big Bus Tours, The Original Bus Tours, BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, the Ghost Bus Tours, the Spirit of London Tour, the London Time Tour Bus and the Megabus Sightseeing Tour
- Thames River Cruises. These include the City Cruise hop on hop off Tour, Bateaux London dining cruise, Speedboat experience, Circular cruise, Tate boat, MBNA Thames Clipper to Greenwich, Thames River services, Turk launches Tour, Clipper and Emirates Air line cable car, Canal boat tour, Kayak tour
- Top10 London Attractions
- FREE London Attractions
- Things to do in London by month
The London Pass®. It is the ultimate sightseeing package that has been especially tailor-made for visitors to the city. It gives holders the ability to make the most out of their trip visiting top sights and attractions whilst saving time, money and stress.
The London Pass® includes:
- Free entry to over 80 attractions, tours and museums including Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and many more
- Free 1-Day Hop on Hop off Bus Tour to explore London and discover all of its iconic landmarks
- Fast Track Entry – skip the lines at selected attractions to save time during busy periods
- Open Late – Ascend to London’s highest building at The View from The Shard
- Instant Mobile Ticket option – get The London Pass on your Smartphone device
- Optional Oyster Travelcard to cover all of your transport needs
- Free 160+ page guidebook packed with helpful tips, info and maps
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- Over 20 exclusive special offers also available to London Pass customers