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Successful sustainable mobility thrives on integrated urban policies


10 Oct 2011



Decision-makers and public transport sector representatives gathered in Gothenburg on 5-7 October for the UITP Conference ‘Urban Governance: Getting people on board’ with the aim of identifying new governance approaches to guarantee sustainable future urban mobility. Integrating public transport and sustainable mobility in urban planning and policies is critical for cities if they are to make cost savings (for individuals and the community), protect the environment and make urban space more liveable and enjoyable.

“We are convinced that a European sustainable future cannot be built without a sustainable and smart urban environment. Integration, interaction and innovation are key words.” With these words, Anneli Hulthén, Mayor of Gothenburg, opened the UITP International Conference on Urban Governance. “The time has come to see that without interdisciplinary cooperation you cannot progress within a field as intertwined as that of sustainable mobility.”

Furthermore, UITP Secretary General Hans Rat stressed that “without good urban governance and demand-management policies in favour of public transport, the vicious circle of urban sprawl, congestion, lack of space and declining quality of life can never be stopped”. He noted the benefits that a shift towards public transport can bring for cities, not only in terms of urban space, but also in terms of costs for individuals and communities.

National and regional governments play a major role in providing a coherent and integrated legal administrative framework and strong support for local governments, in order for them to harmonise mobility and urban-planning policies. In some cases, where no institution is in charge of urban-planning policies and mobility, setting up an organising authority for public transport is a crucial first step to guarantee the framework for successful public transport.

Cities also need to propose sustainable and holistic master plans that better balance the space allocation between cars and public transport, walking and cycling, and produce a wise development of land use and transport networks. 

This also requires continuous monitoring and management of transport demand to curb the total volume of traffic and promote shifts towards more sustainable travel choices. For this to succeed, measures and instruments that allow citizens to live in the city without cars or with fewer cars must be put in place; these include congestion and car-park charging, car-sharing, bike-sharing and taxis in combination with public transport.

The Conference ‘Urban Governance: Getting People on board’, the first of its kind, was organised by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and hosted by the City of Gothenburg and Västtrafik on 5-7 October. It attracted more than 200 public transport stakeholders and representatives of national and local authorities from some 25 countries worldwide.

Read more about the benefits of integration of public transport in urban areas here:  


Note to Editors

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is the international network of public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. UITP is the global advocate of public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector. Visit our website

Contact: Sarah D'Angelo | Press Junior Manager | +32 2 663 66 39 |