PLUME is a Thematic Network within the Land-Use and Transportation Research cluster of the City of Tomorrow key action funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG RESEARCH, running for 30 months from November 2002.
The objective of PLUME is to seek to facilitate the transfer of innovation in the field of planning and urban mobility from the research community to end users in the cities of Europe in order to improve urban quality of life. This will be pursued by reviewing and synthesising concrete results from recent and current projects which will enable local authorities to develop their policies and measures in the field of sustainable development, land use and mobility planning.
PLUME aims to facilitate the transfer of innovation in the field of planning and urban mobility from the research community to end users in the cities of Europe in order to improve the quality of life. This will be achieved by reviewing the needs of end users in the field of sustainable urban development, land use and transport planning.
PLUME also aims to synthesize results of relevant national and international projects and produce an annual state of the art review, providing a readily assimilated summary of best practice in the development of sustainable mobility in cities. Independent experts will also be invited to review the applicability of the research results.
The project partners will work with participants in the initiative to establish a system for benchmarking the performance of cities and LUTR policies. PLUME has also facilitated discussions between researchers and end users at a series of workshops and seeks to disseminate and exploit best practices.
The PLUME network brings together experts and end-users with the explicit aim of exploring and exploiting best practices in the urban areas of Europe. The network consists of the following four groups:
The advisory group is made up of independent experts who will provide peer reviewing and will assist with the facilitation of workshops. Members of this group include:
- Free University of Amsterdam,
- Joint Research Council,
- City of Cologne,
- City of Stockholm and
- Foundation for the Urban Environment.
The Projects Group includes representatives of key regional, national and international projects in the field of Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) such as:
- University College London,
- University of Lund Sweden,
- Technical University Hamburg,
- Spiekermann & Wegener,
- LT Consultants ,
- Technical University of Vienna,
- STRATEC and
- Master Plan B.V.
This group is made up of consultants and suppliers who will exploit the results of the network locally in each country and will disseminate the results to a much wider group of eventual end users, such as:
- Technical University of Vienna,
- University Polytechnic of Madrid,
- National Technical University of Athens,
- Swedish Association of Local Authorities,
- Trinity College, Dublin,
- TRL and
End Users Group
The End Users group consists of representatives of local and regional authorities and transport operators from across Europe who will assist in the identification of user needs, will comment on recommendations and will validate the results of the research. Members of this group include:
One important finding of many projects in the land use and transport research cluster was that integrated land use and transport strategies are more successful than isolated individual policies in either field.
• Land use and transport policies are only successful in reducing travel distances, travel time and the share of car travel if they make car travel less attractive (i.e., more expensive or slower) and provide attractive land use alternatives to suburban living.
• Land use policies to increase urban density or mixed land use without accompanying measures to make car travel more expensive or slower have little effect as people will continue to make long trips to maximise opportunities within their travel cost and travel time budgets. However, these policies are important in the long run as they provide the preconditions for less car-dependent lifestyles in the future.
• Transport policies making car travel less attractive are very effective in achieving the goal of reducing travel distances and the share of car travel. However, they depend on a spatial organisation that is not too dispersed. In addition, highly diversified labour markets and different work places of workers in multiple-worker households set limits to an optimum coordination of work places and residences.
• Large retail and leisure facilities that are not spatially integrated increase the distances travelled by car and the share of car travel. Land use policies to prevent the development of such facilities ('push') are more effective than land use policies aimed to promote high-density, mixed-use development ('pull').
• Transport policies to improve the attractiveness of public transport have in general not led to a major reduction of car travel, attracted only limited development at public transport stations, but con
1. Better communication of key findings from researchers to the ultimate decision-makers will be advantageous. PLUME has served this purpose by drawing attention to commonly understood findings, as well as to identify gaps and any inconsistencies in findings from research.
2. The inadequacy of real integration between land use and mobility planning has been evident for many years, and a number of barriers remain. Ideally integrating transport and land use planning needs to be tackled at regional level first, before being tackled at a local (city) level.
3. It is the responsibility of national governments to ensure that regional land use and mobility planning systems are strong enough to achieve good vertical integration (consistency between local and regional plans) and horizontal integration (cooperation between local authorities within a region). The European Union should set the overall framework and establish standards for good practice.
4. It is important to increase the understanding of the public, politicians and the media about LUTR activities by directly involving them in future research programmes. In order to do this, a clearer and more tangible expression of transport and land use planning concepts and issues is required. In order to influence End Users, PLUME recommendations could be tied into existing European directives on the environment, or could be communicated in new ways, for example in the context of improving the health of citizens.
5. End User regions and cities should be involved in the process from the beginning in order to achieve a more integrated approach between land use and mobility planning. Demonstration projects are an important way of achieving this, but the research institutions are still key so that conclusions can be drawn from the demonstrations.
6. The End User cities participating in PLUME all agree that the network has been of benefit and that European cooperation and networking are positive aspects for improving knowledge and key to the suc