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Sustainability in traffic: Criteria for municipal and cantonal road traffic planning and projects

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Complete with results
Project Acronym
SVI 1999/141
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects


Background & Policy context

Within the scope of this research project, an application-oriented system of objectives and indicators will be developed in order to assess the sustainability of road traffic projects at cantonal, regional and municipal levels. The new aspect in this project is not a new method of assessment but rather the already tested method of assessing expediency (ZMB, in German) which will be used together with the newly developed system of objectives and indicators in accordance with sustainability. The suggested indicators will  be brought into an application-oriented format. The managability of the sustainability indicators will at the same time be checked and assessed using  cost-benefit analysis and suitable case studies.


The criteria for the review of sustainability of traffic projects and planning will be integrated into the system for objectives and indicators with regard to assessment of expediencies. For this, the already known indicators (e.g. CO2 emissions) must have their content extended from the point of view of sustainability. Other, in particular, social criteria will be newly added to an assessment of expediency's set of indicators.


Further project goals:


  • Review of the practical status and of the applicability of sustainability criteria and indicators for impact analyses of traffic projects.
  • Establishment of a set of standard indicators for the review of measures related to traffic that need to be taken.

Sustainability indicators will be checked for their manageability by using examples. Possible applications, plus reservations, will be indicated. Even for minor projects, to which no systematic assessment method is applied, a suitable (simplified) set of criteria will be established. Finally, a critical analysis will be carried out on how suitable this method is, so as to bring in the matter of sustained development in the review of road traffic systems. The suggested indicators will be put into an application-oriented format. The manageability of the sustainability indicators will  be checked at the same time and assessed using a cost-benefit analysis together with suitable case studies.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Private foundation
Institution Name
Association of Transportation Engineers
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The cost-benefit analysis will be repeated each time for the 'Fallwil' case study. The outcome shows that the results in accordance with the classification system of sustainability are not essentially different for the three areas of sustainability individually, or in the final analysis.

This applies to the complete indicator sets 'Sustainability SVI concept' (2), (3) and (5). Were the reduced indicator sets to be used (4), then this will lead to distorted and therefore unusable results (cf. Fig. 4.1 on Page 29).

By applying the previous ZMB classification system (1), slightly divergent results are revealed in the final analysis. It is evident from the following table that the 'Sustainability SVI concept' system of objectives and indicators emerges as the one to be recommended for practical use. The description of the suggested indicators and the scaling stages in use are contained in the indicator sheets at Annex 4.2. The system of objectives and indicators recommended has proven itself in practical application to be easy to handle, easy to understand and transparent.

The essential differences between it and the other system of objectives and indicators consist of the differing assignments of the indicators (e.g. noise pollution in the area of the community, rather than the environment) and in the consideration given to the induced new traffic as an indicator for the objective component 'limitation of the spread of the agglomeration'. This standard set of indicators can be employed for assessing communal and cantonal road projects. Its suitability for the evaluation of big road building projects at a federal level has not been checked in concrete terms, but it certainly exists. It is recommended that the standard-ized system of objectives and indicators is not adopted implicitly, but should rather be adapted depending on the size and geographical situation of the project (e.g. whether inside or outside of a residential area).


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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