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Transport and Land-Use Policies

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
COST 332
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)


Background & Policy context

The importance of the interactions between spatial planning and management, and design and operation of transport systems, is fully recognised. Many studies, for example, have highlighted the influence of land use and urban patterns on the split between modes of transport. Similarly, the spatial organisation engendered by the evolution of the production process increases mobility requirements for both people and goods. The development of the suburban habitat has favoured the growth of multi-car households. The growing polarisation of commercial structures has also led to an increase in car use.

At the same time, transport networks contribute to a country’s dynamics. High speed travel, in particular, whether regional or national, road or rail, enables transport networks to be organised on the basis of connectivity rather than proximity. At urban management level, construction norms for residential and professional parking places will be a key factor in the use of public transport.

Progress in the field of transport economics and geography has led to a better understanding of the mechanisms of the interactions between transport systems and spatial organisation. It has also highlighted the dangers of a strictly sectorial approach to transport and planning policies.

Public action needs coherence: sectorial coherence between the various technico-administrative fields, regional coherence between the various politico-administrative levels and temporal coherence between the various time-scales of the administrative and planning procedures. Innovative approaches to ensure such coherence have been developed in European countries and may take the shape of administrative procedures, legal provisions or frameworks encouraging better governance (that is, coordination between participants’ networks instead of intervention by hierarchical authorities).

By inventorying and analysing these various approaches, COST 332 has addressed institutional, organisational and human issues that influence such coherence.


The objective of COST 332 is to evaluate innovative institutional coordination arrangements which contribute to greater coherence among the decision-making processes in the fields of transport and regional planning.


One part of the work was dedicated to compiling a comprehensive European bibliography upon the relationships between transport and land use. More than 500 references were collected from 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom). The bibliographical analysis of all those references resulted in ranking them in four main categories according to two distinctions: one distinction was between the aspects of the interdependence of transport and land use that lie inside and outside the political and administrative system; the other distinction was between inductive studies and deductive studies.

The basic analytical work of the coordination disposals between transport and land-use policies has been mainly supported by case studies. The COST 332 members agreed on 10 groups of case studies, each one carried out by a specific national team, as follows:

  • the Oresund region (Denmark and Sweden regions);
  • the Scania region (Sweden);
  • the Delta Plan in Barcelona (Spain);
  • the Road Agglomeration Procedures (France);
  • the Pilot Project of Saronno (Italy);
  • Dutch experiences (Netherlands);
  • the Mobility Covenants in Flanders (Belgium);
  • Sustainable Transport Futures in some British Cities (United Kingdom);
  • Local Policies in Four Swiss Cities (Switzerland);
  • Innovative Policies in Rome (Italy).

These case studies were gathered and split into three groups, each one focusing on different dimensions of coordination of action. Three working groups corresponding to that split then provided a synthesis and a comparison of each group of case studies. The first working group took under consideration the situation of coordination by project, by considering a concrete project linking land-use planning with a specific transport infrastructure or service as a coordination mechanism. The second working group paid particular attention to coordination by procedure, which could be considered as an attempt to take on interdependency between policy sectors (transport and land-use) and between actors. The third working group carried out case studies in order to approach situations where coordination was set up as a political principle of action.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Technical secretariat set in the European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


COST332 has produced:

  • literature based studies of institutional arrangements for coordination, and of interactions between transport and land-use policies, including comparison and validation of national approaches;
  • case studies involving the selection of institutional arrangements for coordination, assessment of case study feasibility, inquiries, comparison of initial results and drafting of case study reports;
  • synthesis of the case studies and inquiries, leading to a theoretical model and operational conclusions and recommendations.

Policy implications

COST 332 promoted better understanding by public authorities of the potential and conditions for successful co-ordination between transport planning and land-use policies, in order to avoid the many costly dysfunctions resulting from the absence of spatial and temporal coherence between sectorial policies.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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