Tag Archives: Urban transport

Thematic strategy on the urban environment

Thematic strategy on the urban environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Thematic strategy on the urban environment


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Soil protection

Thematic strategy on the urban environment

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 11 January 2006 on a thematic strategy on the urban environment [COM(2005) 718 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The EU sets out cooperation measures and guidelines aimed at the Member States and the local authorities in order to enable them to improve urban environmental management in Europe.

The aim of this strategy is to improve the quality of the urban environment by making cities more attractive and healthier places in which to live, work and invest, and by reducing their adverse environmental impact.

The main measures proposed in the strategy are as follows:

  • publication of guidelines for the integration of environmental issues into urban policies. The guidelines will be based on best practice and expert advice. Integrated environmental management will make it possible to improve planning and avoid conflicts between the different measures;
  • publication of guidelines for sustainable urban transport plans. The guidelines will be based on best practice and expert advice. Effective transport planning should embrace both passengers and goods and promote safe and efficient use of less polluting, high-quality modes;
  • support for the exchange of best practices, e.g. through the networking of information, the development of demonstration projects funded by LIFE+, and the establishment of a network of national focal points;
  • broadening the range of information for local authorities via the Internet and of training on urban management issues for people working in regional and local government;
  • drawing on the Community support programmes in the context of cohesion policy or research.

The cross-cutting nature of urban management issues means that any strategy for improving the urban environment needs to be coordinated with the other environmental policies concerned. including climate change policy (sustainable construction to improve energy efficiency, urban transport plans, etc.), protection of nature and biodiversity (reducing urban sprawl, converting industrial wastelands, etc.), quality of life and health (reducing air pollution and noise, etc.), sustainable use of natural resources and prevention and recycling of waste.


Four out five Europeans live in urban areas. They share the same problems: poor air quality, high levels of traffic and congestion, very high levels of ambient noise, poor-quality built environment, derelict land, greenhouse gas emissions, urban sprawl, and waste and sewage disposal.

These are highly complex problems, and the causes are inter-related, which is why an integrated approach is needed. Given the wide variety of urban areas and existing obligations, which call for tailor-made solutions, together with the difficulties encountered in setting common urban environmental standards, guidelines and coordination measures are more appropriate instruments than legislation. This strategy is therefore based on subsidiarity, giving priority to local initiatives while promoting cooperation between the different levels of decision-making (Community, national and local) and interweaving the various strands of urban management.

The urban environment strategy is one of the seven thematic strategies mentioned in the Sixth Environment Action Programme.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 11 February 2004 “Towards a thematic strategy on the urban environment” [COM(2004) 60 final – Official Journal C 98, 23.04.2004].
By means of a European strategy for the urban environment, the EU intends to reinforce the contribution of environmental policy to the sustainable development of urban areas, notably by focusing measures around four themes: urban management, transport, construction and urban design.

Decision No 1411/2001/EC

of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community framework for cooperation to promote sustainable urban development [Official Journal L 191 of 13.07.2001].


Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action Plan on Urban Mobility


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Action Plan on Urban Mobility [COM(2009) 490 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This Action Plan proposes a set of measures intended to ensure more efficient and more sustainable urban mobility.

Why an Action Plan on Urban Mobility?

This Action Plan meets the following needs:

  • the transport system must be competitive;
  • the European Union (EU) must fulfil its commitments in the areas of tackling climate change, growth and jobs, social cohesion, and health and safety;
  • urban areas must address demographic trends and social concerns (persons with reduced mobility, families and children);
  • urban mobility has a considerable impact on the efficiency of long-distance transport. Most long-distance transport starts or ends in urban areas, and urban mobility is thus regarded as an integral element of trans-European transport networks.

While reaffirming the principle of subsidiarity, the EU suggests improved European coordination. It also proposes to establish a coherent framework to accompany the measures taken at local level.

What is the role of the European Union?

The EU can encourage the different authorities (local, regional and national) to implement long-term integrated policies. In addition, the EU will assist authorities in finding innovative solutions and in sharing best practices at European level.

The main actions proposed by the Commission

The Action Plan proposes the following action themes:

  • Promoting integrated policies

Urban mobility policies must be linked to other policies concerning infrastructure, land use, social aspects of accessibility and mobility, environmental protection and industrial policy.

  • Focusing on citizens

Citizens must be at the heart of mobility policy. As such, passengers must be better informed and their rights must be better protected. In addition, the accessibility of urban transport for persons with reduced mobility is still insufficient. The Commission will also support campaigns intended to change citizens’ transport habits (walking or cycling, use of public transport, more energy-efficient driving, etc.).

  • Supporting greener urban transport

The Commission will continue to support the development of greener urban transport through:

  • the Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (for example, the CIVITAS initiative);
  • the European Green Cars Initiative.
  • Strengthening funding

The Commission must help authorities and stakeholders to explore funding opportunities, including through the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.

  • Sharing experience and knowledge

The EU will contribute to the collection and sharing of data and information on mobility actions. It will thus help cities with less knowledge and financial capacity to benefit from the experience of more advanced cities. The EU will set up an urban mobility observatory to accompany this approach.

At international level, the EU will work towards the exchange of information and best practices between EU cities and third countries.

  • Optimising urban mobility

The EU will offer assistance on:

  • improving logistics efficiency for long-distance freight transport in cities;
  • developing Intelligent Transport System  (ITS) applications for urban mobility.

Looking ahead

This Action Plan will be reviewed by the Commission in 2012. The Commission will then determine whether further actions are appropriate.


This Action Plan meets the need to rethink mobility in urban areas. It should be made more efficient, more family-friendly and more environmentally-friendly.