Based on our work in the area of transport, but also our P+ project public lectures and communication efforts, the European Commission decided to invite a representative of the working group to a unique workshop. Prague is also a member of the organisation POLIS and EURO CITIES, which brings together European cities, so they can help each other with transport- and traffic-related issues. The workshop focused on new possibilities and directions in the creation of mobility plans. Of course, the possibility for transport exports to share experience was also one of the main purposes. Rupprecht Consult, a German company currently updating the methodology for awarding mobility plan creation, organised the event for the European Commission.
Václav Novotny, representing the P+ working group and the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, was therefore able to take part in a meeting of transport experts hailing from cities such as Krakow, Poland, Budapest, Hungary and Monza (a city within the Milan Metropolitan Area), Italy. These foreign experts discussed with one another the methods and ways for dealing with the specific difficulties in their regions. Prague was an inspiration not only for its system of creating three possible transport scenarios and selecting the final one, but also for its sociological survey conducted the year before last.
“We worked primarily with the differences that city transport representatives have to deal with. There is no universal solution to city mobility. Each place is unique from the urban-planning point of view, and we have to somehow work with infrastructure that is already in place. That is why we’ll have to work more closely together with spatial planning in the future. In the past, this was not often the case, and this resulted in traffic and transport problems usually caused by suburbanisation,” says Václav Novotný of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development about the gathering of experts.
Another aspect that the workshop participants called attention to is the fact that the entire mobility plan creation process is also influenced by various expert outputs and materials, for example, in the case of Prague, the Air Quality Improvement Programme and the Adaptation Strategy. Experts have agreed that documentation and the SEA in general are underestimated in the process despite being a very important part of it.
The results of the workshop can be summarised as the need to work with good examples and solutions from other cities and use them used to modify the methodology. “The meeting was highly inspirational. The cities in countries neighbouring the Czech Republic, which have only begun dealing with mobility according to European trends, provided many good ideas. Understandably, the problems being faced abroad are similar to ours. The way a mobility plan is created differs from place to place, but the results are similar everywhere – they are just applied differently,” concludes Novotný.
In June, a European conference on mobility plans will take place in Groningen, the Netherlands. Here the mentioned new methodology will be presented. The P+ working group representative is planning to attend as well, and we will again be sharing information from the conference.