From 1998 to 2001, the ECMT in co-ordination with the OECD conducted a
three-year study designed to identify why sustainable urban travel policy strate-
gies have proven so difficult for countries to implement, and, more generally, how
countries and cities can bridge the gap between policy recommendations and
This project on Implementing Sustainable Urban Travel Policies was com-
prised of three principal parts: a series of workshops on particular themes related
to sustainable urban travel; a survey of urban travel patterns and trends in over
160 cities, and a series of national urban travel policy reviews.
The starting point for this three-year project was the ECMT-OECD report
Urban Travel and Sustainable Development
(UTSD),* presented to Ministers at their 1994 Coun-
cil in Annecy and published in 1995, which set out a three-part integrated policy
strategy promoting combined implementation of measures designed to bring about
sustainable urban travel based on best practice, innovation, and pricing.
Ministers in Annecy asked ECMT to review country policies in several years’
time in light of the findings of the report. Whilst the recommendations set out in
UTSD have been well received, their implementation has proven easier said than
done for a great number of cities and countries.
The project on implementation has shown that countries are making progress
in developing policy schemes to confront congestion, urban sprawl and in tackling
the environmental problems associated with unsustainable urban travel patterns.
However the trends revealed in the survey and in the policy reviews show that
serious difficulties persist in putting these policy plans to work and in seeing the
impact of policy actions reflected in the data.
Drawing on the findings of the three principal elements of the project – the
workshops, the survey of cities, and the national policy reviews – this report aims
to examine how Governments, national governments in particular, can improve
opportunities for implementation of integrated policy strategies for sustainable urban travel.
* ECMT-OECD (1995)