Transport and mobility

The issue of mobility and transport in urban areas has long been object of lively debates. The survey on urban mobility realized by ISPRA and made public through the Report on Environmental Urban Quality of the analyzes the main indicators on the vehicle fleet and the sustainable urban mobility and their evolution over the years.

The need to achieve a sustainable mobility has now become part of the local government programs to both to allow citizens to move more easily and to reduce the negative consequences associated with the traffic, in order to improve the quality of life in urban areas.

A limited mobility causes an increase of costs for the whole community: transport emissions are undermining our health, affecting the quality of the local environment and contributing significantly to climate change. Noise, accidents, traffic jams are among other side effects.

Local administrators are the main subjects in charge for the urban traffic management, through the definition of specific planning tools and the adoption of suitable measures: therefore they are the main actors also when it comes to sustainable mobility. At the same time, the central government plays also a key role by promoting innovation, as provided by the European directives, and by defining policies and specific strategies on mobility and on other related issues. It also provides regulatory mechanisms, such as specific economic contributions, to support interventions in local areas.

The survey realized by ISPRA, aimed at characterizing the mobility in the major Italian urban areas, is based in particular on the size of the vehicle fleet, its characterization in terms of type of vehicles (passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles), classes of displacement, standard of emissions and type of fuel. The analysis counts only vehicles registered by private parties, in order to avoid distortions in the representation of the different territories.

The framework of sustainable mobility is represented on one hand through indicators measuring the offer of local public transport (including the number of buses, trams and subways; the presence of limited traffic areas or pedestrian areas, etc.), on the other hand through managerial indicators, such as the presence of an urban traffic plan approved. At the same time it is represented the demand of sustainable mobility, in particular through indicators of public transport use. Finally the research addresses other aspects related to sustainability and strongly perceived by citizens as factors of urban quality, such as the road safety.

Special attention is also given to the maritime transport system, in that the whole port infrastructure business has an impact on the environment, which depends on many factors such as the geographical location and the size of the port, the volume and type of goods that are moved, etc. The study of ports, whose territory falls within the urban areas examined, analyses the type and amount of cargo handled as well as the number of passengers: these parameters are among the most important indicators of a port performance.