Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, the EU mechanism for outcomes-focused urban mobility planning, places transportation goals in the context of broader environmental, social, and economic sustainability objectives.
Lowering atmospheric and noise pollutants, reducing road congestion, and improving road safety are among the goals that the Metropolitan City of Florence, the capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, aims to achieve as part of its SUMP. In doing so, the city has shifted focus from traditional road traffic-oriented transportation planning towards sustainable mobility planning focused on enabling various sustainable modes of travel.
Florence released its SUMP in 2019. Three years and a global pandemic later, the city recently unveiled the outcomes of the first SUMP monitoring, coinciding with European Mobility Week 2022 at the end of September.
Using Teralytics’ mobility demand analysis and in collaboration with http://www.tpspro.it/TPS Pro, the Metropolitan City of Florence aimed to assess the impact of the actions planned in the SUMP as well as to quantify the effects of the pandemic on mobility demand both at the overall level and in terms of its modal distribution among the various transport systems (private vehicles, public transport, and active mobility).
The analysis of mobility demand in the region covered a period of two years, from November 2019 through November 2021. During this time, Florence experienced an overall reduction in weekday mobility of 23 percent and 28 percent on weekends. These findings are consistent with the city’s ticket data for its tram network – which saw a drop in ridership of 33 percent. Many findings are consistent with the COVID-19 impact on urban areas across the globe, with road traffic increasing slightly while public transport usage contracted.
Biennial monitoring of the SUMP and its updating every 5 years are necessary to assess the effectiveness of the actions planned, but it is also necessary to understand how new ways of organizing work (smart working, hybrid modes) affect and change the mobility system. This issue has become even more important, in light of the events exogenous to the transportation system, to verify, integrate, and modify planned actions for increasing transportation sustainability.