The evolution of the perspectives on urban mobility principles

Scientific Coordinator: Andrea Stocchetti


The project aims at providing an overview of the main conceptual reference points and principles for urban mobility planning that have emerged over the last two decades.

Over time, the trail to urban sustainable mobility has wavered between the intellectual tension towards the setting of principles and the pragmatic predominance of indicators in the policy agendas. In our view, such bipolar point of reference is not too far from replicating the traditional dilemma of the long-term versus short-term perspective. In the context of urban mobility very often the overall situation is deteriorated at a point that the directions of improvement are undisputed. Pollution, congestion, social exclusion, health concerns, etc., provide an inherent perspective about where the path of improvement should go, to the extent that indicators can surrogate the definition of principles. On the other hand, as the improvement progresses, trade-offs between alternative goal emerge and principles become necessary.

This path would not have been possible without the set of favorable conditions that the European Union and single member States have been able to create over time.

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