Flemish Environment Agency (VMM MIRA)
Philippe Vandenbroeck

More sustainable urban mobility


The journeys we make and the distances we travel are increasing. In urban areas the impact of hypermobility is very tangible and the capacity of the mobility system is quickly exceeded. As a result, negative effects on health, quality of life, climate, space and landscape are on the rise. A fundamental transition is needed to achieve a sustainable urban mobility system.


In collaboration with urban design office BUUR we developed a framework to assess cities’ capacity to initiate and sustain a transition to sustainable mobility. The framework is based on transition science, draws on the significant body of research that has been generated in this area over the last decade and integrates BUUR’s considerable expertise in assessing the sustainability of projects in the built environment. Our work for the Flemish Environment Agency included an analysis of five medium-sized European cities that have pioneered various models of sustainable mobility (Zürich, Freiburg, Groningen, La Rochelle and Bolzano). In addition, the framework was used to more thoroughly analyse the Flemish city of Leuven.


The analysis framework is intended to help cities to set in motion a real transition towards a sustainable mobility system. It offers an instrument to diagnose the current system, and set initial design parameters to guide the transition.