Pruszcz Gdański is a town in Gdańsk Pomerania, northwestern Poland with about 27,000 inhabitants (2013). Pruszcz Gdański is an industrial town neighbouring Gdańsk, part of the Tricity agglomeration. The Tricity Circle Highway begins in Pruszcz Gdański.
Pruszcz Gdański is one of the top rated cities in Poland in terms of management. In the prestigious "Ranking of Local Authorities of the Republic" of the 2012 Pruszcz Gdański was rated as the fourth best-managed district town in Poland.
To meet changing transport determinants and to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses in Pruszcz Gdański, today and tomorrow, the authorities decided to carry out the ADVANCE Audit. The whole process took place from July to November 2013.
The ADVANCE Audit (http://eu-advance.eu) is a practical tool for improving Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) in cities and municipalities. It provides a systematic evaluation method and guidance, shows the potential for a (even more) successful SUMP and provides added value to cities.
The ADVANCE Audit compares the cities’ mobility planning to an ideal sustainable urban mobility planning process. The definition of an ideal planning process is based on the SUMP development cycle of Eltis. ADVANCE defines 5 Mission Fields and 8 Action Fields as the main elements of a SUMP.
The main tool of the ADVANCE Audit is the self-assessment questionnaire that is based on the 5 Mission and 8 Action Fields. Mission Fields are monitoring and evaluation, precondition, vision and strategy, organisation, implementation and action fields. Action Fields are freight management, parking management, spatial planning, mobility management, walking, cycling public transport, car related measures.
It is filled in by the members of the ADVANCE working group ( 18 people - cities representatives and internal stakeholders). The draft version of a 24-month Sustainable Action Mobility Plan for Pruszcz Gdański has been prepared on the basis of comments of the audit participants with the guidance of the external auditors.
It covers all of the 8 mission fields.
The priority actions for the City of Pruszcz Gdański include cycling, walking, mobility management and car relatetd measures to reduce the role of cars.
The overall result obtained by the city of Pruszcz Gdański is level 2 on the 4 possible. According to the adopted methodology, this means that the actions carried out under the studied areas can be defined as a process oriented approach (policy in the context of a given area is not coordinated with the activities carried out in other areas; its assumptions are formulated, but remain isolated from other areas; infrastructure is the main focus, although certain actions are complementary) with a tendency to system oriented approach within some of the areas - level 3 (balanced policy in the area is seen as an integrated system with the general policy of the city, there is the political will to stimulate sustainable development of the area).
The spatial planning area got the highest score. Areas of pedestrian and bicycle traffic received results that suggest a strong process oriented approach - level 2. Traffic areas, public transport and mobility management areas have been marked very similar to the overall assessment of all areas. The lowest score got the freight management area, which is caused by the lack of measures in the field of freight management in the context of sustainable mobility.
Due to the specific situation of Pruszcz Gdańsk – public transport service outsourced -
the area of public transport is not an area of priority actions. In the area of public transport the city should mainly focus on activities related to monitoring and evaluation – to have adequate data on the use of public transport.
Without a permanent mentality change, due to limiting the role of road transport among residents, local environmental journalism, city councilors, and local government employees (especially at medium levels of decision-making), reducing current and future budget expenditures for road infrastructure designed for cars can be extremely difficult. More efforts to raise awareness are needed.
One of the biggest challenges in the area of parking policy would be the introduction of paid parking zone (as a management tool for parking space in the city) and the consistent reduction of the number of free parking space in the city center, together with the increased number of streets completely free of traffic. At the moment, the representatives of the city authorities have not decided to do anything with it.
Reduction of private transport in the city, together with effective enforcement of parking policy could allow to release more space for inhabitants, currently occupied by parked cars.
Activities to develop pedestrian and cycling traffic should be a priority for the city.
This significant change of the approach to the needs of pedestrians should result in a shift of funds from expensive investments related to the construction of road infrastructure and parking facilities for infrastructure dedicated to pedestrians.
The Audit showed the need of increasing the number of traffic calmed zones (30km/h), as the way to increase the quantity and safety of cyclists traveling on roadways in normal city traffic. The city of Pruszcz Gdański has already started the process of increasing the number of such zones.
At the time when the audit had been held there was no organizational unit (or employee) dealing with the issues of mobility management. After the SUMP was finished, an employee responsible for the mobility issues was appointed.
But a very good idea would be also to create the Mobility Center/ Point. It would provide residents and tourists with free services to promote sustainable mobility and to provide information about alternatives for cars. A good example of such action is the city of Padova (Italy). In addition to various interventions in public works and services to facilitate integrated mobility, The Municipality of Padova, introduced initiatives to help inform and facilitate more environmentally friendly travel behaviors. One such initiative is the new mobility centre, which was designed and developed by The Mobility and Traffic Department, as part of the SEE MMS (South East Europe Mobility Management Scheme), of which the Municipality of Padua is partner. The SEE MMS Project objectives are to identify, implement and promote sustainable mobility measures that can improve the way of travelling for all social groups, in order to mitigate the impact of traffic and promote economic growth.
In order to promote the use of non-motorized transport, infrastructure activities and restricting the movement of cars in Pruszcz should be complemented by information and awareness raising campaigns.
Written by: Karolina Orcholska