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Málaga is capital of the “Costa del Sol”, a metropolitan area of 1.2 million people and one of the most famous tourism destinations in the world. The city has undergone drastic change over the last 50 years, its population doubling from 1960 to 1980. Recently, innovation and cultural tourism are increasing in importance in the city’s economy.

Málaga demonstrates a modal split of 42 percent private car, 0.4 percent bicycle and 12.6 percent public transport.

Since the approval of its sustainable urban mobility plan SUMP, several measures have been taken to improve its transport system: pedestrian and traffic-calmed areas have been created, dynamic parking information has been implemented, priority lanes have been created for public transport and bicycles. These need to be integrated into a broader strategy to reduce private vehicle use and make sustainable alternatives more attractive.

Malaga's main challenge is to become a knowledge-based economy through development in collaboration with the University of Málaga and the Technology Park Andalusia (around 500 companies, mainly specialized in ICT applications). The improvement of cultural institutions (Thyssen and Picasso museums) as well as upgrades to the city centre and redevelopment of the dockyards also stands to increase the role of cultural tourism.

The city has a multi-faceted transport system including a recently renovated train station with high speed connections to major cities in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Seville, Cordoba) and a public transport fleet comprised by 242 buses covering 45 itineraries. Two metro lines are under construction, and the road system includes two highway rings, one close to the consolidated city, and the second on the periphery.

Nevertheless, due to rapid, disorganised development between the 60s and 80s, Malaga has a high level of private vehicle use in areas with poor public transport connections. This leads to a congestion problem in central areas and other main city destinations (e.g., the university and industrial parks). A clear road hierarchy is missing and heavy goods vehicles are allowed to use the entire main road network.

On the other side, although cycling and public transport command small modal shares, their roles have increased due to several measures by the local government: the creation of 30 km of bicycle lanes, changes in the public transport itineraries and increased public transport frequency.

The recently approved municipal plan for sustainable mobility (PMMS) sets several ambitious objectives by 2025: reducing the modal split from for cars to 14% and boosting the share for cycling cycling to 9% and public transport to 27%. Furthermore, compulsory itineraries for heavy goods vehicles will be created and new access and traffic control policies will be implemented through ICT-based traffic management systems.

Beyond the recent approval of its SUMP, Malaga is also a member of several networks: CIVITAS, CIVINET, the Covenant of Mayors and Cities for Mobility. As a demonstration city within the CIVITAS programme, Malaga expects to advance in its SUMP implementation, contributing to reach its long term objectives during the 2MOVE2 demonstration project. See city page for more details.


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