The city of Palma was established 123 BC by the Romans and since has seen many conquerors and turbulent times. Besides being the cultural and commercial centre of Mallorca, the city of Palma is a popular tourist destination. Since the 1950s, tourism has increased constantly and today the island of Mallorca is one of Europe’s major holiday destinations. Half of the population of Mallorca lives in the city of Palma, and about 29% of this population is below 30 years old. The city also hosts a university (University of the Balearic Islands).
The share of motorised transport of the number of trips in Palma is 50 % (2009). The high amount of private cars causes congestion, especially on the highway ring road but also on the main corridors towards the historic city centre. In addition to the congestion problems, motor traffic is related to problems of air and noise pollution and the use of public space for parking. Palma is using access restrictions and traffic calming to encourage more rational car use and plans to dedicate more road space for public transport and cyclists.
The main means of public transport in Palma is the urban bus and in recent years several improvements to increase the use of public transport have already been made, including intermodality measures to connect public transport to cycling and car use. Most of the non-motorised trips in Palma are made on foot. The city has created pedestrian areas on routes towards the historic city centre and within the historic centre itself. The cycling lane network has a length of 43.5 km. In 2011, a new public bicycle system called Bicipalma was launched.
Within the CIVITAS DYN@MO project, Palma is working to extend its activities in important fields of sustainable urban transport and focuses on three themes: Sustainable urban mobility planning, clean and energy-efficient vehicles and intelligent transport systems and ICT.
The core of the CIVITAS DYN@MO activities in Palma is the development of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). In relation to the upcoming revision of the General Urban Master Plan, Palma plans to develop an SUMP which integrates existing policies and strategies for sustainable mobility and involves the local stakeholders. To support this aim, a new Mobility 2.0 platform has been established to provide citizens with one integrated entry point for mobility information made accessible on internet and smartphone applications. The platform combines information on public transport, public bicycles, congestion and availability of underground parking spaces.
To increase the modal share of walking and cycling and further enhance the attractiveness of public space, the city plans healthy and safe walking routes, as well as the expansion of the bicycle network. In addition, it will expand the public bike system with new stands and bicycles.
Palma also plans to introduce clean public transport vehicles on a large scale. The public transport company and city departments will procure clean buses and other electric vehicles as cars and bikes. The project’s promotional activities and the installation of public charging points will contribute to a wider uptake of electric vehicles in Palma among local companies and citizens.
With the CIVITAS DYN@MO project the city wants to:
- increase the attractiveness and user-friendliness of sustainable urban transport services,
- increase the use of sustainable transport modes (public transport, walking and cycling),
- encourage a more rational use of motorised vehicles, including the introduction of clean technologies,
- reduce emissions (NOx and CO2) and improve air quality (NO2), and
- increase the attractiveness of public space.
On the local website http://www.civitaspalma.com more information about the measures can be found in Spanish.