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Umea

The city of Umeå is situated in Västerbotten, in northern Sweden. With a population of 112,000 it is the biggest city in Norrland and the capital of Västerbotten County. Umeå is a center of education and this may also help the greatly high percentage of bicycle usage in town.

Umeå has been elected European Capital of Culture for the year 2014.

Umeå demonstrates a modal split of 51 percent car, 7 percent public transport, 22 percent cycling, 19 percent pedestrians and 1 percent other.

Its strategic approach to transport management is based on its Aalborg Commitment, signed in 2007. This has resulted in a sustainable urban transport plan, the main targets of which include reduced reliance on cars generated through more attractive public transport and better conditions for pedestrians and bicycle traffic. With strong population growth, the strategies are crucial for the sustainable development of the city.

Innovative measures and infrastructure developments to date include the establishment of a mobility management office to promote sustainable travel, the improved maintenance of cycle paths in the winter, restricted vehicle access to the city center, the prioritisation of public transport, a better freight logistics system, and improved traffic management. Special emphasis on clean vehicles and alternative fuels has been demonstrated by the replacement of the municipality’s vehicle fleet with a pool of “eco cars” (according to the Swedish Transport Administration’s requirements). The city of Umeå has also been a member of the BioFuel Region since 2003.

Future plans include the prevention of urban sprawl, limiting the city to a range of 5km to make it suitable for cyclists and focusing on a strategic and concentrated public transport network with high frequencies in areas with a large population base. Other plans include the further development of the public transport system, the efficient use of existing infrastructure, the promotion of the mixed use of buildings in order to reduce the need for car travel, the re-use and regeneration of derelict or disadvantaged areas within traffic zones, and the development of parking strategies for sustainable mobility and sustainable access to the city.

Umeå works on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with the municipalities of the Umeå region, the Swedish Transport Administration, the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Västerbotten County Council, the regional traffic operator Länstrafiken I Västerbotten, Volvo AB and the Västerbotten region.

Summary finalized: June 2010

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