Category Archives: Overview

Purpose background and general information about the fellowship

Steep and Forested Stuttgart

“Old” Stuttgart is located in the valley of the Neckar River  (Flüss Neckar) surrounded by steep hills up to 300 meters high. On many of these hilltops and other valleys were independent villages with their own town centers.  Stuttgart grew from a city of almost 300,000 to over 500,000 in the 1920’s mainly by  annexing many of these surrounding villages.  At late as 1942, they incorporated the village of Möhringen into their city. (The words annex and incorporate are used descriptively  and do not  necessarily have the  same legal meaning as used in the United States; these villages may or may not have been cities in their own right). The map shown below, labelled by others as “Stuttgart’s suburbs”  is really a map of Stuttgart’s neighborhoods, many of which were these former villages. Gerlingen on the west is outside the city limits and is one of the many separate cities or suburbs that surround the city.

Given the terrain of mountainous forests and valleys, the results is that 40 % of Stuttgart’s current land area of 207 square kilometers is protected forest. As can be seen in Figure 2, these forests are located throughout the city, not merely on the perimeter or the far east or west. Historically, these forests were considered too steep for building and now, they are mostly owned by the state  of Baden-Württemberg or the City.  The state not only owns the forest land, they also manage and harvest the timber themselves, bringing in revenue to the state.  Decades if not centuries of forest management in Germany could and probably has filled the pages of several research papers.

In addition, 10% of the land area is agriculture; this land use is  also considered essential for many reasons, not the least of which is climate; the winds from the mountains need the corridors provided by the agricultural  lands to cool the city in the summertime. Retaining agriculture designation was aided if not enforced by national legislation in the 1960’s. Again, this crucial practice will be left for another research paper.  Despite the industrial growth spurred by the invention of the automobile in the late 1800’s  simultaneously in both Bad Cannstatt, (formerly a village and now a neighborhood of Stuttgart)  and nearby Mannheim, and the resulting development pressures, Stuttgart retained both of these types of crucial “Open Space” that make Stuttgart a very green and visually attractive city.

Stuttgart suburbs

There are a few indications of the terrain when you look at the public transit system:

  1. Typical slope for the Light Rail is as high as 7 %, and one line is even steeper,  8.5%.
  2. There are several tunnels for the light rail trains, which flatter cities don’t have to fund.
  3. There is one cog rail line, with a trailer for bikes.
  4. There is one cable car line, which serves a cemetery.
Advertisements

EU Rules on Environmental Quality, Cars and other things

EU Rules are running the show in a lot of ways.

1. EU is encouraging all bigger cities to encourage clean transportation and public transportation and thus many cities in Italy (including Torino as of 2009) now have a Bike Office in their city government. If a country does not follow EU’s rules, (for lack of a better word), then  the UE can fine the country; in fact for certain rules  if a country fails to fulfil its obligations, the UE can put a  judgement on  the country;   the following link contains examples of judgements on various topics such as endangered species, hazardous waste :
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&Submit=Rechercher&docrequire=alldocs&numaff=&datefs=&datefe=&nomusuel=&domaine=ENVC&mots=&resmax=100

2.  Italian  cities’  bike share and car share programs are funded through their regione’s environment department. I  suspect but have not confirmed this is also due to an EU policy or rule to improve air quality and increase sustainable transportation modes.

3. I already posted about the rules on public transportation companies and competitive bidding  and will be updating that as I find out more at:

http://wp.me/pzsSt-1I

4.  As of September 2009, all new cars  in Europe, (not only “Made in Europe” ) must have a rating of  Euro 5 – the cleanest rating , i.e.  they must be methane, LPG or cleaner diesel, and cleaner gasoline-powered cars.  Euro5 cars have strict emission standards  for diesel and LPG; methane and gasoline, and stricter standards, Euro -6, kick in in 2014.  Social consciousness  of clean cars is already apparent: 30% of new cars sold in Italy in the last 6 months have been methane-powered.

The rules are here: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm

In short it says :  “Member States must refuse the approval, registration, sale and introduction of vehicles that do not comply with these emission limits. An additional delay of one year is allowed for goods transport vehicles and vehicles designed to fulfil specific social needs (category N1, classes II and III, and category N2). Time frame:

  • the Euro 5 standard will come into force on 1 September 2009 for the approval of vehicles, and from 1 January 2011 for the registration and sale of new types of cars;

…..

Euro 5 standard

Emissions from diesel vehicles:

  • carbon monoxide: 500 mg/km;
  • particulates: 5 mg/km (80% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx): 180 mg/km (20% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • combined emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides: 230 mg/km.

Emissions from petrol vehicles or those running on natural gas or LPG:

  • carbon monoxide: 1 000 mg/km;
  • non-methane hydrocarbons: 68 mg/km;
  • total hydrocarbons: 100 mg/km;
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx): 60 mg/km (25% reduction of emissions in comparison to the Euro 4 standard);
  • particulates (solely for lean burn direct-injection petrol vehicles): 5 mg/km (introduction of a limit that did not exist for the Euro 4 standard).

These car ratings can affect other aspects of your life.  For example Torino uses them determine whether you can drive your car into the center city.  Torino has two levels of ZTL Traffic Limited Zones, sort of like congestion pricing but without the pricing: you cannot buy your way in.  From 8 am to 7 pm only cars. motorcycles and scooters rated 2, 3, 4, or 5 can drive into the city, the oldest and dirtiest rated 0 and 1 may not enter.  In the inner center city no one except residents can enter between 7 a.m  and 10:30 am.. Those are called, respectively the ZTL ZTL “>ZTL “>Ambiente and the ZTL normale. Beginning in 2010 they will combine these two zones into one  the bigger zone.

4.  Not really an EU issue,   but  FYI: all the autostrade in Italy are built privately under authorization from the state i.e. country and then the company charges tolls to recoup their costs. Thus there are no “freeways ” in Italy, (I didn’t know that and wouldn’t because I have never been on an autostrade, io prendo il treno.)  (There goes one argument for funding bikeways 🙂 but taxes still pay for all the other streets and to subsidize public transit.)  Typically, (at least it is true in Torino) on the ring (or tangential) road there is no toll,  in order  to encourage people to use them instead of driving through town.

Four Main Issues to Investigate

The following  are the four issues of  land use and transportation that I will research for six case studies. Ideally, the cities have both commuter-rail and either light rail/ tram or metro transit systems.

1. Land Use: Are there maximum or minimum densities at sites nearest to the major transit stations? Is mixed use the norm or is it a special zone?

2. Traffic: Is there a CEQA transportation checklist equivalent? If so, what are the questions? If not, is the auto traffic generated by the project an issue? How are automobiles on the adjacent streets figured into the analysis of project approvals?

3. Parking: Are there minimum (or maximum) parking requirements and for which land uses under what circumstances? If the project has parking, how is the parking pricing set? For example, do residential units receive a parking space and if so, is there an additional charge for the space? ‘

4. Transit and bike access: Is new transit ridership and demands on transit service evaluated? What are bike and pedestrian access policies pertaining to the project? Is bike infrastructure (including bike parking) required to be built as part of the project? Are there incentives for promoting transit, bike and pedestrian access /circulation?

5. Followup Question. Do the answers to any of these questions vary depending on the proximity of the project to the rail transit stations?

Goal for the Fellowship

Land Development and Transportation Policies- 6 case studies

My goal for the fellowship is to investigate the key transportation considerations in the planning and approval of a land use development project in Europe. I hope to identify lessons learned about policies that hinder and those that facilitate successful projects near major rail/transit stations. I would then analyze these practices for their applicability in California. Since California is very auto-centric, it often seems as if the automobile conditions trump all the other considerations. I hope to improve the way development projects are analyzed and the resulting conditions which are imposed upon them, so that development needs and impacts are looked at more holistically rather than one mode at a time.

More about the German Marshall Fund’s Transportation, Land Use Fellowship can be found at www.gmfus.com/cdp