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Journal Article


Touru T. Res. Rep. Finn. Transp. Agency 2011; (20): online.


(Copyright © 2011, Finnish Transport Agency)






Climate change is recognized as the biggest environmental threat of our time. Carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to the phenomenon are constantly rising in transport sector. Private cars cause most of the emissions. National and international politics strategies and targets for reducing greenhouse gases have been drawn up. Transport sector is one of the focused sectors. The transportation system plans are regional plans, used for implementing the strategies. The most important way in consideration of the climate effects in planning is an attempt to reduce private car use. This paper examines the Finnish transportation system planning, what means are used to affect the means of transport and hence emissions. The analysis examines how the methods have been implemented in Finnish plans. The study seeks to establish targets for development towards sustainable transportation systems. The literature study pointed out that there is a need to develop transportation system regulations in Finland. Plans are often copied from other projects, and only aimed to agree about the projects. Objectives set in the plans guide the selection of the projects poorly. Sustainable development of transportation system is based on reducing car-based traffic by development of pedestrian and bicycle traffic and public transport. Transportation system planning has traditionally focused on improving road network with big projects. Thus smaller projects have often been neglected. Public transport and pedestrian and bicycle traffic have been prioritized in strategic level since the first 90th century transportation plans. Often the strategic-level prioritization has not materialized in projects. Although the desires of the traffic development haven't come true, new means of prioritizing sustainable forms of traffic haven't appeared. Mobility management has been really introduced in the very latest plans. Also the consideration of climate effects has developed very recently. Helsinki Metropolitan Area Transportation System Plan 2011 has taken a clear step forward in consideration the effects of climate change, also 2009 letter of intent of Oulu region. Although the projects and goals are similar as before, the importance of the climate impacts and the need for change has been underlined. This has been a significant step forward. Effects of new projects under implementation are not yet foreseeable. It is necessary to monitor and react according to their effects. In the questionnaire, done to the professionals, there were found scattered perceptions of the level of consideration of climate effects. In particular in the question of the equality of consideration of modes of transport spread opinions. Based on survey and investigation on it can be said, that the decision-makers awareness of the traffic system as a whole should grow. The funding for smaller projects should improve. The transportation system plan should be developed away from being the project lists, to become guides for the decision-makers and users. Mobility management should be implemented more. The transportation system plans should develop clearer measurable objectives. Indicators should be generated to improve the follow up of the implementation and performance. This report may be found at


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