Mobility  |  Successes  |  07.07.2011

Soft Mobility in the city of Graz/Austria

In 1986 the city of Graz, capital of Austria’s region Styria, implemented "soft mobility" in its urban planning. For example, the historical city centre became a pedestrian zone, which is only open to cyclists. Partly, the zone is also open for loading operations. 1992 Graz received the award for "pedestrian friendly city in Austria", and in 1993 the city won the "child-safe traffic" award.

In 2005 the city has won the “Traffic Safety Award” of the Council for Transport Safety, finally 2008 Graz was the "Civitas” Town of the Year. Since the confession on "soft mobility" as part of the urban planning Graz put much effort into the development of cycle routes. Starting from the City center, it extends to the Suburbs and beyond the region around Graz. In 2008 the bike path network was more than 110 km long and is continuously expanding. Those measures had positive effects. Hence, the proportion of Cyclists in 1982 was around eight percent and rose to more than 14 in 2004. Nowadays, the proportion is around 16 percent.

1992 so called “speed 30-zones” were introduced, which introduce a speed limit of 30 km/h in certain areas. The effects of this deceleration were a decreasing number of traffic accidents as well as less noise and less emissions. From 996 km road network (excluding motorways in urban areas) 802 km are in this 30 km/h. Hence, only on major roads the speed limit remained 50 km/h. Nevertheless, the introduction of the “speed 30-zone” was the most discussed campaign but also the most effective one.

Due to the successful participation in several EU-projects on transport Graz continues to focus on effective EU transport programs. The continuation of “Civitas trendsetter” was "SUGRE - Sustainable Green Fleets (Sustainable Green Fleets)”. The program aimed to make urban public transport more environmentally friendly. As already started in “Civitas trendsetter” the project "Ecodrive" continued. Ecodrive stands for low-emission or even zero-emission vehicles in public transportation, including the infrastructure necessary for operation.

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creative commons flickr.com Yoshiki Kuraki