1. The scale of the European corridors
In some TEN-T clusters, traffic is prospected to quadruple. This puts a strain on the related transport infrastructures. At the same time such development can result in positive spin-off effects on a local scale. Best-practices show infrastructure can be co-developed with water, climate and spatial quality issues.
The traffic within the European corridors puts a lot of pressure on the infrastructure within the regions. The crossing points of international infrastructure, offer chances for logistic and service nodes. The challenge is to embed this programmatic spin off within the existing urban fabric. Duisburg is an example of such an international node within the northwestern European network. In the Rotterdam to Rhein/Ruhr (R2R) Prologue study, for example, we can see that the Rotterdam Harbour is a crucial entry point for the “Blue Banana” stretching from the UK to Northern Italy. At the same time EU environmental regulations are becoming more strict and are increasingly implemented. This asks for solutions to be sought at the Daily Urban System level and the local level.
2. The scale of the daily urban system
The highest level of synchromodality can be seen within the so-called Daily Urban Systems (DUS). In these DUS mobility is enabled by different infrastructure networks and a variety of multimodal nodes. In the TEN-T clusters the trans-European traffic (both persons and freight) shares capacity and interacts with the DUS (e.g, urban highway ring roads). Therefore, the DUS is fundamental in optimising transport infrastructure and land-use planning. On a systems level the DUS is crucial for economic cohesion and health issues.
On the main infrastructure lines in the region, these DUS traffic flows coincide with the traffic that moves on the level of the European corridors. The regional scale is crucial to manage strategically different modalities, different infrastructure scales and the land-use around the multimodal nodes. For example, the case Rotterdam (ring road) and Luxembourg (Plateau de Kirchberg) show that the congestion on the main infrastructure can be reduced by interventions on infrastructures on a lower scale and by enhancing other modalities elsewhere in the regional system.
3. The scale of the specific location
On this scale, integrated land-use planning and infrastructure planning enables capture of the highest mobility, land use and economic value. Moreover, optimal spatial design and embedding of large infrastructures can improve the spatial and environmental (liveability) quality for residents and businesses by mitigating its environmental impacts – e.g. air, noise, safety, nature.
On this scale, spatial embedding and careful design can prevent the negative effects of large infrastructure on the environment and thereby costly mitigation measures such as noise barriers. For example best practices in Marseille (Cité de la Méditerranée), Basel (Nordtangente), Groningen (ring road) and Utrecht (A2 – Leidsche Rijn) show that this can result in higher value, better environmental conditions and effective land-use.
Sijtwende tunnel The Hague, The Netherlands (source: Rijkswaterstraat)