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Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the city of Larnaca in Cyprus

April 2020

Mobility in Chain (MIC), together with Tema srl and Redas Engineering, was appointed by the Ministry of Transport and the Public Works Department of Cyprus to draft the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the city of Larnaca.

The plan-making process has now reached the stage whereby following the modelling and assessment of six explorative scenarios, a preferred Plan Scenario has been agreed upon, and a multi-criteria analysis of the package of measures contained within the Plan Scenario is currently underway.

Larnaca is a coastal city having a population of 52,000 (144,200 if the entire metropolitan area is considered). The city has a rich and ancient history, dating back to pre/Christian times, and a compact city centre made of narrow labyrinth-like streets which have developed organically over many centuries.

Like other Cypriot cities, over the past 50 years Larnaca has grown according to a car-centric model, which brought about a significant amount of urban sprawl. This dispersed development pattern is mirrored in the number vehicles per thousand inhabitants that, nation-wide, is the third highest in Europe, as well as in the modal split figures, which suggest that around 91% of all trips are undertaken by car, while only 9% by PT, on foot or by bicycle.

Following the SUMP methodology, a package of measures to support a shift towards a more sustainable mobility paradigm was identified. This aimed at harvesting the significant untapped endogenous potentials offered by a compact Central Business District and a waterfront, which could be made even more pedestrian-friendly Key interventions proposed included:

  • Removal of the bulk of motorised traffic from the historic city centre through the setting up of a Limited Traffic Zone and related CCTV system at the gates;
  • Support to the creation of a more walkable urban environment, particularly in those areas attracting the most residents and visitors This set of measures encompasses the removal of most on street parking in the city centre, the widening of the pedestrian network, the introduction of a new one-way system, and a refreshment of the parking fares system;
  • Changes to PT provision that include the proposal for a new network, radical alterations to the schedule of services and the way inter-changes currently occur between routes, new segregated lanes and smaller buses to be used for the lines cutting through the historic city centre;
  • Substantial increase and articulation of the bicycle network;
  • Provision of sharing systems such as cars to go, e-scoters and e-bikes;
  • Increased permeability of some junctions where roundabouts will be substituted by smart traffic lights system;
  • Measures related to road safety and urban logistics operations.

The main project activities include:

  • Development of a stakeholder and citizen involvement plan and the undertaking of consultation events with the public and other stakeholder groups;
  • Analysis of the existing mobility situation and develop strategies/scenarios;
  • Development a common vision, set priorities and targets;
  • Development a macro multimodal transport model in VISSUM;
  • Development alternative effective packages of measures;
  • Formulation of the SUMP policies;
  • Undertaking of Multi-Criteria Analysis and Cost Benefit Analysis, and related sensitivity testing;
  • Preparation of an implementation, monitoring and evaluation plan;
  • Preparation of a promotion and marketing strategy;
  • Supporting the official adoption of the SUMP.

The plan has a 10-year time horizon and, following the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to future proof the plan, a resequencing of some of the ELTIS-type measures programmed is likely to be needed. MIC is currently engaged, together with a number of architects and urban planners, in conceiving resilient mobility options (and related transport facility typologies) capable of keep us together while also maintaining us safely a part.