Challenge 6: Urban Development and Transport Infrastructure

Urban development extension is formally relying on the planned transportation infrastructure included in the Master Plan, with no account for sustainable mobility priorities. The Master Plan provides a series of high cost measures to enhance the capacity of car-oriented transport infrastructure. When considering project designs for new residential and commercial development, there are mostly discussed methods to reach the maximum possible number of parking lots. Whenever the question is about how to have this amount of vehicles run, it is referred to the decisions of the Master Plan on the new highways and junctions under design. The issue of other mobility types is mostly left out of attention, at developer’s discretion.

A slogan of the Integrated Urban Development Concept of Lviv (IUDC) is “City of Short Distances.” Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is an integral part of IUDC. SUMP received from IUDC the key principles on urban development and its correlation with infrastructural capacity.

Objective 6. City of Short Distances

6.1. To foster development of real estate which makes neighbourhoods more self-sufficient and reduces the need for mobility.

It is important to explore the guiding function for citizens in most trips outside the neighbourhood, and try to incorporate these functions into the new development.

6.2. To direct private investment on new construction projects to the “belt of opportunities” and closer to existing public transport infrastructure.

The city disposes of few lands available for real estate development. Therefore, it is important to interact with owners and users of the land plots. Investments into the “belt of opportunities” and into land plots located close to structural axes of the city will help optimize mobility, and reduce the need for trips by private cars.

6.3. To ensure that development of real estate provides for the comfort of pedestrian, cycling and public transport mobility.

It is often the case that in pursuit of fulfilling the standards on the number of parking lots, investors turn the entire adjacent area into a parking, demolishing green spaces, and keeping awkward sidewalks and bicycle paths. Eventually, they are also transformed into parking places. It is a huge problem for the city, much larger than the lack of parking space as it encourages citizens to shift into cars.

6.4. To develop a network of walking and cycling paths between higher educational establishments areas to be used by students.

Lviv is the third largest student city in Ukraine. During the student school breaks, traffic congestions do rapidly decrease, not to mention the overcrowded public transport. Thus, alternative mobility options for students might bring some positive effect for all users.

6.5. To avoid new car-oriented developments remote from the transport and social infrastructure of the city.

New real estate development is linked to using private cars without any alternatives. It poses problems both to future residents, and to the city. This kind of development bears high load on the city budget since it implies the construction of new transport infrastructure. That is why  new real estate shall be developed wherever the infrastructure is available, rather than relying on hypothetical infrastructure projects in the future. European cities build the infrastructure at first, and later sell the land around at a very high cost, for residential and commercial development.

6.6. To encourage private public partnerships for infrastructure development.

The city does not yet have any sufficient number of budget revenues to be able to develop infrastructure in advance, or maintain the available facilities in good condition. Investors wish to invest their funds as soon as possible. Investing municipal and private funds into infrastructure development will allow to raise project quality and return on investment.

6.7. To encourage shared infrastructure use.

For example, shared parking lots for residents overnight and on weekends, and for office staff in the work days, public charging stations for electric cars and electric scooters. The projects help optimize costs and avoid the inefficient land use.

City of short distances

Schema of sub centers development

It is very important that every district in the city develops and is functionally balanced, so that residents are able to meet in it all everyday needs. Formation of sub centers and public spaces with the concentration of business and social activities around transport axes and nodes outside historical center.

Schema of sub centers development, Integrated Urban Development Concept

New residential estates shall be constructed in harmony with points of attraction and available transport / pedestrian infrastructure, as well as combining various functions such as housing, work, entertainment, and commerce.

New housing development needs to improve living conditions of the established environment, to supplement it with the lacking functions such as barrier-free environment among the new housing development, shared land use.

Since 2014, Lviv has faced a proactive growth in development and in the residential property market. The housing construction implemented since that time mostly focused on areas within the existing urban environment, especially within the area along the railway. The latter is located in between territories developed before the start of the motor vehicles era, such as the Austrian and Polish periods. They are dense and mostly well connected with tram lines, and new microrayons of Soviet and post-Soviet period. Change of functions and reconsideration of former industrial areas can give a significant impetus to urban development. In the following two decades, their growth is going to change not only urban development but also the transport infrastructure. At the same time, structural basis will continue to be supported by the available axes and arterial streets. They are not only the transport arteries. Moreover, due to accessibility and enhanced functional density, they are also popular public spaces and meeting places with the capacity to evolve.

 

Thus, the initial development trend of a “compact city” by reconsidering former industrial areas, along with restructuring and enhancement of key traffic arteries, will enable coordination of residential development with the public transport network and create better background to cover short distances on foot or by bike.

Demonstration measures:

  1. The territory adjacent to real estate development projects is accommodated as commissioned by the city, in line with sustainable mobility principles.
  2. Fast cycling connections between university buildings and dormitories.

Catalogue of activities

To support better functional self-sufficiency of neighborhoods

To continue peripheral city areas development transforming them into neighbourhoods with more mixed functions, with well developed local public centers. Create new PT stops and routes (lines) within the closest possible proximity to points of attraction. To develop the most comfortable walking and cycling connections within neighbourhoods. To encourage shared infrastructure use, by different users at different times (e.g., parking lots).

The territory adjacent to real estate development projects shall be accommodated as commissioned by the city, in line with sustainable mobility principles

The city shall implement a sustainable mobility principle through accommodating the street space adjacent to new construction sites and developments. City shall be the only possible purchaser of design and supervisor of construction for developments on municipal lands. It is suggested to delegate the functions of design works purchaser to the Office for Architecture and Urban Planning so that developers could accommodate the territory within the red lines. In an ideal scenario, one of the sectoral departments shall have a specific unit for integrated urban space planning. Special focus shall be attributed to protection of pedestrian and cycling mobility, as well as green spaces and public spaces.

 

Photos by: Volodymyr Karaim (1), Oleksandr Shutyuk (2, 3, 4)

Read the full version of the chapter “Challenge 6: Urban Development and Transport Infrastructure” in the Lviv Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan: