National sustainable transport planning: concepts and practices

Henrik Gudmundsson
Steen Leleur

Sustainability has become a significant ambition for transport planners and policy-makers around the world. However, a transition to sustainable transport is a challenging, long term process, which raises important questions concerning how national, planning processes could support the integration of sustainability. This is the topic of the research project SUSTAIN. Internationally, research on national transport planning is limited, and not well established as a coherent field of research.

This paper presents preliminary results within SUSTAIN. The aim of the paper is to discuss how to conceive and define the concept of ‘national sustainable transport planning’. This is done via selected literature within this and associated areas. A definition is provided and it is suggested that three interlinked dimensions are of importance for transitions, thus a normative, an analytic and a governance dimension.

The definition of national sustainable transport planning is confronted with current national transport planning practices in Sweden and Norway, which are somewhat advanced and have long traditions of recurrent, comprehensive, cross modal planning processes and integrated documents. Nevertheless, it is found that the Swedish and Norwegian planning efforts do not qualify to the label of ‘national sustainable transport planning.

Finally three research topics for future research in national sustainable transport planning are proposed, which all link to the above mentioned dimensions and their interlinkages.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.



Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

VTI’s Senior Research Leader Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for his work on research into tyres and road surface.


Steps need to be taken to increase traffic safety of automated cars

Several steps are necessary to ensure that automated and connected cars will lead to increased traffic safety – everything from ensuring that technology takes vulnerable road users into account, to new forms of driver training. This has emerged in a position...


FALCON examines challenges in the transport sector

VTI is one of several important partners in the major FALCON project*, whose purpose is to create knowledge and insight regarding the transport sector. In an initial subproject, VTI has produced a manual on transport, logistics and multimodality.


VTI joined research cooperation in China

In December 2017 VTI became a member of China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety (CTS).


Swedish German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems

The project “Swedish-German research collaboration on Electric Road Systems” (CollERS) has now officially started. The goal of the project is to increase the common knowledge around Electric Road Systems by cooperation between Germany and Sweden and to...


Electric Road Systems Conference 2018

After a successful first conference in June 2017, the Swedish research and innovation platform for electric roads is arranging the second dedicated International Conference on Electric Road Systems (ERS) June 13th and 14th 2018.