46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
The urban mobility became an international problem and several countries joined together in different consortium, signing international agreements and developing projects in a way that propose new standards to actual mobility, leading the transportation to a new sustainable future. Although such worldwide increasing effort regarding sustainable mobility issue, namely by the most proactive European cities, it is not yet clear why measures towards sustainable mobility are not implemented by the generality of local authorities. The main goal of this paper is to identify the different sustainable mobility strategies and perceptions by local public authorities. Such governance aspects are not yet deal properly and in a convincing way. The handicap is especially acute in Portugal where sustainable urban mobility management is still an undeveloped and scarcely studied reality. Through a direct inquiry to all Portuguese municipalities we provide brand new evidence on their perceptions and strategies regarding sustainable urban mobility management. Proxying municipalities' perception towards sustainable mobility by three alternative (though interrelated) variables – having a mobility study; having a mobility plan; and having performed a mobility related inquiry – we concluded sustainable mobility is not yet a prominent issue among Portuguese municipalities. Of the respondent 193 municipalities (62.5% response rate), less than half (46.4%) claimed to possess a mobility study, only 29.8% stated to have a mobility plan, and a meagre percentage (17.9%) have performed a mobility-related inquiry to its citizens. Moreover, estimates based on a logit regression indicates that the most mobility-conscious municipalities are, on average, those that are richer, possess alternative transport (i.e., bicycles) parks and routes, have a larger and more human capital intensive departments (which are responsible by mobility issues), and (somehow surprisingly) belong to inland regions.