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The MORECO project tackles the problem of a disperse settlement development and resulting traffic and mobility problems in the Alps. By promoting sustainable mobility, the improvement of public transport access and an optimized polycentric settlement development, MORECO wants to contribute to a more sustainable built environment in Europe.

Full project title and funding programme

Full title of project: MObility and REsidential COsts

Funding programme: Alpine Space Programme


Sustainable and resource-friendly settlement development

Schedule and project consortium


01.07.2011 – 30.06.2014

Project consortium


Insufficient accessibility to public transport services is one of the results of urban sprawl arising out of the dynamic settlement development in the hinterland of Alpine cities. This forces people to motorized private transport, which causes environmental pollution, traffic congestion, high follow-up costs for infrastructure, high individual mobility costs and high time expenditure for commuting and daily supply.

MORECO actively supports a sustainable, resource-friendly settlement development, which follows supply facilities and public transport axes. For this purpose, it combines planning measures and spatial policies with activities of transport providers and mobility actors. In addition, a bottom up approach involves house hunting, households and residential construction actors who have direct influence on the property market. Innovative tools, ensuring reliable information and high transparency of long-term Mobility + Residential Costs, support the actors in their decision-making process.

Problems to be addressed

The extension of peri-urban areas in the Alpine Space

Economic and demographic dynamics in the Alpine Space lead to extensions of peri-urban areas, to splitting of the territory, splitting of transport services and to enormous increase of private traffic. This is highly problematic because of the strictly limited space for settlement development in the Alpine Space.

The negative consequences are:

  • Increased commuting, increased motorized individual traffic congestions
  • Urban sprawl
  • High emissions (CO2, pollutants, noise, environmental pollution), reduced regional competitiveness by traffic congestions
  • Reduced profitability of transport services, unattractive public transport
  • Disadvantageous spatial structures for good supply facilities and public transport
  • Accessibility constraints for population groups which depend on public transport
  • High mobility costs for private households, high time expenditure, reduced quality of life
  • Vulnerability of real estate values in case of heavily rising energy costs for mobility

Problems for regional governance

Governance measures for spatial and transport development are key factors in influencing future mobility, avoiding "enforced" individual motorized mobility. But they face big problems:

  • Most private ways start and end at home. So residency locations at a considerable rate determine mobility needs, chances for sustainable traffic (foot, bicycle and public transport), accessibility and long-term costs. But many house hunting households do not consider long term effects, mainly searching for cheap building sites and low residential costs
  • Public authorities and political decisions frequently follow residential market demands, neglecting effects of an inappropriate development

Challenges for MORECO partners

The main challenge of MORECO partnership is to support public transport by influencing spatial governance from local to transnational level by

  • New institutional cooperation between spatial planning authorities and transport providers
  • Sound methodological instruments for spatial planners and politicians for long term cost-impacts
  • New instruments showing spatial potentials for transport actors
  • New services for briefing house hunting households showing long term cost effects


Overall objectives:

  1. To influence site decisions of the private house hunters + public stakeholders by outlining long term cost effects, promoting sites that are situated close to supply centres and public transport.
  2. To implement of tools and new cooperations in governance on local and regional level.
  3. To promote and improve the access to the use of existing infrastructures in AS (public transp.) by optimizing settlement structures.
  4. To strengthen public transport economically by allocating potential customers.
  5. To achieve awareness among the involved parties: qualified information material and cost transparency is provided in new trainings and consulting services, new cooperation networks with local and regional stakeholders are settled.

Example objective on Local level:

A transferable guideline and training/consultancy tool assists mayors and local decision-makers, for allocation of sustainable building land (e.g. Novo Mesto, Munich, Mantova).

Example objective on Regional level:

RALPS and the Italian provinces directly use and implement the outputs in their spatial planning and mobility concepts, they are able to make them legally binding. Also, several transport associations like. Salzburg Region gain customised outputs for the practical use – spatial potentials for public transport, household cost tool. National and transnational level: Communication of an approved strategy and tools to national and transnational bodies are designed by RALPS, assisted by national observers.

Actions on low-carbon economy, energy efficiency and nZEBs

Implementation and application of tools for different target groups:

  • Tools for households in pilot sites (household cost calculator meant as decision support + new public WebGIS data about basic infrastructure like daily supply, schools, doctors, etc.).
  • Tools for planners and mobility actors in pilot sites (settlement assessment, regional analysis…).
  • Tools for political decision making processes in pilot sites (Slide pool for information, training, argumentation).

Main results

  • Awareness raising.
  • Better cooperation between spatial planning and mobility planning.
  • Influencing decision towards “smart locations”.
  • Improving access to local infrastructure, supply and service facilities.

Outputs developed by the project


Usage of outputs

The MORECO has been adopted in other frameworks. For example, the project of EULE deals with EuRegional spatial potentials, spatial indicators and spatial scenarios as decision support for an innovative spatial development in South-East Bavaria / Salzburg and uses the MORECO tool.

Project strengths and weaknesses

Project strengths

The project produced tangible outputs since the tools are for free use.

Project weaknesses

The interdisciplinarity of the topic lead to difficulties. The financial and time frame were too short.

Contact and homepage

Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing

Salzburg, Austria

Daniela Bischof

E-Mail: daniela.bischof@salzburg

Phone: +43 662 623455-3

Project homepage


  1. ViSiBLE report identification of successes and common challenges of EU-funded projects (2014)
  2. Homepage of Austrian MORECO partnership