Unfolding barriers for urban mobility plan in small and medium municipalities – A case study in Brazil

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, policy - sustainable, planning - public consultation, planning - methods, planning - surveys, land use - planning


Urban mobility plan, Barriers, Sustainable transportation modes, Small and medium cities


This paper investigated barriers for the design and implementation of Urban Mobility Plans in small and medium-sized cities in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. To achieve this objective an exploratory survey was carried out with specialists involved in the urban planning processes of such cities. A total of 22 barriers were listed, and, using the Keiser criterion, these barriers were grouped into seven factors: (1) resources availability; (2) practical and technological; (3) city characteristics; (4) budget constrains; (5) social and cultural; (6) organizational; and (7) lack of infrastructure for sustainable vehicles; a grouping that, in general, was similar to those found in the literature. The first main barrier encountered in the municipalities analyzed were difficulties in finding mobility solutions that adequately meet all stakeholders’ needs, followed by budget constraints for implementing actions toward more sustainable transport modes. Even though the complexity of the actors involved is seen as one of the main barriers to urban planning, it is still necessary to effectively involve the population in the decision-making process, so that all needs are considered, and consensual solutions are reached. Through the Spearman correlation method, other barriers closely associated with the first main barrier were reconciling the mobility needs of the population with the already existing infrastructure and preference for motor vehicles. For the second main barrier, other closely correlated variables were insufficient data collection for the preparation of urban mobility plans and lack of qualified workforce within municipal agencies to both elaborate and implement the actions contained in the plans. These correlations suggest that a deficient budget hinders the development of sustainable urban mobility in several stages of the process, including the diagnosis phase (data collection).


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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