Modelling urban mobility

Modelling urban mobility

Ricardo designs a range of urban transport roadmap and scenario tools to enable cities to develop sustainable mobility strategies, which are tailored to specific social, environmental and economic objectives.

Urban transport roadmaps

Ricardo developed a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps, addressing the most pressing environmental and socioeconomic challenges confronting city transport systems.

The tool enables cities to assess the impacts of different policy measures aimed at improving the overall sustainability of their transport systems. The tool empowers cities, enabling them to identify, develop and assess the costs and benefits of different measures on the environment, safety, mobility and the economy.
The tool covers all urban modes of transport and provides:

  • Quantitative outputs covering a range of different indicators, including impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution, safety and congestion.

  • Concise graphical outputs, which can be used to communicate roadmaps to a variety of stakeholders.

The tool has been used by authorities and local stakeholders in cities of all sizes, across all EU countries. The tool is user-friendly and requires minimal information, offering cities the choice to select from a number of default ‘city types’, which provides data representative of their city if they lack access to more detailed city data.


In response to the need to better manage the environmental impacts of transport, Ricardo developed SUstainabLe TrANsport (SULTAN).   SULTAN is an illustrative scenarios tool, which helps to assess the impacts of prospective transport sector policies, from the implementation of a CO2 emissions reduction target to the introduction of measures to encourage cycling.

Originally developed for the European Commission, the tool provides the capacity to gain a swift, comprehensive understanding of the impacts of various policies, prior to engaging in detailed transport modelling. Ricardo is working with local and national governments, NGOs and funding agencies to tailor SULTAN to specific geographies, and enable the development of the most effective solutions.

Ricardo and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies were commissioned by the British Embassy in Tokyo to evaluate GHG emissions reductions and co-benefits from different transport policy scenarios in Toyama City, Japan. Ricardo constructed a baseline scenario, displaying the trajectory of transport-related GHG emissions in Toyama City until 2050, based on current policies, expected population trends, economic growth and other key indicators. Using SULTAN, Ricardo advised Toyama City on the policy scenarios available to effectively achieve its target of reducing transport-related GHG emissions by 75% on 2010 levels.

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