An original exercise of UVAR strategy: Scenario building blocks


Working with cities to assess their best UVAR solutions is the key of any successful project in the field of Access Regulations. But, in all honesty, no one does it like ReVeAL does.

In November and December 2020, ReVeAL Scenario building workshops took place, in order to discuss with the ReVeAL cities of Helmond, Jerusalem and Bielefeld their future plans in terms of Urban Vehicle Access Regulations.

On March and May 2021, two other workshops with varied cross-departmental participation from the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz took place, too.

The goal of these workshops was to determine how different actors in each city view the range of possible building blocks, and to define what building blocks could be combined to formulate (up to three) coherent strategies for their pilot area.

But, what are building blocks and why would cities need them?

The importance of building blocks

ReVeAL gathers and structures existing evidence, current trends and developments in the implementation of various UVAR measures in Europe and around the world. All evidence is gathered in four ReVeAL Measure Fields, namely:

  • Spatial Interventions
  • Pricing Measures
  • Pathways to ZEZ
  • Future Options

The purpose is to construct a ReVeAL knowledge base that will serve as a basis for the decision support tool to guide cities in the UVAR implementation process.

Within this frame, the building block is a measure (e.g. parklet) that is in the direction of a larger implementation (e.g. superblock). It may take the form of small or large-scale initiatives, or of specific aspects of initiatives ranging across the different ReVeAL Transition Areas: the key, however, is that building blocks, like lego bricks, can be rearranged and reshuffled as needed to create a structured and fitting UVAR strategy.

Indeed, there are many different types of UVARs in place, as well as increasingly combined schemes – for example LTZ with LEZ. In some cases, the excercise of creating an UVAR strategy can even require more original thought, with a need to combine building blocks in a new, unseen way just to create a more fitting solution for a specific city case.

The beauty of this system is that the options become clearer and the combinations are many – and so are the achieved solutions.

Building scenarios together

Within ReVeAL, an UVAR scenario is a high-level plan, which starts from the current city context (e.g. existing mobility networks and services, population, spatial layout, political support, public opinion, plans) and sketches out what a ReVeAL strategy could look like within it.

Herein, a strategy is a combination of different UVAR measures (or building blocks).  The scenarios are not blue-sky scenarios but take the current UVAR plans as starting point and help to fine-tune them. They are the starting point for public discussion and, ideally, co-creation.

Are you interested?

If you want to know more about the UVAR knowledge base and building blocks, check out the ReVeAL related documents below:

D2.1  – ‘Inventory of UVAR measures on ZEZ, Spatial Interventions and pricing measures’ (UVAR strategies with short list of case studies).

D2.2. – ‘Set of categories of UVAR measures in ZEZ, Spatial Interventions and Pricing Measures’ (long list of UVAR building blocks)

D2.3 –Set of process parameters and indicators for ReVeAL measures’ (defines the process evaluation parameters and impact assessment indicators to characterise UVAR measures)

D2.4. ‘Database of categorized and parameterized options of UVAR measures in three Measure Fields’ (thorough description of 8 city case studies in three measure fields)