Welcome to Rhine Alp, Austria
The Rhine Alp region (Vorarlberger Rheintal) is an area of about 450 km² in the Province of Vorarlberg, the most western province of Austria, close to the Swiss border. Its 240,000 inhabitants are spread in 29 municipalities. This region has a long tradition for polycentric structures as the bigger cities - although in close neighbourhood - have been historically relatively independent from each other. When the Province of Vorarlberg was established, this polycentric structure in the Rhine Valley was kept to share services and facilities usually hosted in the capital of a province only (e. g. the court of justice, chamber of labour, etc.).
Mobility in the region
To further support the polycentric approach of the region, an organisation was founded (“Vision Rheintal”) aimed at a close co-operation among all 29 municipalities of the Rhine Alp region. Its aim is to co-ordinate land use, economic development and transport infrastructure, to protect natural resources and heritage by creating green corridors and to ensure sufficient leisure areas in the region. Currently, settlement activities and the impacts on mobility are focal points of the activities of the organisation.
Public transport in the region is mainly represented by a railway connecting the municipalities along the river Rhine. Regional trains offer a 30 minutes headway service supplemented by express- and long-distance-trains. Additionally more than 40 bus lines run every 30 minutes or less.
Despite the good public transport supply, the main roads are often congested by traffic from and to outside the province.
The Rhine Alp region aims to develop transport measures suitable to achieve a more sustainable mobility in the region, based on a holistic planning approach.
Traffic volume and emissions in settlement areas should decrease contemporaneously with an improved accessibility of living areas as well as industrial and commercial zones. This could be achieved by promoting urban densification around existing public transport networks as well as a mixed use of dedicated areas (workplace – residential).
The participation in Poly-SUMP offers the possibility to exchange experiences with other regions at a European level and to develop common strategies on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility plans.