Supporting new public transport plans in the city of Kouvola
This pilot/study case will take place in the city of Kouvola (Finland).
Description of the area
Kouvola is a middle-sized city with 83,000 inhabitants in south-east Finland. It is part of the Kymenlaakso region, the other MARA case area in Finland. The city of Kouvola consists of six municipalities. The demographic trend of Kouvola has been in decline for decades and the birth rate is low. Kouvola is an important railway hub with good connections to Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The train trip to St. Petersburg takes a bit over two hours. Kouvola has many centres, many villages and large rural areas. The area of the city is 2900 km2 and it has over 300 km2 of inland waters. Kouvola has almost 8,000 summer cottages.
The mobility challenges
The dispersed spatial structure and large geographic area combined with a decreasing and ageing population make it difficult to arrange transport services for inhabitants in rural and peripheral areas. The existing train and bus routes do not provide a very good transport service level, and the operation costs are high. There are large areas that lack good public transport.
The pilot case
The smart land use planning decisions and open-minded new transport solutions are new ways to develop the public transport service level. A free public transport strategy – if done wisely – might offer solutions for the transport problems of Kouvola. On the other hand, the large amount of summer houses and part-time inhabitants could be turned into permanent inhabitants and excellent living environments. MARA is supporting both these goals: SYKE will analyse the possibilities and realism of the plans and strategies and also offer modelling-based scenarios for Kouvola. The work relies on co-development, GIS-analyses and modelling, scenario building, and the participation of the end-users.
Partner implementing the project:
Picture source: www.kouvola.fi