“For a city, sustainable development should always be subject to the test of whether key aspects of our daily lives and the urban systems within which they play out can be continued indefinitely into the future from a social, environmental and economic perspective”
(Pearson, Newton and Roberts, 2014. Resilient Sustainable Cities. A future. Routledge. p.3)
Traffic is generally acknowledged to be one of Gibraltar’s longest standing problems, with levels affected on a daily basis by the large influx of commuter, tourist and commercial vehicles crossing the frontier. As a result, like many other urban areas, Gibraltar suffers from regular traffic congestion and the adverse effects this has on the economy, the environment and the city’s overall image. Local air quality is a particular cause for concern.
Historically, traffic problems in Gibraltar have been tackled by building more infrastructure for cars – more roads and more parking spaces. Experience shows us that in the long term these ‘solutions’ are in fact temporary reprieves as road users eventually modify their behavior to fill all the available space.
Tackling Gibraltar’s traffic problems requires thinking about our transport system in a more holistic manner. The real purpose of ‘transportation’ or ‘mobility’ is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods.
HM Government of Gibraltar published its Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan in February 2017.
Gibraltar’s future transport system will be one in which users are able to move around in a safe, reliable and sustainable manner increasing its attractiveness as a place to live, work, visit and do business. There will be a real choice to meet travel needs with good access to employment, health, education, retail and leisure. This will encourage more sustainable travel behaviour. Sustainable modes of travel will be developed in order to minimise adverse impacts on the environment and promote healthier lifestyles.
Key initiatives include:
You can find the full STTPP and supporting documents below:
Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan – Main Document
Construction can impact the environment in numerous ways, including emissions to air, land contamination, noise pollution, waste disposal and discharges to water. Buildings are responsible for more than 40% of global energy use and 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions. Our built environment and its interactions with the natural environment are complex and have a huge impact on the world around us.
Buildings are long-lived, and cities have even longer lives. A large part of building sustainably is concerned with addressing emissions that are driving climate change, using energy conservation and techniques such as life-cycle assessment to maintain a balance between capital cost and long-term asset value. It is also about enhancing biodiversity, creating spaces that are healthy, economically viable and sensitive to social needs.
Reducing the energy demand from buildings has been a key focus of the Department’s work since the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates in 2012. All buildings now require an EPC upon sale or rental and new buildings as well as major refurbishments have to meet minimum energy performance standards in order to obtain their Certificate of Fitness. This is resulting in an increase in the installation of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic panels on rooftops across Gibraltar. You can find out more about these technologies here.