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European Commission approves EUR 2 billion urban transport funding for Poland

During October, the European Commission approved an EU funding programme for EUR 2 billion of investments in urban transport in Poland. The planned investments are part of a wider investment programme, which will contribute to the modernisation of the Polish economy and improve the conditions for its sustainable development.

The funds are part of theEuropean Funds for Infrastructure, Climate and Environment (FEnIKS) 2021-2027′ programme. It is the EU’s largest cohesion policy programme which has been approved, providing EU funding of more than EUR 24.1 billion (EUR 12.9 billion from the European Regional Development Fund and EUR 11.2 billion from the Cohesion Fund).

According to the draft FENIKS programme which has been published by the Polish Ministry of Regional Development Funds and Policy, in the plan there are EUR 2 billion worth of investments included to implement urban transport priorities. It includes EUR 1.44 billion for infrastructure, EUR 460 million for rolling stock and EUR 100 million for digitisation.

Projects in the plan target:

  • infrastructure and rolling stock of public collective transport (metro and trams);
  • interchange nodes (including P&R car parks outside city centres);
  • development of municipal ITS systems;
  • improvement of public urban transport services and non-motorized (pedestrian and bicycle) traffic;
  • development of IT solutions, including those enabling the implementation of the concept of “Mobility as a service”;
  • Support for the acquisition of zero-emission (electric and hydrogen) buses and low-emission (gas LNG, CNG or LPG and hybrid PHEV) buses.

The funding is intended to continue to support voivodship cities and others, which were already eligible for support under the Integrated Territorial Investments (ITIs) instrument of Cohesion Policy 2014–2020. In order to obtain funding from the FEnIKS 2021-2027 programme for investments in the field of sustainable mobility, having a sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP) or similar mobility plan is a condition. Therefore, the development of mobility plans is supported by the Infrastructure and Environment Program. Nine medium-sized cities and their functional areas have already received support the development of mobility plans under Measure 6.1 OPI & E Development of public collective transport in cities. The development of mobility plans is still supported by the Infrastructure and Environment Program.

Link: More information

Call for Sustainable Cities Climate Impact Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Digital are running a Sustainable Cities Climate Impact Challenge for European cities to identify impactful and innovative projects which seek to decarbonise transport in cities and accelerate the take-up of active, shared, collective and/or electric mobility.  The challenge is sponsored by FedEx.

The Climate Impact Challenge aims to work with two or three cities. Projects will be selected based on the potential for impact, learning, and replicability in other cities.

Cities in EU Member States, Horizon Europe associated countries, the UK and Switzerland (with a population of at least 25,000) are eligible to apply. Each city challenge selected will be granted between USD 50,000 and USD 75,000.

Cities are invited to submit a two-page (A4) project proposal.

Examples of projects that could be considered for support include (but are not limited to), the following:

  • Low traffic neighbourhoods
  • Walking and cycling projects
  • Green infrastructure and parklets
  • Mobility hubs
  • Behaviour change tools
  • Apps and journey planners
  • Data collection, analysis, monitoring and evaluation tools

The deadline for submission of proposals: 13 November 2022 at 23.00 CET.

For further information, please see here.

Photo Credit: © metamorworks / Shutterstock.com – no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Region: Europe-wide

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SHOW’s autonomous shuttles at the Urban Mobility Days

From 20-22 September the city of Brno (Czech Republic) hosted the Urban Mobility Days under the theme “Moving people and goods more sustainably”.

Here, SHOW project’s Czech partner CDV introduced driverless vehicles to the public. The goal of the Czech pilot site is to enhance urban mobility for all inhabitants as a complement to the current public transportation system. The Czech satellite site includes two RoboShuttles and one RoboTaxi. Their goal is to complement the existing Public Transport system, enhancing urban mobility for all citizens. The conference attendants had the chance to take a ride around the venue on our autonomous vehicles, collaboratively deployed by CDV, Artin and the City of Brno.

Source: https://show-project.eu/2022/09/29/moving-people-sustainably-at-umd22/

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Bike lanes and pedestrian areas are making sustainable mobility a reality in many Italian cities

Sustainable mobility is slowly advancing and improving liveability in many Italian regional capitals, mostly thanks to improvements in soft mobility. The report “Cities in transition: the Italian regional capitals towards environmental sustainability”, drafted by the National System for Environmental Protection (SNPA), presents the most recent environmental and mobility trends in the main Italian cities, over the past five years, investigating urban liveability, circularity, and resilience to climate change.

Soft mobility: bike lanes and pedestrian areas

Bike lanes are increasing in almost all cities examined by the report. In 2019, Turin was already providing residents with 166km of bike lanes on 100km2 of surface, followed by Milan and Bolzano, both with over 100km of bike lanes. On the one hand, successful results have been identified also in the cities of Genoa, Cagliari, Bari, Florence, Catanzaro, and Palermo, but conversely, bike lanes are decreasing in Campobasso and lacking in the city Potenza.

Pedestrian areas are also increasingly being implemented. The city of Venice records 510m2 of pedestrian areas per 100 inhabitants (this is favoured by its unusual geographic conformation), whilst Florence registers 110m2. The report reveals that only the cities of Genoa and Aosta have less than 10m2 of pedestrian areas. Therefore, if the general trend is an increase of walking areas – with an increase of 495% in Trento and of 227% in Bari in the last ten years – some cities are not progressing in this field. This is the case for Bolzano, Rome, Catanzaro, and Cagliari.

Hybrid and electric cars and local public transport

Hybrid and electric cars are also becoming more popular in Italian cities. Bologna is at the top of the list with significant progress in favouring the adoption of electric/hybrid cars, going from just over 1% in 2015 to over 5% in 2020. Milan ranks second with 4%, while Catanzaro, Campobasso Potenza, Palermo, and Naples still remain below 1%. The air quality is also improving, with atmospheric particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide decreasing in many of the analysed cities between 2013-2020.

At the same time, the report reveals a decrease in demand for local public transport in many municipalities between 2011-2019: Aosta (-61%), Perugia (-43.8%) and Rome (-43.2%), whilst Turin shows an increase that exceeds 40%. With 844.1 annual passengers per inhabitant, Venice is the municipality with the highest values, followed by Milan which, although decreasing, still shows considerable numbers (533.8). Finally, Aosta and Potenza register 12.5 and 18.5 passengers per year respectively.

For more information on the report check the SNPA website.

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Utrecht named most bike-friendly city for 2022

Love cycling? Then, the city of Utrecht is the place to be. The Dutch city was recently named as the world’s most bicycle friendly city by the Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022.

The index compared 90 cities across the globe, scoring them on indicators grouped under six categories: the weather, bicycle usage, crime & safety, infrastructure, bike sharing opportunities and awareness events such as ‘No Car Day’.

The top-10 featured eight other European cities, with the Chinese city of Hangzhou being the only non-European city in the top-10.

Utrecht takes first place because it scores well in a number of areas, including availability, quality and investment in bicycle infrastructure, the number of bicycle shops and a low number of traffic accidents. Moreover, the city particularly stands out for bicycle use. In fact, 51% of the people in Utrecht use bicycles in everyday life. Compared to other cities in the top-10, Utrecht scores less on bike sharing. An explanation may lie in the fact that 94% of residents have one or more bicycles in their household.

The German city of Munster is the second most bike-friendly place in the world. Although more than 39%of residents use bikes on a daily basis, the city has a low rate of cycling fatalities. Munster also regularly hosts events promoting cycling.

The Belgian city of Antwerp ranks third. It has a strong city-wide bike-sharing system, hosts “car-free Sunday” events to promote cycling and has relatively few bike thefts.

The rest of the top 10 best cities in the world for cyclists are:

  1. Utrecht, Netherlands
  2. Munster, Germany
  3. Antwerp, Belgium
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  6. Malmö, Sweden
  7. Hangzhou, China
  8. Bern, Switzerland
  9. Bremen, Germany
  10. Hannover, Germany

Urban Mobility Days Conference 2022 – Full programme now revealed

Registration is now open for Urban Mobility Days 2022, held on 20-22 September in the city of Brno, Czech Republic.

Sign up now for Urban Mobility Days 2022. This year’s theme is ‘Moving people and goods more sustainably’, and across three days, we traverse the length and breadth of sustainable urban mobility, examining the challenges and solutions at hand.

Cities face critical challenges on the path to sustainable mobility, yet they also hold the key to action. More than 70% of Europeans live in cities, and urban areas account for around 23% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions from transport. At the same time, European cities are home to some of the boldest and most innovative solutions for both passenger and freight transit.

Urban Mobility Days addresses these key challenges. This biennial conference, jointly organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport (DG MOVE), and the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, is a major event in the urban mobility calendar. Having taken place online two years ago due to COVID-19, we are delighted to welcome delegates back in person (with a virtual option available).

Urban Mobility Days provides a unique forum to convene policymakers, local authorities, academics, NGOs, urban transport practitioners, and urban planners to connect, share and discuss the path forward for a sustainable, innovative, and equitable future for Europe’s urban mobility.

This year’s programme is set to be as engaging as ever. With panel discussions, thematic sessions, exhibitions and side events, discussions range from boosting active travel to financing climate neutrality, to zero-emission zones and of course SUMPs.

Four plenary sessions will bring together leading decision makers to discuss key issues shaping urban mobility today. On day one we examine how to put active modes and public transport first and focus on TEN-T urban nodes. Day two includes discussions on funding and financing, with a dive into implementing Urban Air Mobility in cities on day three.

As 2022 is the European Year of Youth, Urban Mobility Days puts the spotlight on young voices and views, to make sure Europe’s young people join the debate as we discuss the big questions of climate resilience and reducing dependency on Russian oil following the invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the dedicated, ‘Mobility Powered by Youth’ event, we will hear from a young rapporteur at each session throughout the conference.

Further information regarding the programme can be found on the Urban Mobility Days website: https://www.eumd.org

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French government offering €4,000 to exchange a car for an e-bike

In 2021, the French government introduced an individual reward scheme for people trading in their car for an e-bike. Now, the money a person can receive has doubled to EUR 4,000. The full subsidy is available for low-income families in low-emission urban zones trading in their cars, whilst people with higher income levels receive a lesser amount. The incentive may also be used for traditional bicycles that do not have motors.

This subsidy scheme aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and France is pushing cycling to catch up to its bicycle-popular neighbours such as the Netherlands or Germany. Today, about 3% of the French population commutes to work by bicycle, but the aim is to triple this by 2024. As well as individual rewards, the national government is also investing EUR 250 million to make the entire city of Paris accessible by bicycle, including creating 130 km bicycle-safe lanes over the next five years (as pledged by the city’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo).

This car to e-bike exchange programme is taken from the successful model of Lithuania. Residents receive EUR 1,000 if they trade in their old vehicle for a new electric bike, scooter, moped motorcycle or credits for public transport (as reported here).

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Dutch cities use temporary bike racks to show people benefits of installing more bike parking

In the Netherlands, cities are experimenting with using temporary bike parking facilities to show people the benefits of both increasing the space allocated for bike parking, and also of reducing spaces for car parking. In this way, parking management can support major modal shift. Replacing car parking spaces with alternative uses is a key part of this process, and as cities seek to encourage residents and visitors away from personal car use towards active modes of travel, substituting a car parking space for bike parking is proving critical.

Many cities are attempting to swap car parking spaces for facilities for bicycle parking. However, this is often easier said than done. Nevertheless, an innovative approach being trialled in the Netherlands may provide inspiration for others. Cities there have been installing temporary bike parking platforms, each with racks for 8 to 10 bikes, designed to fit neatly into one car parking space. These are then put in place for local residents to test before the change is made permanent.

In The Hague one street has been experimenting with a plastic platform with built-in racks inserted into car parking spaces. Over the subsequent two months, residents had a chance to give feedback. The verdict was that 86% of the people living on the street approved of the change. As a result, the city installed a permanent rack and moved the temporary platform (in Dutch, a fietsvlonder, or bicycle platform) to another neighbourhood to repeat the experiment.

The idea to install temporary bicycle parking facilities to expose people to the benefits of more bike parking originally came from planners in the city of Rotterdam, who were brainstorming ideas in 2015 to help increase biking in a neighbourhood that had extensive car parking. After Rotterdam had tested a platform in one location, it quickly started using them throughout the city centre. Now the bike platforms are used in the city maintenance department as a standard tool.

Rotterdam now has more than 70 temporary sets of parking facilities circulating throughout the city, and nearly 90 parking spots have been converted into permanent parking for hundreds of bikes. Other cities, including The Hague, have also started to use the tool. People are even able to request that a platform is installed in their own street.

This topic is now being discussed widely across the mobility field. Earlier in 2022, the EU-funded Park4SUMP project brought together key stakeholders from Rotterdam, the European Cycling Federation and others, to discuss parking standards and to explore how housing development which caters for cycle parking can support sustainable mobility agendas.

With approximately 80% of all journeys beginning and ending at the home, the availability of parking facilities near people’s homes is key to their mobility choices. All too often this has meant that the car is the preferred method of travel. As Rotterdam and The Hague have demonstrated, this does not need to be the case.

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Real-time traffic data made available for the Athens region

The Attica region surrounding the Greek capital Athens has announced the implementation of an innovative tool that will facilitate road users’ travel and help to reduce traffic congestion. The app will work on smartphones and will display real-time traffic data, such as travel times on different road axes, which will enable drivers to choose the best route to avoid traffic. The app will be integrated into the already operating electronic message signs that are regulated by the city’s Traffic Management Centre in order to ease travel in the region.

Such innovative tools have the potential to improve people’s daily life, ensuring safer and more functional movements and limiting the stress related to traffic jams.

The route calculation platform will integrate so-called ‘Floating Car Data’ (FCD), which monitors and calculates travel times in order to keep road users informed and help them make their route choices, whilst reducing congestion. As the app will collect data from FCD, it will enable road users to identify the most congested routes and the associated journey times. In this way, they will be able to adjust their journey and choose the best route amongst the ones proposed by the app.

Road users will also have access to historical data and will be able to investigate traffic-related problems identified on the app. Historical data can also be exported to ‘business intelligence’ tools or into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to help users to analyse, for instance, the correlation between air quality and noise levels of each route. Users can also select new routes, by adding the coordinates of their points of interest or simply selecting these points on the map, and the app will provide real-time data for that route.

The platform has been designed so that it has an easy-to-use graphical interface. In order to ensure flexibility and security, the technology that is running on the brand-new platform will operate using a secure cloud-based system. The platform will collect data from multiple sources and regions and will analyse these in real-time, thus acting as a data aggregator to improve mobility management.

Original article published by protothema.gr on 17 August 2022.

Link: 

Milestone towards building European framework for development & testing of connected and automated mobility

The FAME project funded by the European Commission kicked-off on 1 and 2 September in Brussels. The 23 consortium partners from 12 Member States gathered with representatives from the European Commission, CINEA, DG RTD and DG MOVE to align and exchange on the ambitious tasks of the project which are meant to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, lessons learned and best practices and accelerate the harmonised development and deployment of CCAM in Europe.

The project, which is building on the legacy of previous EU-funded support actions including the VRA, CARTRE and ARCADE projects, aims at directly supporting the work of the CCAM Partnership and the European Commission for the identification of gaps and future needs for R&I in CCAM. Such a cooperation across stakeholders and coordination has been required by the European Commission, the Member States and Industry since the Declaration of Amsterdam and the High Level Meetings on CAD.

To address the remaining challenges related to coordination of Research & Innovation and sharing of knowledge for CCAM in Europe, FAME has five specific objectives:

  • Establish a European Framework for CCAM testing activities on public roads comprising a taxonomy, Common Evaluation Methodology, CCAM test data space and a legal & ethical framework;
  • Develop a common evaluation method (CEM) that provides guidance on how to set up and carry out an evaluation or assessment of direct and indirect (wider socio-economic) impacts directed at different user groups;
  • Develop a CCAM test data space to establish trusted data sharing between different types of stakeholders within the CCAM community;
  • Engage the stakeholder network of the CCAM Partnership and enrich it by the broader European and international CCAM stakeholder community for the further development, alignment and exploitation of the content of the Knowledge Base and the development of a common methodology and testing framework
  • Enhance the present EU wide Knowledge Base with an efficient governance mechanism, ensuring continuous contribution from CCAM stakeholders to serve their and the CCAM Partnership needs.