The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme is investing nearly €80 billion in funding to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. With an emphasis on science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges, the goal is to ensure Europe removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
The beginning of this month signalled the start of a number of Horizon 2020 projects that focus on sustainable mobility - SUMPs-Up, PROSPERITY, CIVITAS PORTIS, CIVITAS ECCENTRIC and DESTINATIONS – which will help improve the efficiency of urban transport and mitigate the negative effects of transport effectively, while taking into account technological, socio-economic and urban development trends.
SUMPs-Up is an ambitious project that will enable mobility planning authorities across Europe to embrace Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans as the European-wide strategic planning approach, especially in countries where take-up of the concept is low and the negative effects of transport are severe.
The project will combine comprehensive SUMP research, tailored capacity-building, strong mechanisms for technical support (such as an Innovation Pilot Pool), offer constant SUMP monitoring and evaluation, and showcase SUMP innovations across Europe. As a result, the project will accelerate the development of 100 SUMPs; involve 400 planning practitioners in SUMP capacity-building; and reach out to 600 cities, therefore engaging about 80% of the EU cities above 50 000 inhabitants. The goal is get 90 SUMPs adopted by city councils during the project lifetime.
PROSPERITY aims to close the gap between the local needs and demands of cities that should develop and implement a SUMP, and higher administrative institutions like ministries in charge of developing national SUMP programmes.
This unique approach involves regular peer-to-peer exchange between national authorities from different countries and a regular national development process in each country, in which the national level interacts with cities. The project will create SUMP Task Forces; a pilot national SUMP assessment scheme; produce a manual for SUMP adoption in non-Member States; and roll-out 13 three-year programmes on national SUMP promotion activities. Furthermore, it will train over 350 representatives from 200 cities through webinars and targeted trainings.
3. CIVITAS PORTIS
CIVITAS PORTIS will demonstrate and evaluate integrated sets of sustainable mobility measures that address the problems of port cities across Europe. Working on five demonstration sites - Antwerp (Belgium), Aberdeen (UK), Trieste (Italy), Constanţa (Romania) and Klaipėda (Lithuania) - it will focus on new mobility governance; new mobility lifestyles; efficient and cleaner mobility; and seamless and more efficient freight movements.
The vision of the project is to show innovative solutions to other European ports cities on how to use mobility and accessibility measures to increase the functional and social cohesion between city and port in a fully sustainable way, while driving economic growth in the city.
4. CIVITAS ECCENTRIC
The ambition of the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project, meanwhile, is to introduce clean and efficient urban logistics in cities, and to increase the attractiveness and sustainable mobility of suburban districts. It hopes to reduce energy use, greenhouse gases and the dependence on fossil fuels, and cut air and noise pollution, road accidents and road congestion.
ECCENTRIC’s objective is to improve accessibility, social inclusion and equal opportunities; increase liveability by reducing car space and fostering active modes; boost the competitiveness of public transport and multimodal travel; make urban logistics more efficient; and boost the local economy.
5. CIVITAS DESTINATIONS
The CIVITAS DESTINATIONS project’s goal is to enhance sustainable mobility in small and medium-sized cities facing high tourist demand. Its focus is on building synergies between mobility and tourism sectors, and innovative holistic approaches to build sustainable urban mobility systems for both residents and tourists. It will test innovative solutions in six tourist cities and develop measures within existing SUMPs for visitors and residents, and create new tailored services to provide cost-effective mobility solutions.
DESTINATIONS hopes to change mind-sets, behaviour, and public-private collaboration mechanisms; build a stronger liaison with China on urban issues; and develop new business opportunities that can create jobs and contribute to economic growth.
As these exciting new projects develop over the next weeks and months, make sure you keep an eye on Eltis for project announcements and related news – such as calls for available funding and information on capacity-building activities.
We’ll also be interviewing the co-ordinators of the new projects in future Eltis Mobility Updates to find out how they are progressing and how cities can get involved. So stay tuned!