Welcome to the Eltis Mobility Update!
Cycling in Winter? It might not be an obvious choice, but the first Winter Cycling Conference organised in the City of Oulu, Finland last month, addressed this so far neglected topic area. Oulu with 190,000 inhabitants is Finland’s cycling capital and the winter cycling capital of the world. It has one of the most extensive cycling networks, a cycling modal split of 22 % and state of the art winter maintenance levels. Reasons enough for Eltis to take a close look and report about the city’s activities in a case study and a video clip and make available some winter cycling photos from Oulu in the Eltis Photo database. We have also been talking to the long standing chief planner Mauri Myllylä from Oulu. You can listen to the interview in English or Finnish.
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MOPeasy electric car-sharing service for companies spreads through France
In September 2012, car-sharing company MOPeasy and e-mobility company Sodetrel joined forces to launch a new integrated electric car-sharing scheme for companies in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Grand Paris area). The partnership was announced at the 2012 Salon de l’Automobile in Paris. A recent survey in France revealed that 86% of the French think electric cars are the future of urban traffic and more than 1.5 million vehicles will be shared among companies by 2020.
A new traffic control system for Brno (Czech Republic)
In the framework of the European project POSSE, the city of Brno is planning several investments in traffic infrastructure to build up an integrated traffic control system. The two key issues to be solved are traffic control and parking management. Approximately 16 million Euro is devoted to traffic controllers providing priority to public transport vehicles at crossroads.
Security cameras green-lighted for Budapest public transport (Hungary)
Due to former legal restrictions, security cameras have not been a standard feature of Budapest public transport vehicles. But with legal changes made in late 2011, new vehicles can now be fitted with on-board security cameras and microphones. According to the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), all new vehicles are being ordered with security cameras already installed. Current orders include 159 buses, 37 trams and 24 trolley buses.
Smartphone navigation app for the urban cyclist
The 'BikeCityGuide' app directs cyclists to their chosen destination along the most cycle-friendly route. By downloading it on a smartphone attached to the handlebars of a bike it provides visual and audible navigation to a destination selected by the user. The app chooses roads with cycle lanes over those without and back streets over main roads busy with motorised traffic. Visit tools for practitioners on Eltis for more information (presentation in French only) and other useful sustainable travel tools.
Aberdeen and Zagreb win European Awards
The European Commission has announced the winner of the 2012 Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) Award: Aberdeen won the prize for involving stakeholders and citizens in the development of their SUMP. Vice President Siim Kallas presented the award certificates at an award ceremony in Brussels. The award is part of the European Commission's Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign "Do the right mix". The other two finalists for the award were Toulouse (France) and Ljutomer (Slovenia). During the same ceremony, the city of Zagrebwho had been shortlisted alongside Gävle and Östersund in Sweden, was recognized with the European Mobility Week Award by Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
The "All of us are pedestrians” campaign in Aveiro, Portugal
The objective of this campaign was to raise awareness amongst motorists of illegal pavement parking and enabling residents and city users to reprimand badly behaved motorists.
Within this Steer project several walking enhancing activities have been carried out such as Walkability Audits, awareness raising activities including seminars, posters, leaflets, raffles of shopping carts, exhibitions and the design of a walking map.
Segmented campaign to promote walking and cycling to school in Utrecht, the Netherlands
Although many children already travel to school by bicycle or on foot, primary schools in Utrecht have traffic and road safety problems. With the aim of increasing walking and cycling, Utrecht have developed a segmented campaign aimed at parents of children starting primary school. This is part of the SEGMENT project co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme. An example of one action saw the City of Utrecht sending 2,030 new school kids a (late) birthday present: a letter, a campaign flyer and a newly developed traffic memory game during the campaign period (April - September 2012).
Introducing: TOGETHER on the move – energy-efficient transport training for immigrants
The European Union attracts immigrants from all over the globe. Apart from obvious barriers such as financial, language or cultural barriers, immigrants also have to adapt to complex European mobility systems. Driving a car sometimes seems the easiest solution, but isn’t the most preferred option in terms of energy efficiency. Moreover, mobility and (easy) access to different transport modes is a precondition for finding a job, social inclusion and successful integration in a new society.
TOGETHER on the Move addresses the mobility needs of this growing group of immigrants in Europe. Transport training will increase their autonomy, make their travel habits greener and provide opportunities for employment and social inclusion.
The literature review and focus groups at the start of the project provided a better understanding of the project’s target group. Most of the immigrants in European countries come from other European countries, often from neighbouring countries. German immigrants in Austria, Irish immigrants in the UK or Swedish immigrants in Norway are likely to know just as much about energy-efficient transport as domestically born citizens in the same age and educational levels, whereas public transport and sustainable transport may be quite unfamiliar to immigrants from certain parts of Africa or India. Consequently, it is important to distinguish between different immigrant categories when discussing and planning information to and training of immigrants.
The travel behaviour of immigrants seems to be a neglected area of statistical information and research. Of the five countries involved in TOGETHER (Belgium, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom and Austria) only Austria and the UK seem to have some data concerning car ownership and travel behaviour. There are some survey data concerning the travel behaviour of immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands, but data are scarce and does not allow for statistically significant quantitative statements.
However, the existing data suggests that in general, immigrants have fewer cars than the domestically born populations, and that they travel less. Trips are fewer and travel distances by car are shorter among immigrants than among the domestically born populations. The differences between the immigrants and the domestically born seem to be higher for women than for men. Immigrants seem to use bicycles to a lesser extent than the domestically born, especially the immigrant women. Immigrants tend to use public transport relatively more than the domestically born, but the differences appear to depend on how questions are asked and data computed.
If the travel behaviour of immigrants is more sustainable than that of the domestically born, why spend time and money trying to make immigrants travel in a more energy efficient and sustainable way? There are at least two reasons for doing so. Firstly, the lower car ownership and car travel rates appear to be caused by lower economic standards and higher unemployment, and there may even be an unmet need for travel among certain immigrant categories. Consequently, immigrants can be expected to purchase and use cars more once they can afford one. Secondly, at least some immigrant categories seem to prefer car travel to public transport more strongly than the domestically born, an indication that car ownership among these immigrants may increase rapidly as their incomes increase.
TOGETHER has developed and is implementing 5 training modules in order to support sustainable mobility behaviour, covering walking, cycling, public transport, eco-driving and a general module on energy-efficient lifestyles. TOGETHER established a tailor-made approach by involving immigrants, teachers of formal and non-formal adult education organisations, immigrant associations, public transport providers and authorities. External experts will assess and evaluate all actions, results and outcomes.
Since January 2013, TOGETHER offers training sessions in each participating countries, reaching a total of 10.000 immigrants, 75 or more teachers (from formal and non-formal adult educational institutions) and many more key actors. Policy recommendations will be formulated and handed over to regional, national and European authorities as part of the long-term strategy.
All materials are available for download from http://www.together-eu.org in five languages (English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and German) and at the Eltis training section.
For more information: email@example.com
TOGETHER on the Move is funded by the European Commission under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.
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is Timo Perälä, CEO of Navico Ltd. an Oulu based consultancy company
>> read more about Timo Perälä
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