Six European municipalities assessed their performance in urban mobility using the EcoMobility SHIFT Assessment and Audit Scheme. The scheme emphasises that sustainable urban mobility requires a shift from personal motorised vehicles to environmentally friendly, socially appealing, and economically viable transport options.
Across Europe, city officials face the challenge of making the transport system in their city more sustainable. They need to know how they are currently performing, and the possible direction for improvement in the future. Some cities do assess their performance, but typically base this largely on a few macro factors such as modal split, safety and environmental gains. This is not enough information to understand which areas and policies could be changed to make the transport system more sustainable, and to decide on directions for improvement.
The EcoMobility SHIFT scheme addresses this by providing a method of detailed assessment of sustainable urban mobility. City officials and other stakeholders discuss and score their state of affairs using 20 indicators covering internal working processes (Enablers), measures (Transport Systems & Services) and the effects thereof on the urban transport system (Results & Impacts). The weighing of the individual indicator scores is such that the overall score reflects the municipal performance according to its sphere of influence and the degree of effectiveness of actions. The self-assessment can be complemented by an audit and certification scheme that can further allow city officials to analyse their own work by comparing with other cities.
The EcoMobility SHIFT indicators at a glance
Six municipalities piloted the scheme across Europe. Under the guidance of an advisor, working groups in Burgas (BG), Miskolc (HU), Lund (SE), Dundee (UK), Turnhout (BE) and Oss (NL) assessed the processes, measures and results using the qualitative and quantitative indicators formulated by the SHIFT scheme. They scored the indicators (on a scale of 1 to 5) based on the existing situation in the municipality. In discussing the valuation of the indicators, the working groups were in a position to identify the areas for improvement. The analysis and report on the assessment allowed them to formulate an action plan that would both strengthen their future mobility plans and also provide higher levels of sustainable mobility.
Following the assessment, an external auditor verified the evidence provided for obtaining the score. Since there exist some external factors beyond the control of the municipality, a number of city profile factors (such as climate, control of public transport, wealth, etc.) were analysed and used to apply weighing factors to the result to allow a fair comparison across European cities. Finally, the results were approved and each municipality received a final audited result.
In the pilot cities, the entire exercise took 12-18 weeks. Cities, along with the advisor, invested between 85 and 140 hours. The external auditors took between 40 and 50 hours to complete an audit.
The process allows an agreed understanding of what it takes to realise sustainable mobility. The municipalities indicated that by applying the SHIFT scheme, they got a better understanding of their policies, measures and effects thereof. On top of this, the resulting EcoMobility score shows that the city is serious on sustainable mobility and it allows for comparing with other cities.
Overall, EcoMobility SHIFT is a practical tool to take a snapshot of performance and actual situation on the ground. It can therefore be applied as step 3 of the SUMP process, strengthening the outcome of it.
Further information on the EcoMobility SHIFT scheme can be obtained by visiting http://www.ecomobility-shift.org.
If your city intends to implement the SHIFT scheme, you can download the SHIFT manual from here.
Should you have more queries please get in touch with Mr. Santhosh Kodukula, EcoMobility Coordinator, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, via email email@example.com.