This month, Eltis interviews Oliver Lah from the Wuppertal Institute, the project co-ordinator of the SOLUTIONS project.
Please sum up your project in a sentence
OL: SOLUTIONS identifies innovative sustainable urban mobility measures from around the world, assesses the potential for their transferability and looks at how they can be implemented in cities in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.
In what way are cities already benefitting from your project?
OL: We had the pleasure to work directly with cities in Europe, China, India, Mexico and Brazil on concrete plans for the implementation of sustainable mobility solutions. In addition, we have been hosting a number of webinars, e-learning sessions and face-to-face workshops that have been attended by representatives from cities across the world.
At these events, urban mobility experts present sustainable urban mobility solutions and discuss how cities can introduce similar measures. In this way, we are teaching key decision-makers how to make their cities more sustainable.
What is your project’s biggest success to date?
OL: We have managed to facilitate exchange between cities around the world on sustainable urban mobility, which has created great partnerships that will endure well beyond the project´s lifetime. We also the opportunity to initiate the take-up and implementation of sustainable urban mobility solutions, for example the SOLUTIONS city Belo-Horizonte (Brazil) is now in the process of introducing a 30km/h zone in the city centre and is upgrading its cycling infrastructure based on learning from its partner city Bremen (Germany).
What are the key project publications or resources (current or future), and how will they be used by cities?
OL: Through our early research we identified a number of transferable urban mobility solutions, and we have also compiled a state-of-the-art of mobility in selected cities in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. We will be publishing later this year three regional reports that provide recommendations on how to improve sustainable urban mobility in these cities, and correlate them with a set of in-depth fact sheets that analyse specific transferable urban mobility solutions to these cities, and provide case studies of successful, real-world examples.
What opportunities are there for others to become involved in the project?
OL: There will continue to be several collaboration opportunities beyond the project’s lifetime, for example through the city networks Polis and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, the Clean Air Partnership and the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, which provide opportunities for cities to engage in knowledge exchange activities. SOLUTIONS itself will continue as a network of experts working together on local implementation action.
How can people keep up to date with project activity?
OL: You can check the SOLUTIONS website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. SOLUTIONS project partners also regularly lead presentations during transport-related conferences and events around the world, so look out for one of us when checking programme notes or agendas.
Name one development/innovation that you think will impact urban mobility in Europe over the next five years.
OL: There are no silver bullets or quick-fix solutions that will make urban mobility suddenly sustainable. Technologies will be part of the mix, but a broader approach is required to initiate the transformational change to move towards a sustainable, low-carbon mobility pathway. This includes integrated city and transport planning, public transport, walking and cycling, city logistics, ICT and vehicle technology.
What is the most interesting mobility-related book/paper/research you have read recently, and why?
OL: The Global High Shift studies by UC-Davis and others on public transport and cycling explore the potential not just environmentally, but also economically of a transition towards a low-carbon transport system, which is a vital aspect in making the case for policy and investment changes.
Oliver Lah is a Friend of Eltis.