CIVITAS celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022 with a review and evaluation of its most recent 35 projects. The evaluation was undertaken over the summer of 2022 in the context of CIVITAS ELEVATE – the project coordinating the CIVITAS Initiative - and focused on the results of 35 CIVITAS projects that have been implemented over the past 10 years. The conclusions of this extensive analysis are now available online.
The achievements of the 35 projects have been systematically analysed and presented in 5 thematic groups:
- Supporting the development of SUMPs;
- Co-creating liveable neighbourhoods;
- Boosting innovation and new technologies;
- Tackling congestion;
- Improving freight management and goods distribution.
The purpose of the evaluation was to identify the impacts of these projects. CIVITAS projects generate unique resources and learnings, as well as identifying knowledge gaps and recommendations, through collaboration between stakeholders. By systematically analysing the results of these projects together, the CIVITAS ELEVATE publication showcases the lessons learned, tools used and important insights, thus making the knowledge that has been acquired over the past 10 years available in one place and so making it more visible.
Gathering insights from so many projects was challenging, given that some of the projects ended in 2016, and therefore some of the project websites were not up to date. Therefore, ELEVATE reviewed and evaluated as much of the material generated by the projects as it could, by analysing their websites and public deliverables. With this material, it produced a descriptive fiche for each project. After this, in June 2022, several online thematic workshops were held, which examined the key results and progress, as well as making comparisons across projects. This helped to identify gaps for each thematic group. All of these learnings were integrated with the results of interviews and bilateral meetings with project coordinators. Lastly, the accomplishments identified through this process were enhanced and validated using the results from ongoing ELEVATE evaluation work.
The evaluation concluded that CIVITAS has successfully been investigating and implementing projects that improve urban mobility all over the EU. They have been increasing knowledge sharing and exchanging best practices, as well as identifying and creating synergies. Living labs have supported cities in implementing projects and integrating innovative solutions into their daily operation, even after the conclusion of projects.
CIVITAS projects have also helped to increase the applicability and understanding of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), with an increasing focus on inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, data, financial support and co-creation. Co-creation activities in these projects in particular have been identified as crucial in tackling the climate crisis at the local level. The important role of technological changes as part of today's and tomorrow’s urban mobility planning was also underlined.
Projects embracing co-creation are more likely to contribute to facilitating the transition towards a more sustainable and equal future, as they raise consciousness about the challenges we are facing. However, technological solutions are still often questioned by residents. For this reason, future projects could focus on more acceptable innovative technology, such as low-key and low-tech solutions.
Given its achievements, it will be important to share the legacy generated by the CIVITAS initiative further at the local and EU levels, as the results provide valuable insights that support the transition to sustainable urban mobility.
For more information, the publication is available at: https://civitas.eu/resources/review-and-evaluation-of-the-latest-civitas-achievements.
Original article published by civitas.eu on 11 October 2022.
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