Cleaner and better transport in cities – about the CIVITAS Initiative
Through its various policies and funding of projects, the European Commission is committed to deliver cleaner and better urban transport in Europe and beyond. With over 60% of EU citizens living in urban areas of over 10,000 inhabitants, urban mobility has become a topic of utmost importance.
Since it was launched by the European Commission in 2002, the CIVITAS Initiative has been a key component of the EC’s urban mobility agenda. The EC’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport has been funding the CIVITAS Initiative from the beginning, with CIVITAS 2020 marking its fifth phase.
In the last fifteen years CIVITAS Initiative has tested and implemented over 800 measures and urban transport solutions as part of demonstration projects in more than 80 Living Lab cities Europe-wide. The knowledge garnered through these practical experiences is complemented and supported by a number of research and innovation projects aiming to build a more resource efficient and competitive transport system in Europe. CIVITAS H2020 projects are the following:
• ECCENTRIC focuses on sustainable mobility in suburban districts and innovative urban freight logistics
• PORTIS tests innovative and sustainable urban mobility solutions in five European port cities
• DESTINATIONS builds up an integrated approach to address mobility and tourism, testing balanced strategies to face the rising challenges of these two growing sectors and to achieve sustainable development and a better quality of life in six European touristic sites.
Within CIVITAS, ten thematic categories of measures have been identified as the basic building blocks of an integrated strategy for sustainable mobility: Car-Independent Lifestyles, Clean Fuels & Vehicles, Collective Passenger Transport, Demand Management Strategies, Integrated Planning, Mobility Management, Public Involvement, Safety & Security, Transport Telematics, Urban Freight Logistics. These building blocks can be used to help put in place a planning framework, develop political involvement and establish partnerships.
CIVITAS offers practitioners opportunities to see innovative transport solutions being developed and deployed first-hand, and learn from peers and experts working in the field. CIVITAS nurtures political commitment, new marketable solutions, and offers funding and knowledge exchange with a view to creating growth and better connected, more sustainable transport modes. In addition, the initiative helps cities to test and develop an integrated set of measures for sustainable urban mobility. It is the integrative approach based on innovation, collaboration, research and results-orientation that sets CIVITAS apart.
Beside the projects, other initiatives are implemented in the framework of CIVITAS. CIVITAS Forum is a yearly conference for transport practitioners, policy makers, and academics from across Europe. Under the banner of “Small Communities, Big Ideas”, this year’s CIVITAS Forum – took place 27-29th September in Torres Vedras, Portugal – proved that size is no limit to innovation in sustainable urban mobility. Besides, CIVITAS Awards are opportunities to highlight the most ambitious, innovative and successful efforts in the field of sustainable urban mobility. Winners are showcased as examples of excellence before the press with the hope that they can guide and stimulate cities throughout Europe in the pursuit of sustainable mobility.
More information about the initiative is available here: http://civitas.eu/.