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Country
Geolocation
POINT (5.36978 43.296482)
  • CityMobilNet

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting in September (South East Region of Malta).
    Transnational meetings in February (Bielefeld), April (Zadar) and June (Braga).
    Final event in April (Zadar).

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510

    CONTACT US

    Cities that suffer from congestion, emission loads, social exclusion and, lastly decrease of the quality of life, have gathered in this Action Planning network. The road they have taken to tackle these challenges was the local adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP), a concept for mobility planning that revolutionises traditional planning structures by placing people’s needs, integrated thinking and sustainablility at the centre of future developments. By sharing and addressing challenges of their mobility reality, the cities created a common vision towards identifying suitable measures and actions for the coming years and improving the competencies of all involved stakeholders.

    Co-productive development of sustainable urban mobility plans
    Ref nid
    7519
  • Reducing congestion for a healthier, wealthier city

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    15/11/2022

    Picture 5. Poor people at the centre of the Helmholtz square. Source: Ivan Tosics

    Articles

    Slatina is a city paralysed by traffic. In a 2017 survey, just 8.5% of residents travelled principally by public transport and 0.7% by bicycle, while 48% identified private automobiles as their main mode of travel. Air pollution, noise and a high frequency of accidents are among the most severe consequences. Yet congestion has implications on the local and regional economy too. Companies struggle to move resources through the urban area while consumers are stuck in slow-moving queues. Improving urban mobility has become an urgent priority for reasons of public health, but also to make the city more effective as a commercial and logistic centre.

    Through participation in the URBACT CityMobilNet network, the municipality of Slatina took its first steps in building a more sustainable transport model. “Nobody had even thought about these questions,” says Cristiana Serban, Public Manager at the Slatina City Hall. “What we were proposing was the city’s first ever urban mobility document.” The long-term goal was to develop a formal Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan in order to apply for European funding to kick-start longer-term transformation. Slatina’s main expectation from URBACT was technical assistance in designing a plan, but also support in pitching the project.

    Identifying problems and solutions with a huge local group

    After joining URBACT, the city set up a group of local stakeholders (URBACT Local Group) with the specific task of brainstorming towards the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Far larger than expected, it gathered 97 people, from public officials in roads and transport, to security services, educational representatives, NGOs and the media. It also included local and international businesses whose operations would benefit from improved transport.

     

    "We were particularly surprised by the number of citizens who chose to take part,” says Ms Serban. “We had several non-specialists that came and participated in every single meeting.

    The size and diversity of the group resulted in a broad identification of problems, yet this also brought challenges for rationalising the data. Using URBACT-recommended techniques, like defining problems (causes and consequences), learnt at transnational workshops with the CityMobilNet partner cities, the URBACT Local Group was able to identify shared grievances across different groups of stakeholders. This enabled them to create a full picture of the problems at hand. “We usually don't get the community point of view, just their reaction after enforcing measures,” says Claudiu Dascalu, Head of the city’s Street, Parking and Lighting Department. “URBACT was different. From my perspective, working with the people in the URBACT Local Group proved that good ideas can come from everywhere and not necessarily from specialists. These were effective meetings that resulted in a comprehensive set of actions.

    Educating the public

    After months of preparation the municipality gathered the proposed actions together as part of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, which was completed ahead of schedule in October 2017. Among other things, the document outlined a strategy to improve the road system and open new bike lanes. Its priority, however, was to modernise public transport. Plans were outlined and costed for a fleet of hybrid buses, free wifi at all stops and a new transport management system. The municipality was able to secure regional operational programme funding of EUR 19 774 100 (article 5 of EU regulation on urban mobility) and is now working to implement the ambitious strategy.

     

    “The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is in full gear,” confirms Birin Adrian-Ciprian, Head of the Urban Planning Department of Slatina. “We’ve met with engineers, with road and mobility specialists to shape bike lanes and the public transport system. We are taking all the necessary steps to implement the measures identified by the stakeholders.” According to projections from the municipality the implementation of the strategy should see a notable reduction in CO 2 levels, and a healthier, more environmentally friendly city. The minimum ambition is to double public transport use to 16% in the next decade — a modest target but one that would pave the way for further changes in the future.

    Traffic solutions transferred from partner cities

    The impact of CityMobilNet did not begin and end with the mobility plan. The immediate need to reduce congestion will be aided by the construction of a central control room, where different traffic models can be integrated. This initiative was based on an example from partners in Aix- Marseille-Provence (FR). Slatina has also set up a project promoting walking to school, based on a successful practice shared by Bielefeld (DE). This is part of a more general effort to shift public attitudes to mobility through educational and cultural intervention. “Working with URBACT was a breath of fresh air,” concludes Ms Serban, “we are used to thinking about mobility through national and local bureaucracy, but in this network we were inspired by soft measures to support our work. CityMobilNet really helped us speed things along.

    ***

    You can find the Cities in Action - Stories of Change publication just here.

    Network
    From urbact
    On
    Ref nid
    11800
  • How mobility becomes an integrated part of our city development

    Copy linkFacebookXLinkedInEmail
    15/11/2022

    Right before the start of this year’s URBACT City Festival in Lisbon I found myself sitting at the waterfront at Praça do Comércio, enjoying the atmosphere with people and boats passing by. Later, I discovered this beautiful area around Largo Corpo Santo and Porta do Mar, just a few minutes walk from Praça do Comércio, too. I was surprised to learn during the festival workshops that just a few years ago, my perception of Lisbon’s urban spaces would have been very different. Where people now meet and linger, cars were parked – far from creating a charming atmosphere! So, what happened over the years? asks Claus Kollinger

    Planning for people and not for vehicles – how urban mobility becomes an integrated part of our city development

    Shift in planning – or “cars evaporate!”

    Articles

    Lisbon (PT) is seeing a paradigm shift in urban space use. Public space is no longer seen as an asset for car traffic on a large scale. Instead, it is dedicated to a multitude of use embracing transport with more sustainable mobility options.

    “Cars evaporate” is what Prof. Tiago Farias told us at the City Festival workshop dedicated to urban mobility planning. Lisbon’s recent and longer term experience prove him right. And, Lisbon is not alone in its endeavour to take traffic out of the urban space to create a more liveable city. More and more cities in Europe are turning their transport planning approach on its head – abandoning the idea of providing space to growing traffic volumes in favour of putting the actual city’s and citizens’ needs at the centre of development.

    Planning for people and with people

    The idea of putting people at the centre of urban mobility planning emerged with the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) concept over the last ten years across Europe. Now, it is a success story thanks to an integrated planning approach to urban mobility development. The SUMP concept innovates transport planning in a range of areas, like putting emphasis on accessibility for all, quality of life and supporting cleaner transport options. They place mobility in the frame of the city ‘s very fabric, cooperating with diverse sectors and within overall development goals. They do not stop at city limits but consider commuting in and out too. They cater for goods and people’s movement employing all available transport services. But most of all, they apply an integrated planning approach involving citizens and all concerned stakeholders to truly plan for people with people.

    SUMPS mean a giant leap in transport planning. While transport planning focused on providing space for the emergence of cars during the last century and then saw the re-emergence of public transport and cycling, SUMPs now seek to answer the needs of a complex dynamic of societal, economic and technological changes cities are facing thanks to a well-structured planning process. They identify the current state of play connected to existing challenges, looking at future development pathways to create a development vision and select fitting priorities and actions to this vision. The plan details resources, responsibilities, timelines as well as monitoring and evaluating schemes. SUMPs are the blueprint of a comprehensive policy for urban mobility development. But as is often the case, the step from theory to practice is the hardest one, how do we match the SUMP idea with life in cities?

    Many roads lead to Rome

     

    This challenge was at the heart of URBACT’s CityMobilNet network. Facing 11 different locations, conditions and development histories, it quickly became clear that there is no “one-fits-all” solution at hand. The diversity ranged from small cities of 15.000 inhabitants to larger metropolis of more than half a million, from experienced SUMP practitioners to complete newcomers, from mobility cultures valuing public transport to cycling or walking dominated cities - as well as centralised planning traditions to participation practitioners... The network partners needed to apply solutions tailored to their local conditions for their SUMP development.

    Where to start?

    Identifying the right problem turned out to be crucial. The City of Slatina (RO) worked with the interlinkage of effects and causes and involved the entire URBACT Local Group: 97 people from public officials, security services, educational representatives, NGOs, local and international businesses and the media. The novelty was in quality and quantity of the community point of view received and integrated to the problem description. For Slatina, working methodologically at identifying the city’s problem jointly with the city society proved a new and positive experience.

    The Greek city of Agii Anargyri & Kamatero (GR) took another road by approaching the problems and challenges from the view of children and families. The local team went back to school and talked with pupils, teachers and parents to identify their mobility related needs and challenges. Starting with schools, they could map the requirements to accommodate the mobility needs of local families.

    The town of Morne-a-l’Eau (FR) again based the start of their SUMP development on well-existing resources: work groups, objectives and knowledge out of the Local Agenda 21 process, especially in relation to the town’s plan for its eco-quartier. Taken from there, the necessities to develop a sustainable urban mobility scheme for Morne-a-l’Eau were developed jointly with the local stakeholders and citizens.

    Going step by step or taking it all at once?

    The actual planning process took different formats in the network cities, too. In Gdansk (PO), the technical topics of urban mobility were processed one by one, starting with the most eminent challenge of parking space management and then continuing to public transport, cycling and other areas of urban mobility. The local CityMobilNet partner employed a large set of workshops for this step-by-step approach always involving a core group to all topics and extending it to interested persons and concerned stakeholders. Political buy-in was taken care of by presenting to the group of Vice Mayors and thorough citizen involvement by going to the city districts focussing on people’s needs and concerns there.

    The City of Bielefeld (DE) contrasts to Gdansk by taking a global view of planning urban mobility. Here, a careful analysis of the entire mobility network and services was put in place including a

    survey on current mobility choices and behaviour used to create a detailed picture ranging from city-wide to single locality challenges. The Bielefeld URBACT Local Group elaborated the global vision and six priorities out of this covering all aspects of relevance to Bielefeld’s urban mobility development. The policy field cross-connecting nature of a SUMP is clearly visible by the choice in priorities: “liveable city and road space”. Bielefeld continued its global approach by applying a “Future Workshop” to establish actions and measure packages to the vision and priorities: stakeholders from Bielefeld, but as well outside the area worked with maps, statistics and the pre-work results gathering knowledge as well as the opinions of cyclists, automobile-federations, public transport bodies, teachers, doctors and police personnel. Another speciality of Bielefeld’s comprehensive planning process was to continuously include all political parties present in the city council on the progress and the next steps of the planning process.

    Bottom-up and “top-down”?

    Does size matter? The clear answer from the CityMobilNet network is “yes”, since it directly impacts conditions and opportunities at hand. The Metropole Aix Marseille Provence (FR) had the task of breaking down its regional sustainable mobility strategy – the regional SUMP –  detailing the local level. Acting as the responsible planning and implementation entity for the mobility development in their area, the Metropole employed local knowledge and needs of Cassis, La Ciotat and Ceyreste to design the future urban mobility network and services in these municipalities. They needed to align the regional objectives to the diverse local conditions of a tourist destination, a former shipyard town and a residential dominated community. Local knowledge and positions were key to come up with fitting measures for the areas by the supra-local administration of a Metropole.

    The South East Region of Malta (MA) used a very much “bottom-up” approach for its planning process including direct talks with citizens and stakeholders of the many local regional councils to establish the picture of mobility development needs. Engaged local politicians employed their local networks to virtually include all interested persons in problem analysis and solution development. It is best to talk to people directly to learn what they need and then think about it, is what local politicians like Lawrance Attard stressed. This open-minded policy of citizen participation works by keeping council meetings public – by physical presence or online streaming.

    Don’t be afraid to go your own way

    Applying the SUMP concept and process is very much worthwhile for any town and city. But, towns and cities have different local backgrounds and capacities and might not be used to run a complex integrated planning process. Here are some tips for the journey ahead:

    • Make it fit

    Don’t be afraid to tailor the concept and process to your local conditions. The product of the planning process needs to suit your city development. Stick to the SUMP concept and process, but not at any cost.

    • Sharing is caring

    Exchange with other cities and look for others’ practise examples and experiences. Useful online resources are the ELTIS section on Urban Mobility Plans, the SUMP Network website and the Civitas Initiative.

    • Identify issues

    Take care and time to identify the problems at hand as done by Slatina involving stakeholders and citizens on assessing problems, causes and effects.

    • Communicate with stakeholders

    Take care of participation and be clear on which role stakeholders and citizens should take in your case. Should they be sources of ideas, concerns and opinions? Or advisors? Or decision makers having a say? They are clearly a valuable resource to involve but be clear in communication! Urban mobility is a complex topic with many interrelations and specialist knowledge at hand. Stakeholders and citizen need to understand what they are discussing and working on.

     

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