Mobility Management in the CIVITAS Initiative
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Dear reader,

A few weeks ago, European cities and mobility professionals gathered in Brest for the annual CIVITAS Forum Conference. At the same time, the CIVITAS Initiative also launched their completely renewed website. As we will demonstrate in this e-update, mobility management is a central part of the work that has been done in CIVITAS over the past decade. Time to zoom in on this programme by cities for cities, and on the wealth of knowledge and experience on mobility management gained by the cities involved.


Ten years of CIVITAS

The CIVITAS Initiative is an EU programme (FP7) that helps cities to test and develop an integrated set of measures for sustainable urban mobility. It was launched in 2002 and has since then funded over 60 European cities. Three rounds of 4-year projects have been concluded, and the fourth is ongoing as we speak. In 2012, the Initiative looked back on 10 years of CIVITAS and surveyed several CIVITAS cities about the benefits of their involvement in the programme. Interestingly, “mobility planning and marketing” was rated as the most useful CIVITAS theme for cities, followed by real-time user information. Carpooling and car sharing was among the top 5 themes. And indeed, if we look at the number of measures conducted within CIVITAS, Mobility Management represents the most popular category of measures (and probably only a fraction of the total budget).

The strength of the CIVITAS Initiative is their focus on an integrated planning approach towards all modes and forms of transport in their cities. In the call for the current phase of CIVITAS projects, having a SUMP under development or in place was even a basic requirement for all applying cities. CIVITAS has identified eight building blocks or themes as the basic ingredients for any integrated strategy for sustainable urban mobility. Each city chooses a set of mobility solutions from these building blocks according to their local priorities. For the EPOMM audience the most relevant CIVITAS themes are mobility management (marketing, mobility planning and public involvement - see the thematic video) and car-independent lifestyles (bike sharing, car sharing, carpooling - see the thematic video).


Creative marketing

Source: - j.kudelski/

In the first ten years, CIVITAS cities have realised 125 mobility management measures and 49 car-independent lifestyles measures. Especially the collection of mobility marketing initiatives shows some very creative solutions to promote sustainable mobility solutions. For instance:

  • The city of Ljubljana (SI) did not advertise their new bike sharing scheme Bicikelj by hanging posters in the streets, but by placing the actual bikes themselves in the streetscape. And their fashionable Bicikelj t-shirts are sure to win every hard-core car driver over!
  • In Zagreb, a funny video to instruct the elderly on safe use of public transport featured the elderly lady Vlatka, who knows exactly how to behave on the bus, and the clumsy attempts of pensioner Alojz to do the same.
  • The city of Tallinn (EE) made public transport more attractive by cheering up one of their bus lines with "knitting graffiti".
  • Gdansk (PL) and Ghent (BE) showed beautiful pictures of ordinary people on bicycles in their Cycle Chic campaigns.
  • Several cities also created a public transport brand, like the Overground in Preston (UK) or even a more comprehensive mobility brand, like Accessible Utrecht (NL) or Yélo in La Rochelle (FR).

Shared mobility

Car pooling is a difficult service to launch. The city of Stuttgart (DE) managed to have their local sports club VfB promote a new carpool matching service for large events such as soccer games. Several 100,000s of people vistited the car-pooling portal every year. The city of Perugia (IT) developed a new prototype gate to close off parking lots reserved for car poolers. This gate detects how many people are in a car and only opens for vehicles with three or more passengers.

The city of Utrecht (NL) launched a targeted campaign for car sharing in certain neighbourhoods, based on a segmentation market research involving 1,000 potential car share users. The visually attractive campaign website allows visitors to check if car sharing would be profitable for them and offers discounts for the various car sharing services in Utrecht. People can also indicate on an interactive map where they would like to have a car-sharing station.



Each year, on official CIVITAS Awards Ceremony is held at the annual CIVITAS Forum Conference. This year’s CIVITAS city of the year Award went to Funchal (PT). They were applauded for integrating their bike and bus system, and for producing a "tourist kit" that allows hotels to sell their own hotel-branded bus tickets for the newly created and carefully branded Green Line. Another nice example of integration of modes, is the city of Szczecinek (PL). They placed bicycle and rickshaw rental stations close to the stops of their water tram and water taxi.


Mobility planning 2.0

The current phase of CIVITAS only involves eight cities, grouped in two projects. The CIVITAS DYN@MO cities – Aachen (DE), Gdynia (PL), Koprivnica (HR) and Palma (ES) – are developing interactive online communication platforms to make the sustainable mobility planning process truly dynamic, with instantaneous feedback from citizens and other stakeholders, and based on geo-referenced traffic models. Important topics addressed in the 2MOVE2 project - Brno (CZ), Málaga (ES), Stuttgart (DE) and Tel Aviv-Yafo (Israel) – are the promotion of non-motorised mobility and public transport, as well as the enhancement of mobility information services for companies and citizens.


Collaboration and networking

Just elected: the CIVINET-D board

Numerous support actions have been supporting the CIVITAS cities and sharing the knowledge they acquired, through training, study visits, publications, an annual CIVITAS Forum Conference, a CIVITAS Award programme and so on. In order to boost the transfer of CIVITAS know-how to other cities and professionals, the CIVITAS Initiative is in the process of constructing an online Cooperation Platform. The results of this online collaboration process will feed into a knowledge base capitalising the results of CIVITAS projects.

"Learning from one another – supporting one another" is the CIVITAS moto. That is why more than 200 European cities have joined the demonstration cities in a pan-European CIVITAS Forum Network. To facilitate the mutual learning process, there are also several local-language networks called CIVINET. The most recent was the foundation of the CIVINET for the German language area begin November in Frankfurt. More CIVINETs will be founded in the course of the next years. The national SUMP networks to be created in EPOMM’s ENDURANCE project will obviously work in synergy with these existing or emerging CIVINETs.


Further reading


More resources can be found in the CIVITAS Resource Centre.


Upcoming events

For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.

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