EPOMM e-update January 2014
  Language:   en | cz | de | fr | it
ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive
tweet share on facebook

Dear reader,

Mobility management (MM) is spreading. More and more countries are applying MM, more and more projects are started. But where do you start as a city, municipality, region or country that has little experience with MM? For the start of the New Year, we provide some advice and show how authorities in Europe introduced MM in their policies and practices.


Use traditions

Several cities in new member states had a substantial walking, cycling, or public transport tradition, but now face the threat of increasing car traffic. The city of Shkodra, Albania, for example has a modal split that many cities can only dream of: more than 70% of the trips during a week are made by bicycle and on foot. Street space is still largely shared by cars, cycles and pedestrians. From 2001 to 2009 however, the number of registered cars in the Shkodra Region more than doubled (from 8,790 to 18,800) and car use in the Shkodra town centre has most likely tripled in one decade. The cycling tradition is a great asset they can use in their mobility management efforts. The recently finalised EU project Mobalb was set up between Shkodra and Flanders to prepare the staff of Shkodra municipality to use mobility management measures to maintain the city’s identity as a cycling city and reverse the trend of growing car use.

So it is not a necessity to first build car infrastructure and then start with MM. However, to be able to change behaviour, it is a necessity that good alternatives to the car exist: public transport, cycle paths and lanes, old and new shared space zones, pedestrianised zones and good walking infrastructure.


Start with sites

When the Netherlands started with MM in 1986, the primary focus was to reduce car use in business travel and commuting for specific workplaces. The success of the company travel plans – a 20 to 30 percent decrease in car use – led to a more structural place for MM in transport policies. Similarly, in 1995, some employers, government agencies and hospitals in the UK started company transport planning (green commuter plans). The success at these sites rapidly spread to other site types: schools, airports and recreational venues.

Schools and workplaces are ideal places to start with when introducing MM. They account for up to 60% of everyday trips. These trips mostly follow the same route and timing every day, making it relatively easy to change modes. These institutions also have the communication channels and the authority to address all members of their community. Convincing them to participate can sometimes be hard. National level support can help. In Germany, the notion was introduced on a national level that each entity (company, school, administration, etc.) is responsible for traffic it generates.


Start with a small budget

Taking schools as a starting point, the city of Fagaras, Romania, developed a small-scale project as part of a TRANSPORT LEARNING training event and with continuous guidance and advice of the TRANSPORT LEARNING trainers. The resulting I walk to school campaign turned out to be one of the most successful mini-projects developed by the participants of the 64 TRANSPORT LEARNING training events. It comprised:

  • a Traffic Snake Game (involving 500 kindergarten children and 2,000 school students)
  • a walking bus (involving 500 secondary schools students and 200 high school students)

The initiative drew considerable local media attention (see this television news item in Romanian). Some of the schools have continued these actions after the official closure of the campaigns.

The EU project TRANSPORT LEARNING (2011-2013) supported employees of municipalities to develop better solutions for urban transport systems. The training materials (handbooks and presentation slides in nine languages) are now accessible and free for everybody.


Do-it-yourself: apply it at your own municipality

CIVITAS – Aalborg Source: www.civitas.eu

Probably the best way to get local stakeholders involved is by setting a good example. So why not start with one’s own municipal employees? Introducing car pooling, sharing the municipal fleet with residents after office hours, having a pool of bicycles for work-related trips: by experiencing it for themselves, municipalities are better placed to promote these practices in their territory. Some examples of successful initiatives of small cities and towns in Sweden can be found here. In the Municipality of Växjö, for instance, the departments must pay € 11 (100 Swedish Kronor (SEK)) to an internal climate fund for every ton of CO2 they emit. In the first year, this fund raised € 45,000. All municipal departments and companies can apply to the fund to support innovative climate projects.


Make sustainable mobility visible

Source: CIVITAS Zagreb

MM is about changing people’s mindsets towards sustainable mobility and healthy living environments. MM measures that are visible in the streetscape raise awareness of the mobility issue among citizens.

Germany started its MM 1991 by opening mobility centres in Hameln and Frankfurt, which informed travellers about sustainable transport. The CIVITAS city of Zagreb, Croatia, refurbished an old tram vehicle into an Info Point where citizens were continuously informed about the CIVITAS measures in their neighbourhood and their comments and feedback were collected (see the CIVITAS Toolkit on effective communications and marketing, p. 24-25). In several CIVITAS cities, CIVITAS became a brand uniting many sustainable mobility efforts in the city for the public to see. European Mobility Week is another very popular instrument to activate and unite local stakeholders and raise public awareness on sustainable mobility.


Use other measures and policy goals as leverage

CIVITAS Source: www.civitas.eu

Another way to introduce MM is to use it to improve commonly accepted ‘hard’ measures such as new infrastructure. In the Netherlands for instance, mobility management gained a lot of support during large-scale roadworks for two orbital roads near Amsterdam. Hindrance was kept marginal, via an effective packaging of measures. This resulted in a new ‘belief ’ in mobility management. Today, the national road authority Rijkswaterstaat has fully incorporated mobility management in large-scale road construction and maintenance projects. (read more in the EPOMM book)

If an authority is already committed to preventing climate change through rational energy use (e.g. Covenant of Mayors) or to health improvement (see the ENDURANCE e-update on Health), MM can be inserted in these plans.



Source: www.eltis.org

So far, 11 European countries have joined EPOMM to promote MM in their territories

As the EPOMM’s 2012 EU Mobility Management Monitor (p.6) shows, many countries still struggle with the definition of mobility management and the translation of the term into their local language. Some countries use a different name: travel planning, smart travel, sustainable mobility or green travel. Moreover, MM is the responsibility of anywhere between one and four or five different Ministries, depending on the country. While creating confusion, this illustrates the relevance of MM in many matters of national importance, such as transport, environment, infrastructure, and health, to name a few.

Many advocates of MM in starter countries or starter cities have to deal with politicians with a primary focus on car traffic, land-use developments that promote car use, and adverse regulation and taxation systems such as high rates of reimbursement for car commuting, tax benefits for company cars, or obligatory provision of parking spaces. Proving the great cost-effectiveness of MM remains a challenge, in spite of the growing evidence: see for instance Mobiel 21’s presentation at the ECOMM 2013 or the UK brochure Soft measures – hard facts.

Countries with mobility management on their national agendas are often in the forefront. In most countries, mobility management is primarily a matter for regions and municipalities. Very often, the best performing countries are the ones supported by an efficient and clear programme. The national government becoming member of EPOMM is an important step to get MM mainstreamed in your country and to gain immediate access to knowledge exchange and know-how of experienced countries. As an appetizer, the recently published EPOMM book presents many best practices of the 11 EPOMM member countries.


Get connected

Source: www.civitas.eu

Starting with simple stand-alone measures is one way to gain experience with MM and introduce the concept of sustainable mobility in your town or city. At a given point however, MM should be integrated as an essential part of local mobility policies, preferably in a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP).

Obviously, there is no need to invent the wheel all over again. There are plenty of ways to learn from other experienced cities, regions and countries:


Upcoming events


For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.

ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive