We share some of the lessons from the EUROCITIES mobility forum on ‘inclusive urban mobility’, which took place in Tallinn on 19-21 October 2015.
More than 90 participants from 34 cities attended the forum and the meetings of the working groups on smart city logistics and fleet management, road safety, transport and energy efficiency, barrier-free city for all, Trans-European Transport Networks, and developing a new mobility culture.
During the debates and work sessions we learned that:
- Tallinn is the city of free public transport in the EU. On 1 January 2013, Tallinn became the first EU capital to provide free public transport to citizens who are officially registered as residents. The city has seen a 5% increase in registered population and a €14 million increase in tax income following the introduction of the new measure. The increased tax revenue has allowed for additional investments in the mobility network. The city has benefitted from a 10% rise in passengers on public transport and a 6% drop in car traffic in city centre.
- Flexibility and reconciliation are key to building inclusive cities, according to Lisa Trickett, Birmingham city councillor and vice chair of our mobility forum. Malmo is a successful example of this strategy: the city renovated a street that connects the city centre with a suburb through a holistic approach involving local residents. Besides reducing the barriers between the periphery and the centre, the process has improved quality of life and created job opportunities.
- There are many examples of effective transitions to ‘slow mode’-friendly cities: Among others, Tallinn, Vienna, Lisbon, Oslo, Copenhagen and London have redesigned streets in favour of walking and cycling, as shown in the study ‘Disappearing traffic? The story so far’ (http://bit.ly/1ARad4h). Well-designed and well-implemented schemes to reallocate road space help improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users and have a real impact on liveability and road safety.
- Cities work together to tackle urban road traffic congestion: congestion affects every city to varying degrees, although its definition is not the same everywhere. The measure of performance can be carried out on the basis of excess travel time (speed), excess travel rate, excess public transport waiting time, and excess public transport travel time or journey time reliability. The CREATE project is currently analysing the definition and measurement of congestion in five EUROCITIES members cities (London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna and Paris) and will soon present the initial outcomes.
Our next forum meeting will take place in Münster (Germany) in spring 2016: dates and themes to be confirmed.