Securing mobility in conurbations in a way which is at the same time environmentally and socially compatible and economically efficient, is one of the major challenges of our time.
Six mobility projects launched since autumn 1998 have led to innovation initiatives which prove that, even in conurbations, an efficient transport system on the one hand and protection of the environment, health and safety on the other need not be conflicting objectives.
Work focuses on issues such as strengthening public transport, co-operation between carriers, conservation of the environment and of resources, and support for traffic-reducing structures. Particular objectives include:
- comfortable mobility owing to new mobility services;
- intelligent mobility owing to the efficient use of existing infrastructure;
- more attractive public transport; and
- presentation of background functions for traffic information and control in complex transport processes.
During an initial project period demonstrators are foreseen that undertake testing as part of real traffic operations, thus moving closer to the envisaged sustainable implementation of traffic innovations in the lead project regions.
The 'Mobility In Conurbations' initiative commenced with a public call for proposals in 1997.
Working groups were organised for the purpose of exchanging information and experiences, and representatives from all projects worked together on some common tasks.
The monitoring of progress and the evaluation of project results was organised in a reporting system headed by a steering committee made up of representatives from the projects, the funding institutions, and other public authorities.
The funding rules described here refer to the 'Mobility and Transport' sector programme, which defines the procedures for all related sub-programmes.
Funding is provided for research and development as well as demonstration projects which aim to promote sustainable mobility and contribute to creating an efficient and safe transport system.
The most important ongoing funding activities include the lead projects for improving mobility in conurbations, which develop and demonstrate systems solutions for transport in big cities.
Furthermore funding is provided for project networks to increase the efficiency of freight traffic, to reduce environmental stress caused by traffic, particularly road traffic, and to increase road safety. As mobility and transport take place in a constantly changing social environment, relevant activities will include the interdisciplinary study of the social aspects of individual mobility.
All commercial and non-commercial institutions and individuals are eligible for funding. Depending upon the subject, these include in particular institutions of higher education, non-university research establishments and similar institutions, business enterprises, territorial authorities and associations. In some cases, calls for proposals are addressed to specific groups of potential applicants. The focus is on projects which involve co-operation by several partners who, in an interdisciplinary approach and on the basis of shared responsibility, develop highly innovative solutions for the above-mentioned funding activities and/or try to demonstrate their suitability for practical application and which, by involving or co-operating with science, industry and the planning sector, aim to ensure utilisation of the research results on the broadest possible scale.