The overwhelming scientific consensus is that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and specifically CO2, from human activities will lead to long-term climate change that is likely to exceed the capacity of people and the natural environment to adapt. The transport sector, as a major contributor to CO2 emissions, has the potential to play a significant role in reversing the present trajectory towards permanent changes in climate. Managing emissions from cities is a common challenge faced by major cities across the world, and a challenge that is arguably best responded to at the local level in the context of local circumstances.
CATCH is a project that is developing a knowledge platform to help citizens and practitioners in the move to a low carbon transport system.
The CATCH project concerned the development of a knowledge platform which will become a public information system for mobility related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction advice. The holistic Platform provided travellers, businesses, planners and other mobility stakeholders with the tools to play their part in creating a new mobility culture promoting timely and informed climate-friendly travel choice and policies. The platform enabled travellers to understand the climate change impacts of their choices, and take effective actions to reduce them, and enable policy decision makers to include carbon constraints into their actions.
In order for cities to encourage climate-friendly decision-making among their citizens, they must understand how to present information and knowledge to their citizens, and learn from good and bad examples. These factors provide the backdrop to the CATCH project: climate change, a lack of online mobility-related greenhouse gas reduction advice, travellers uncertainty in existing advice and confusion surrounding where they fit in to the global picture of climate change.
In this context the vision of the CATCH project aimed to become the natural place to look for mobility related GHG reduction advice and information. The objective of CATCH was to develop and disseminate a knowledge platform to increase awareness of the environmental impacts of mobility and potential solutions to their management and to enable travellers to make informed climate-friendly travel choices. It aimed to develop and promote a trusted and credible open knowledge platform targeted primarily at decision-makers in cities.
The Platform included a range of CATCH tools, including a virtual environmental travel assistant, and be driven by the CATCH mobility knowledge engine. The main project activities to achieve this aim were:
- Strong user understanding and user-based design;
- review of the results in previous research, and engagement with existing EU funded projects WISETRIP and i-Travel projects, and the CIVITAS initiative;
- realization of a database of GHG and transportation performance, which interfaces with appropriate emissions-related systems;
- identification and assessment of climate-friendly travel scenarios;
- development, testing and validation of the mobility knowledge engine;
- defined exploitation path and wide dissemination of results through a dedicated internet web site, publications, conferences and workshops.
CATCH will involve 40 cities and global carbon constraint professionals from mobility and related fields. Each city and professional has different experiences and brings new understanding. CATCH is expected results meet the following work programme objectives:
- to guarantee at least neutral impacts on climate change;
- to cover the critical gaps in existing emission information systems
- to apply large scale demonstrations of integrated solutions for cities in Europe, regional and interregional mobility.
The CATCH project developed a knowledge platform and an integrated set of visual tools to inject carbon reduction into the public's and policy maker's decision making. The online and interactive tools of the knowledge platform were developed and designed to:
- Support city stakeholders to develop sustainable transport policies and plan (SUMPs).
- Motivate travellers to adopt sustainable transport choices.
The CATCH Knowledge platform includes the following components:
- CATCH CMS (Content Management System): This application is responsible for creating and managing in the CATCH platform a wide range of content (case studies, image galleries, video testimonials, third party links, etc.), which is organised through a navigation toolbar to let an easy content navigation by categories and co-benefits area. It gives different levels of access to different users according to authentication logic. The CMS is connected to two databases:
- CATCH Best Practice database: This Database stores documents of best cases on sustainable urban transport policies. Users can acquire knowledge about policies, plans, initiatives and results of low carbon successful cities and make comparison with less performing cities.
- GHG Performance database: This database stores a wide range of Transport Performance Indicators (TPIs), estimation of CO2 emissions from road transport, Sustainable Performance (or quality of life) Indicators (SPIs) by co-benefit.
The CATCH Visual Tools consist of two main interactive, motivational and interconnected visual tools enabling users to understand and appreciate the carbon consequences of mobility choices. These tools, namely 'co-benefit tool' (or 'My City tool') and the 'scenario tool' are awareness and advocacy instruments of the CATCH platform which provide a visually appealing interface and navigation experience that promotes a culture of sustainable mobility and triggers motivation to adopt low carbon mobility strategies and habits and support decision makers in designing and implementing plans to reduce carbon emissions.
Co-benefit tool (or My City tool): It explains each co-benefit area and offers the users some interactive functionality to express their views through appealing interfaces and dynamic interactions directly linked to the GHG database. The tool recognises that to best communicate about low-carbon mobility, messages should link to other issues of value as we
The CATCH platform is an on-line tool, enabling users to add, to comment on, share and discuss its data and content. The platform and its tools:
- Provide both empirical and theoretical evidence about carbon, and its effects on human populations and the environment, using a mixture of academic, professional and mass media sources and connects this evidence to methods for individual and collective action.
- Consider the wider benefits of carbon reduction, i.e. the co-benefits.
- Stimulate and engages users by linking understanding to action.
- Include interactive tools to help understand the climate change and wider environmental and societal impacts of transport choices.
- Contain a broad range of original knowledge, and links to other sources.
- Allow users to link to other people to best exploit information and data (under a social network philosophy).
2. Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour: 2.2. Promoting more sustainable behaviour.
Have already been implemented.