CATCH_MR will explore and adapt sustainable transport solutions for metropolises and their regions. 12 partners will take part in the project, representing 7 Metropolitan Regions (MRs): Oslo/Akershus (NO), Gothenburg Region (SE), Berlin-Brandenburg (GE), Vienna/Lower Austria (AU), Ljubljana Urban Region (SL), Budapest/Central Hungarian Region (H), Province of Rome/Lazio Region (I).
Efficient, reliable and sustainable transport is a key precondition for economic growth. This is a major challenge for MRs. As major transport-nodes, the MRs handle large volumes of local, regional and international traffic. At the same time, the MRs are strongly aware of the urgency to develop patterns and forms of transport which have less impact on the environment. The overall objective for CATCH_MR is to promote sustainable transport solutions across whole MRs. This means both reducing transport needs without impairing mobility, and increasing the share of environmentally friendly transport.
The partners intend to work systematically towards this goal through three consecutive sub-objectives:
- Reducing the need to travel within the regions through coordinating transport and land-use.
- Increasing the share of public transport.
- Increasing use of renewable energy in transport.
The partners aim to work towards these objectives by identifying and promoting good practice by:
- Understanding urban sprawl and achieving new planning solutions.
- Promoting public transport by new frameworks (eg. incentives and disincentives).
- Promoting the substitution of fossil-based fuel with affordable technology and the necessary infrastructure.
- Connecting regional and metropolitan transport policies (through governance, joint funding & implementation).
These fields are strongly interdependent and should not be addressed in isolation. In the partners’ view, better solutions for the MRs as whole can be achieved through integrated approaches involving both the cities and their surrounding regions.
The core activities will be seven peer workshops and exchange visits. Each MR will host a workshop and address topics where they have particular knowledge and experience. The hosting region will be supported in each case by 2 other MRs. Practical experience will be presented and discussed at each workshop, examples of good practice highlighted, and policy advice developed. Recommendations may be generally applicable, or adapted to suite specific situations in each MR.
12 partners from the Metropolitan Regions of the Capital Region Berlin Brandenburg (Lead Partner), Oslo/Akershus, Gothenburg, Vienna Metropolitan Region, Central Hungary, Ljubljana Urban Region and the Province of Rome cooperate in the INTERREG IV C project Catch-MR, which is implemented from 01/2010 until 12/2012.
The project aims at the improvement of the quality of life and the competitiveness of the participating Metropolitan Regions through the strengthening of efficient and environmentally-friendly passenger transport services. The partners exchange experiences about good models of sustainable land use and transport development and investigate their transferability.
Key questions are:
- How can passenger transport between metropolis and its surrounding region be reduced without restricting mobility?
- How do alternatives to an own car become attractive?
- How can the portion of environmentally-friendly technologies be increased in the field of transport?
Since March 2010 the partners of Catch-MR realised seven thematic workshops. The first and second workshop focused on the topic of "Transport and land use planning": "Achieving new planning solutions" in June 2010 in Gothenburg and "Understanding urban sprawl" in September/October 2010 in Vienna/Lower Austria. The third and fourth workshop focused on the topic of "Encouraging more use of public transport": "Intermodality, Park+Ride" in November 2010 in Budapest and "Charging road users" in March 2011 in Oslo/Akershus.
As result of these workshops 15 good practices were identified, and the most relevant ones were delivered to the IVC good practice database. The fifth and sixth workshop focused on the topic of "Renewable energy in transport": "Affordable technology" in September 2011 in Rome/Lazio and "Developing the infrastructure" in March 2012 in Berlin-Brandenburg. As result of these workshops 9 good practices were identified: (1) Electric cars and their privileges in Oslo/Akershus (2) Electric feeder bus using induction technology in Gothenburg (3) BeMobility platform for integrated mobility in Berlin-Brandenburg (4) Biogas from waste for public transport and (5) different technologies in sustainable mobility in Rome (6) Introduction of innovative technologies in bus fleet in Oslo/Akershus (7) Intermodal traveller information in Vienna/Lower Austria (8) GE Biogas Vision in Gothenburg (9) Hybrid energy plant and power storage in the gas grid in Berlin-Brandenburg.
Each of the workshops was accompanied by site visits, which provided insights into the local conditions e.g. regarding the regional management of land use, the problems of intermodality in post-socialist urban environments or demonstration projects for the use of renewable energy. With the seventh workshop on the topic of "Connecting local and regional policies" in May 2012 in Ljubljana the partners entered into the final phase of the project, aimed at the collection and evaluation of results of the exchange of experiences and the preparation of the final publication. Activities aimed at communication and dissemination were continued through the organisation of dissemination workshops with local stakeholders in Vienna/Lower Austria and Ljubljana. The next editions of the newsletter were published, and a presentation was held at the Annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in February 2012 in New York. A joint series of scientific articles was published in the Regions magazine.
The next - and final - event will be the final conference of the project on 15 November 2012 in Rome, focusing on "Efficient and sustainable mobility in Metropolitan Regions".
For more information please take a look at the website www.catch-mr.eu.