Challenges and benefits from the systematic integration of cycling into urban mobility management schemes include:
- Reduced congestion (30% of car trips in Europe are under 3km, and 50% are under 5km – a 15 minute bike ride).
- Improved productivity (less work hours wasted in traffic congestion).
- Reduction of costs for infrastructure (road construction and maintenance) and equipment.
- Lower-carbon footprint (urban transport accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions and 70% of other air pollution).
- Reduced land consumption.
- Public health benefits.
- Fostering of investment and neighbourhood revitalisation.
As a result sustainable regional development can be significantly enhanced for European cities.
CYCLECITIES aims to carry out transfers of experience and exchanges of good practice among European cities, as well as to build up a knowledge capital regarding the integration of cycling into urban mobility management schemes.
The project, aims in particular to:
- Exchange experiences and make available transferable good practices on mobility management and cycling.
- Explore & build consensus on policies contributing to sustainable European mobility management schemes.
- Develop knowledge outcomes supporting the transfer of experiences and establish a European, multilingual, freely-accessible knowledge and experience base.
- Disseminate the field experiences and good practices project results, enhancing awareness on the integration of cycling in cities’ mobility management schemes.
The project CycleCities was provisionally approved in December 2011 (JTS letter to LP on 19 Dec 2011). After the conditions were satisfied, the final approval decision was announced to the LP on 02 March 2012. The PPs were notified immediately and the project implemented its Kick-off meeting on 14 & 15 May 2012 in Piraeus. The Partnership Agreement has been signed by all PPs and the project has fully implemented 8 and partially implemented 1 out of the 13 foreseen outputs.
The CycleCities project already started to influence the local policies on cycling. In Piraeus the city has been engaged in discussions with the tram company to construct new bicycle lanes along with the tramway network, if budget allows. There are discussions with the Piraeus passenger port to set up a bicycle sharing scheme and the local schools to organise an awareness campaign on cycling. The CycleCities project implemented its first Steering Committee meeting in May 2012 in Piraeus, Greece. The partners presented the particular situation of their cities with respect to cycling and agreed on certain administrative procedures and internal deadlines. The partners participated in the SC also discussed the cycling situation in their cities and suggested key issues that would be of interest to their administrations. For example, Merton, UK, suggested that safety is a key issue for cyclists due to an increased number of road casualties. For Piraeus, public private partnerships (PPPs) for the promotion of city-wide bicycle rental schemes and cycling infrastructures are key issues. In Piraeus a lot of construction works is planned due to the new tramway network and the introduction of the metro in the city and therefore the new city planning should integrate cycling as well.
The CycleCities project is also expected to motivate the city administrations involved to test new ideas and adapt some of them as best practices. Also, the public awareness will be increased and it will also trigger the change of relevant policies and the construction of bicycle infrastructures. On that respect the project communication and dissemination strategy and plan was discussed and the respective report was delivered. In particular, Merton developed The CYCLECITIES communication and dissemination plan. The plan formulates, organizes and depicts the communication and dissemination effort of the project CYCLECITIES - European cities for integrating cycling within sustainable mobility management schemes. The plan's basic goal is to promote the following objectives of the project:
- the transfer of experience and exchanges of good practices among European cities, and
- the development of a knowledge capital regarding the integration of cycling into urban mobility strategies.
These objectives have as their end-scope to inform relevant target-groups (e.g. municipalities, ministries, schools and families) about the utility of cycling integration in urban mobility management schemes.
The goals of the communication and dissemination plan are:
- To maximize the influence of CYCLECITIES project to policy-making processes, procedures and individuals (such as educators, commuters, policy markets etc.) regarding the integration of cycling in the urban mobility management schemes.
- To increase the contribution of the CYCLECITIES project and its proposed strategies regarding the integration of cycling in the urban mobility management schemes.
- To enhance the impact of CYCLECITIES project on public perceptions about the integration of cycling in the urban mobility management schemes.