The main aim of the Viajeo PLUS project is to identify and define clear implementation strategies for the successful deployment of innovative sustainable urban transport solutions in European, Latin American, and Asian (China and Singapore) cities and in Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), fostering collaboration between these regions on a global scale.
The goal of Viajeo PLUS is to benchmark outstanding solutions for innovative and green urban mobility in Europe, Latin America, China and Singapore and subsequently facilitate the uptake of these solutions across different cities in these regions, and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs).
Over a 36-month timeframe, the Viajeo PLUS consortium will engage with leading European innovative organisations and academic institutes and cooperate with cities across Europe, Latin America, China, Singapore and MPCs to facilitate the sharing of good practices and demonstration of innovative solutions.
The Viajeo PLUS project will:
- Assess current mobility solutions and the potential uptake of different solutions for different scenarios. Through case studies, showcases and capacity building, it will gather key experts in mobility management, clean vehicle, public transport, infrastructure and city logistics, to develop executive plans for the implementation of existing solutions in a new and innovate way;
- Create a new web-based 'Virtual Best Solution' book to facilitate wider uptake of solutions across more cities and regions;
- Organise four individual 'City Mobility Weeks' in Europe, Latin America, China and Singapore respectively. A City Mobility Week consists of showcases, workshops and stakeholder meetings. Through interactive showcases, participants will benefit from gaining first-hand experience of innovative solutions. Participants will exchange knowledge, information and best practice experiences through various workshops and meetings;
- Organise fora in Istanbul to engage stakeholders in MPCs to lay the foundations for future inter-regional cooperation in research and development activities;
- Facilitate a 'twinning cities' programme to allow representatives from cities to experience innovative solutions for future implementation.
Together with SOLUTIONS, Viajeo PLUS will develop recommendations to the EC for future collaboration among cities and for research cooperation initiatives.
The first step for Viajeo PLUS is to identify current practices in urban mobility solutions which will eventually be used for selecting champion solutions. The ultimate goal is to develop a set of innovative and exciting solutions for showcasing and knowledge sharing across the following five topics:
- Innovative Integrated Network Management (WP3)
- Deployment of Clean Vehicle Solutions (WP4)
- Innovative Public Transport Solutions (WP5)
- Enabling Infrastructure (WP6)
- Sustainable Urban Logistics Solutions (WP7)
However, the objective of identifying, analysing and promoting 'Best Solutions' requires a robust reasoning and justification of the choices which are put forward in the final set of solutions. Given the breadth of experience within the consortium alone, a diverse spectrum of potential reference examples already exist and these will be supplemented by external examples, all of which could be taken into the final selection on their own merit.
Despite the endeavours of previous projects, the difficulty of defining what constitutes a 'best' solution remains subject to some debate. Therefore, adapting a previous example set by the NICHES+ project, a procedure is outlined which provides a clearly defined process for gathering information to produce the initial set of solutions, coupled with a robust uptake assessment methodology.
Global perspectives for better urban transport
Exploiting the best sustainable urban transport solutions on the planet and promoting knowledge exchange in the field are expected to lead to a better life for European citizens.
Sustainable urban transport is crucial for raising the standard of living in European cities and the continent's metropolitan areas. The EU-funded http://www.viajeoplus.eu (VIAJEO PLUS) (International coordination for implementation of innovative and efficient urban mobility solutions) project is investigating the best and greenest urban mobility solutions adopted around the world. It is exchanging knowledge and experiences on the topic through workshops, site visits and findings, creating a virtual solution book to facilitate adoption of these solutions.
An important part of this initiative involves cross-learning, where Asia, Europe, Latin America and EU Mediterranean Partner Countries can benefit from each other's best practices and viable solutions. This highlights cutting-edge solutions currently in use and policies being adopted, as well as the latest research and development, helping European industry to strengthen its competiveness within the global marketplace. Future collaboration with cities around the globe is also being planned in this context.
To further sustainable urban transport, the project team is studying five key areas: innovative integrated network management, clean vehicle deployment, innovative public transport, sustainable urban logistics and enabling infrastructure. The project has already established 5 expert groups and has selected from 15 cities worldwide 20 best solutions, which have been integrated in the virtual solution book.
Beyond releasing its virtual book, VIAJEO PLUS has organised several events to further its objectives around the globe. It organised four city mobility weeks in China, Latin America, Singapore and Sweden, featuring workshops, meetings and technical visits. The project also launched two forums on the topic in Turkey, attracting high-level attendees and participants from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the host country.
Other expected project results include several implementation plans for selected solutions and recommendations on future sustainable transport research topics to be pursued under international cooperation. The project's impacts will include better transfer of innovative transport solutions worldwide, enhanced global dialogue among practitioners and policymakers in the field, and contributions to EU policy development. In the long run, efficient and more sustainable urban transport will bring numerous benefits to European citizens, from seamless commuting to a greener environment.