CIVITAS-ELAN is a project of strategic importance to its partners and funding institutions. The mayors of the cities of Ljubljana, Gent, Zagreb, Brno and Porto have agreed to a common mission statement “To ‘mobilise’ our citizens working with them to develop clean mobility solutions for vital cities, ensuring health and access for all.”
The five cities co-operate in the CIVITAS Programme on the basis of a clear set of common objectives, based on the principle of “putting the citizen first”. The focus on citizen participation has been engrained in the work plan of many measures.
For each of the CIVITAS policy fields, a common set of headline objectives and corresponding project goals have been agreed, and the cities have developed a programme of 68 measures.
The project consortium is extremely experienced, some partners were involved in CIVITAS I and II from various perspectives. The consortium has defined a highly integrated workplan with common measures and a range of other cooperation and exchange arrangements.
The ELAN cities are representative of a growing number of dynamic, large or medium-sized national and regional centres with a strong cultural background.
As encouraged by the CIVITAS Plus call, a city from the New Member States (NMS) (Ljubljana) is the project coordinator. The other city from an NMS country is Brno - a learning city in the CIVITAS-ELAN project. In addition, Zagreb - a leading city within CIVITAS-ELAN - is from a candidate country thus integrating the CIVITAS initiative in the enlargement process. The workplan addresses topics of specific interest to cities in the NMS.
This financial commitment is based on a strong political will, a factor that will be recognised as a major actor of sustainable development policy in Europe.
As a policy-driven project, CIVITAS-ELAN will make significant contributions to major global, EU and national policy processes. Impact and process evaluation have a prominent role in the workplan. In responding to citizens’ needs, CIVITAS-ELAN has identified 18 common headline objectives for each CIVITAS policy field:
- Increasing energy efficiency
- Using alternative fuels
- Cleaning up vehicle fleets (electric, hybrid, integrated strategies)
- Implementing effective, high quality mobility solutions
- Planning intermodal infrastructure with public participation
- Charging for access
- Managing public space and
The measures of CIVITAS ELAN are expected to have significant impact in solving the problems of:
- congestion and related pollution as most crucial problems
- other issues including climate change, energy consumption, noise, public transport quality and pressure on space.
- improving public transport quality (especially demanded by citizens)
- increasing the share of walking and cycling
- supporting freight innovative delivery solutions
- implementing innovative demand management
- using of clean and energy-efficient vehicles.
The idea of the four common measures in CIVITAS-ELAN is to have intensive cooperation on topics of strategic importance, going beyond the exchange in other fields. The following are the CIVITAS-ELAN common measures:
- Energy management of public fleets (led by the City of Gent)
- Participatory intermodal infrastructure planning (led by the City of Brno)
- Comprehensive safety and security strategies (led by the City of Zagreb)
- Integrated freight policy development (led by the City of Ljubljana)
The common measures will focus on the elaboration of common strategies, exchange of know-how and build up common tools, such as joint green procurement, energy management tools and urban freight roundtables.
The idea to use joint procurement of clean vehicles - particularly of hybrid buses - in order to build up a critical mass and have a strong position towards manufacturers, which still consider clean vehicles as niches products and sometimes only provide small numbers of such vehicles. This can be further extended to the whole CIVITAS community.
One of the main issues related to sustainable mobility is how to raise the level of citizens’ responsibility for addressing mobility problems and implementing solutions (to influence the people’s behaviour and lifestyles). If decision-makers really want to consider the peoples’ needs and to engage them in implementing quality solutions, this is only possible through consultation and broad dialogue with citizens - with much better approaches than were practiced in Europe so far.
The CIVITAS-ELAN project is tackling this issue with the innovative experimentation of inclusive governance in transport planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. With this approach we are putting the “partnership principle” - one of the fundamental principles of the EU Cohesion Policy - into practice in all 5 CIVITAS-ELAN partner cities.
An overall Strategy for citizens’ engagement will be prepared with cooperation of all project partners at the initial stage of the project. The Strategy will define main objectives, actors, principles, standards and indicators for successful public participation, and especially the working methodology for the whole process.
The Strategy will be the basis for the development of partner cities’ Action Plans on citizens’ engagement. Transport related measures in partner cities will be interlaced with inclusive governance
ELAN increases the modal share of walking and cycling, supports innovative freight delivery solutions, implements innovative demand management, and increases the use of cleaner and energy-efficient vehicles.
The project enhances overall road safety and reduce air pollution. CIVITAS ELAN enhances the cities’ perception as pioneers of advanced mobility concepts that offer a high quality of life. This in turn will attract knowledge workers and enterprises.
In addition to the implementation of concrete clean and sustainable urban transport solutions, CIVITAS ELAN aims to mobilise people in physical, political and societal terms. Responding to citizens’ demands constitutes better governance and will improve the quality of public transport. Yet, the ELAN partners are convinced that putting citizens first will make a long lasting change. Transferring ownership of policies to citizens will not only substantially reduce the political risk of failure but most importantly winning people’s minds and hearts will initiate a lasting new mentality towards sustainable mobility.
As a policy-driven project led by impact and process evaluation, the ELAN cities will significantly contribute to major national, EU and global policy processes. They will motivate cities throughout Europe to follow their lead. CIVITAS ELAN brings together politicians and practitioners from various cities, countries and professional backgrounds. It fosters exchange and advances Europe’s knowledge economy.
Furthermore, CIVITAS ELAN addresses global challenges such as climate change and security of energy supply. It contributes to reduce dependence on oil imports and helps to create to a cleaner and more liveable environment.
As part of the EU CIVITAS programme, the ELAN project takes an approach where “putting the citizen first” is at the core of the work in the five cities. They are all vibrant medium-sized European centres of social, cultural and economic life with strong identities, rich cultural heritage and high-quality public spaces.They all have major universities with large student populations. These dynamic cities share a strong commitment to implement mobility policy that gives priority to citizens and their quality of life.
An efficient and integrated mobility system
The results of this project have already been implemented.