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More biking in small and medium sized towns of Central and Eastern Europe by 2020

European Union
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Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Using your bicycle every day to get to work or for shopping is common in many cities in Germany, the Netherlands, or other Western European countries. In Central and Eastern Europe, bicycles are still reserved mainly for leisure on the weekend but are not considered a common mode of transportation.

Since the 1990s improving the conditions for individual car traffic has been the priority of transport policies and the lack of infrastructure, with separate and sufficient bicycle lanes, and services make people prefer to use their cars for daily commuting.

With mobile2020 we want to stimulate the rethinking of planning processes in small and medium sized towns in 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. We want to transfer suitable good experiences from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and other countries and make them applicable in our target countries.


mobile2020 will 

  • initiate national working groups of cycling professionals to keep up the discussion on a high level and to think about long term objectives,
  • seek to broadly inform towns and cities in Central and Eastern Europe systematically about what they can do to increase the share of cycling in the future,
  • empower municipal planners and decision-makers to make the right investments, improve their planning procedures and to trigger a change in their citizens’ mobility behavior,
  • carry out a number of workshops seminars and study visits to spread the good experiences, knowledge and ideas that will improve the conditions for cycling in Central and Eastern Europe in the future.
  • Organize a number of public events and competitions where municipalities in the region can demonstrate their achievements in favour of cycling and where every cycling enthusiast can join in. 
  • Mobile2020 will identify stakeholders in each of the 11 target countries that can contribute to promote and develop cycling, e.g. union of cities, cycling associations, ministries etc. Representatives of these groups shall be brought together in form of working groups. The tasks of these national working groups shall be to promote cycling nation-wide inside the administration but also among citizens, to lobby for bike-friendly policies, to ensure exchange of experience, or to provide expertise.
  • Mobile2020 will prepare and empower professional multipliers for bicycle planning and promotion in municipalities by enhancing their knowledge and skills and through a series of events and exchange of experience. In total, approximately 20 multipliers will be trained and capacity development materials will be developed. They will later organize events for cities and towns as well as promotion activities in their countries.
  • Mobile2020 aims to transform the approach to cycling from the "road less travelled" into a more frequently addressed solution, especially at local level in the 11 target country. In a series of seminars, addressing 350 towns, the project does not only target promotion but wants to educate and give concrete tools to the decision-makers to audit and benchmark the current situation and to best apply sound, non-expensive and easy to implement suitable measures for local circumstances.
  • In the frame of mobile2020, many promotion activities will be launched in the target countries, among them cycling tours and competitions.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)


TARGET 11 cities have formally committed (e.g. by a council decision or local regulation) to develop and implement a short-term sustainable cycling programme or a strategy within one year of the end of the project

According to country partner reports, at least 16 participating cities could be expected to adopt work plans or strategies related to cycling within a year of the project’s conclusion. Most of these were dedicated cycling documents, while others were general spatial or transport documents that included cycling elements

TARGET At least five towns in CEE start to implement concrete sustainable cycling measures already during the project’s duration.

At least 11 cities had begun the construction of new cycling infrastructure during the project’s timeframe. This included various types of bikeways, bike racks and bike shelters, bike-and-ride stations and bike counters.

TARGET At least 40 cities carry out various types of soft measures

The Pro-Cycling Municipality contest had drawn submissions from 111 municipalities as of March 2014. Project-wide participation will likely be in the hundreds. Besides this contest, project cities reported involvement in several other kinds of promotional measures: bike to work and school contests, bike to shop contests, branding strategies for city cycling programmes, European Mobility Week events, Critical Mass rides, primary school education programmes, safety campaigns and more. Mobile 2020 can’t take credit for all these events, but it supported them through its networking and capacity-building efforts. 

Headline impacts and achievements for each country are available in the document called Keeping Balance.

Innovation aspects

We developed an easy-to use toolkit (carbon calculator) that helps one to visualise and estimate CO2 reduction potential by increasing bicycle use. Different carbon calculators available on the internet allow you to estimate individual CO2 emissions reductions in various sectors such as fuel, energy, air travel, food, waste and agriculture. But carbon calculators cannot estimate the reduction or modal shift potential of cycling measures. The tool created within Mobile 2020 is based on facts and figures collected through German nationwide surveys on transport (MiD 2010; SrV 2013; MOP 2010) and can easily be used with a spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel.

The tool is designed for stakeholders such as national multipliers, urban and transport planners in municipal administrations, local decision makers, energy agencies, ministries, interest groups and NGOs. Due to its minimal data requirements (i.e. total number of inhabitants and current local modal split for all transport modes), user friendliness, costeffectiveness and capability to generate instant results, the tool can be used to:

  1. estimate CO2 reduction potential based on the targeted modal shift;
  2. enable calculated results to inform discussions;
  3. define objectives and GHG reduction targets in strategic documents (e.g. sustainable mobility plans or SUMPs); and
  4. display data requirements for monitoring and evaluating measures.

The document Decreasing CO2 by Increasing Bicycle Use contains detailed background information and a description of the tool’s features and generated outputs.

Policy objectives

The overall reduction in carbon emissions achieved by shifting trips from passenger cars to bicycles contributes to CO2 savings and helps move the EU towards its GHG reduction targets. Cycling’s potential contribution towards CO2 savings should be taken seriously. If levels of cycling in the EU27 were equivalent to those found, for instance, in Denmark, bicycle use would help to achieve 12 to 26 percent of the 2050 target reduction set for the transport sector, depending on which transport mode the bicycle replaces (ECF 2011).


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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