SUCCESS is part of the CIVITAS II projects, where CIVITAS promotes - cleaner and better transport in cities - and stands for CIty-VITAlity-Sustainability. With the CIVITAS Initiative, the EC aims to generate a decisive breakthrough by supporting and evaluating the implementation of ambitious integrated sustainable urban transport strategies that should make a real difference for the welfare of European citizens.
- CIVITAS I started in early 2002 (within the 5th Framework Research Programme);
- CIVITAS II started in early 2005 (within the 6th Framework Research Programme) and
- CIVITAS PLUS started in late 2008 (within the 7th Framework Research Programme).
Within CIVITAS I (2002-2006) there were 19 cities clustered in 4 demonstration projects, within CIVITAS II (2005-2009) 17 cities in 4 demonstration projects, whilst within CIVITAS PLUS (2008-2012) 25 cities in 5 demonstration projects are taking part. These demonstration cities all over Europe are funded by the European Commission.
The Key elements of CIVITAS are outlined below:
- CIVITAS is co-ordinated by cities: it is a programme 'of cities for cities'
- Cities are in the heart of local public private partnerships
- Political commitment is a basic requirement
- Cities are living 'Laboratories' for learning and evaluating
SUCCESS (Smaller Urban Communities in Civitas for Environmentally Sustainable Solutions) was a 4-year project, within the CIVITAS II Programme, with partners from La Rochelle, Preston and Ploiesti. As an integrated project, SUCCESS has been implemented thanks to an extensive investment in the participating cities, a large range of actors and integrated packages of demonstration measures.
The general objectives of SUCCESS were to:
- Demonstrate that alternative fuels could be an efficient choice for urban transport matters; the target for all vehicle fleets was a decrease of 20% in the use of fossil fuels, and 10% in energy consumption, CO2 emissions, Particulates, NOx and No2 emissions.
- Demonstrate that, with an ambitious package of mobility and traffic management measures, significant results can be provided regarding sustainable transport and energy policy;
- Demonstrate that cities in candidate countries can avoid the mistakes made in Western Europe, and contribute to the development of their collective transport systems;
- Support related research and assessment activities including new, all-inclusive training initiatives and communication initiatives to disseminate the results and encourage transferability in the concerned areas.
The local demonstrations included the implementation of biodiesel hybrid vehicles (buses, vans and taxis), backed up with a range of initiatives including access control schemes, Integrated Pricing Systems, deployment of a car sharing fleet, innovative transport information systems and new concepts for city logistics .
A characteristic of CIVITAS-SUCCESS was to address medium-size cities challenges for a sustainable urban mobility.
All research and demonstrations of SUCCESS was organised in different Work Packages. These encompassed:
- Clean and energy efficient vehicles;
- Access management;
- Integrated Pricing strategies;
- Stimulation of collective transport modes;
- New forms of vehicle use and ownership;
- New concepts for the distribution of goods;
- Innovative soft measures;
To achieve the objectives of the project, each city of the consortium combined an appropriate set of measures (see below) to implement integrated solutions for clean urban transport in their territories.
La Rochelle, recognised all over Europe for its pioneering transport policies, has succeeded over the years in developing an ethos of urban ecology. Within CIVITAS-SUCCESS, La Rochelle keeps combining innovation and sustainable development and offers new services to users such as a bike sharing system, hybrid midi buses, real time information panels are already operating. To increase accessibility and user safety, appropriate equipment is being installed for disabled people. From 2008, a cooking oil recycling plant will be operational to produce bio-fuels.
Preston is a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Preston Bus and TTR. It has introduced a combination of transport options based on robust partnerships, harnessing the full potential of the latest information and communication technologies. Plans for more pedestrian-friendly areas, near the university and around the city centre are progressing. The bus fleet of Preston Bus and Preston City Council fleet now use more environmentally friendly bio-diesel. An overground bus network incorporating real time information and bus priority, and a new city orbital route have all been introduced. A new on-line car sharing system has been developed to improve travel and environmental conditions (www.sharedwheels.co.uk) and many businesses and schools in the area are also creating travel plans to encourage sustainable travel opportunities.
Ploiesti City Hall - together with the Local Public Transport Company and the Petroleum and Gas University - is running a very innovative and creative project. Within CIVITAS-SUCCESS, Ploiesti is responding economically, socially and environmentally to the growth in traffic congestion and air pollution in the central zone through alternativ
The Final Evaluation Report of SUCCESS and its annexes composed of the whole data results in each city deliver the numerous proofs that, everywhere, radical change is possible in Transport policies impacts when the whole spectrum of sustainable mobility measures are implemented with the support of supra level institutions and political will at local level.
The stakeholders engagement and the citizen consultation have been also key to the success of the measures which is still not totally assessable. And the positive feedback that was revealed by the evaluation encourages the three cities decision makers to continue on the path drawn up through the CIVITAS experience.
This is actually the real success of the project: cities have learn from each other, have got in touch with a much wider group of innovative driving forces in Europe and 'nothing will be as before' now. They are all engaged in new innovative projects and are integrating their transport plan with the other components of a wider ecological urbanism (energy, housing development, water and waste treatment, cultural heritage and education, businesses policy).
The project has experienced as well the difficulties of implementing such ambitious policies, with sometimes important changes to manage in their national and local contexts. In any case, the project team, enforced by the common goal to achieve robust results together, shown its capacity to overcome barriers and find a way through with the support of the European Commission.