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Transport & Environment Alliance for Urban Sustainability

TELLUS (Overview)

Transport & Environment Alliance for Urban Sustainability

Background & policy context: 

CIVITAS (City – Vitality - Sustainability) is a European Commission (Commission) initiative to promote cleaner and better transport in cities. Through the CIVITAS Initiative, the Commission aims to generate a decisive breakthrough in clean and better urban transport by supporting and evaluating the implementation of ambitious integrated and sustainable urban transport strategies that make a real difference for the mobility and quality of life of citizens
Under the umbrella of the CIVITAS initiative, five European cities were clustered in the TELLUS project: Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Göteborg (Sweden), Gdynia (Poland) and Bucharest (Romania). Within the TELLUS project 48 demonstration measures were implemented, which varied in number and differed widely regarding contents, type and underlying policies. Particular local circumstances, specific city characteristics as well as needs expressed, problems faced and priorities given shaped the selection of a specific set of innovative transport measures in each city.


The TELLUS project set itself ambitious transport-related, environmental and societal objectives to be reached after four years (2006). Moreover the project formulated target quantifications also for 2010. This orientation towards objectives emphasised the process character of the project not ending with its financial assistance but bringing effects for the city beyond this phase.
The specific objectives of the project were to:

  • Increase the modal share in favour of public transport;
    Increase public transport use;
  • Reduce road casualties and injured people;
  • Reduce congestion;
  • Reduce car kilometres;
  • Increase bicycle kilometres;
  • Reduce air pollution and noise to levels below national and EC directives;
  • Reduce NOx emission from heavy traffic;
  • Reduce traffic related CO2 emissions and energy use;
  • Improve intra-organisational co-operation at the city level;
  • Achieve extensive political and public awareness for TELLUS;
  • Improved public-private co-operation.

Each city implemented a set of measures. There are no two cities that had exactly the same mix of measures. The number and spectrum of measures differed from city to city according to the focus identified as relevant for the respective city and the city’s role within the CIVITAS-Initiative (leading cities and followers). Rotterdam implemented 26 measures, Berlin 10, Göteborg 8, Bucharest 4, and Gdynia implemented only 1 measure.
The TELLUS demonstration measures were not an isolated attempt to improve the living conditions of the citizens, but they were integrated into the cities’ urban transport policies and plans. In general, the focus of the TELLUS project was on translating urban transport policy into practical implementation of innovative measures, whereas ‘innovative’ is understood in the city-specific context. However, not all measures were concerned with implementation, but some aimed at preparing the ground while others supported strategies and measures by developing a concept to be implemented later and/or through a different scheme. Out of the 48 TELLUS measures 28 were aiming at direct implementation, 17 at concept development and implementation, and 3 measures developed concepts only.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

The results of the project refer to those of the measures implemented in its demonstration sites (Berlin, Bucharest, Göteborg, Gdynia, Rotterdam). The measures implemented grouped according to the CIVITAS policy fields (PF) are the following (who is interested in reading about the results of these measures, a dedicated form for each policy field with the measures implemented by each city is available on this website).

PF1) Clean public and private vehicle fleets (CVF)

1) Berlin

- Introduction of CNG-powered vehicles.

2) Bucharest

- Clean & silent public transport fleet.

3) Göteborg

- Promoting the introduction of clean vehicles in private and public fleet.

- Introduction of clean waste collection vehicles

4) Rotterdam

- Clean & silent public transport fleet

- Electric vehicles for the distribution of goods

- Cleaner vehicles for waste collection

- Electric vehicles in public fleets

PF2. Collective Passenger Transport (CPT)

1) Berlin

- Future Management of urban public transport.

2) Göteborg

- Environmental optimised ferry shuttle.

3) Rotterdam

- Integration of cycling and public transport.

- Large scale expansion of P&R.

- Public transport over water.

- Automated people movers.

PF3. Integrated Pricing Strategies (IP)

1) Berlin

- Tele-parking System-new telematics-based system for city park parking.

- Concept for HD vehicles road pricing.

2) Göteborg

- Incentives for purchasing of CNG heavy duty vehicles.

3) Rotterdam

- P&R pricing strategies for target groups.

- Kilometre pricing.

- Demand depending strategies for paid parking.

PF4. Innovative Soft Measures (SM)

1) Berlin

- Customer and user participation.

2) Göteborg

- Consumer driven goods management from a Mobility

Technical Implications

No general technical implications are available. Who is interested in reading about the technical implications of a specific measure, a dedicated form for each policy field with the measures implemented by each city is available on this website).

Policy implications

In this section general recommendations for cities aiming to join the CIVITAS Initiative and recommendations at EU level are provided. For recommendations on specific measures implemented in the demonstration sites please refer to the forms dedicated to each CIVITAS policy field on this website.

1) Recommendations for new CIVITAS cities

a) How to structure and prepare a CIVITAS project

A new CIVITAS project needs a clear common integrating and motivating vision.

A future CIVITAS project should contain cities with similar characteristics and the measures within the project should preferably be of similar character in order to reduce complexity and to have a sound basis for comparability and exchange of experiences.

The demonstration measures should be distributed evenly preventing that one city is overloaded with a large number and some cities deal with a small number of measures.

Project objectives, administration, finances, activities and reporting need a careful and realistic planning. Process-related qualitative objectives should complement quantified objectives and outputs. Quantified objectives need additional preparation efforts and detailed studies.

In order to increase the success of the project the preparation time for joining, formulating the project objectives and strategies, selection of appropriate measures and understanding the consequences of involvement should be sufficient and based on a particular process.

b) Organising the Co-ordination

Adequate management, co-operation and communication structures are prerequisites in order to minimise administration and co-originating efforts and to maximise the success.

Reporting effort should be concentrated in the horizontal work packages and project partners should be facilitated to focus on successful implementation of their measures.

c) Do not Underestimate Evaluation

Because of the diverse and innovative character of the TELLUS measures the evaluation was faced with a high workload. In future projects it would be advisable to either allocate more resources to a horizontal evaluation or to require a sound evaluation concept as an integrated component of the measure design already at the very start of the project. In either case a lead time t


TAXI-RUF GmbH "CITY-FUNK"; Deutsche Bahn Rent GmbH; IVU Traffic Technologies AG; ELOQU-METABASIS GmbH; Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung; GASAG - Berliner Gaswerke AG; Arnhold, Huhn und Sandock Partnerschaft; Technische Universitaet Berlin; Forschungs- und Anwendungsverbund Verkehrssystemtechnik Berlin; Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe


Teleparking Systems Ltd.

Municipality of Gdynia

Regia Autonoma de Transport Bucuresti

Norra Aelvstranden Utveckling AB; Institutet Foer Transportforskning; FordonsGas veast
City of Goeteborg,

The Netherlands:

Municipality of Rotterdam; IVAM UVA BV; VIA COLLECT B.V.; VIPRE B.V.; Greenwheels; Stichting Bereikbaarheid Rijnmon

Municipality of Rotterdam
P.O. Box 6575 - Galvanistraat 15
3039 AD
Contact country:
(+31) 104-897106
Fax Number: 
(+31) 104-897148