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Urban mobility

On this page you will find lessons learnt that are distilled from various workshops that the SCIS team attended. The most important points are summarised, giving a quick overview of the challenges / barriers but also solutions with regard to each topic.
Urban Mobility
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Related information can be found through the following links:

Challenges

Cities willing to transform the urban mobility within their communities will face various challenges during the implementation process. All in all, it can be difficult to attain a more balanced approach to the use of public space as well as to redesign space from for example car parking to bike parking or adding charging infrastructure.

Besides, people in charge often face a lack of time needed to convince the stakeholders and to break the silos (including city departments or public transport operators). In big cities, too many partners offering a lot of options can increase operational complexities while in small cities, too few partners can make the situation complicated due to a lack of options. Problems with the accessibility in mobility stations as well as having to deal with the lack of a suitable infrastructure for the adoption of E-mobility (i.e. fast charging infrastructure) do also come along. Besides, there could be a lack of regulations related to new dockless bike sharing approaches. Legal aspects like the ownership of mobility stations, a fair distribution of space, and the fact that regulations and incentives are not available in all European countries may also cause problems.

Moreover, public administration too many requirements, for instance when it comes to complex procurement procedures. To that must be added that public transportation is often handled on a regional level, with limited control for cities by jurisdictional issues.

On an economic level, the lack of sustainable business models for logistics, mobility, and even e-buses (given the investment and operating costs), as well as market barriers and the failure on the supply side to scale up solutions and decrease the costs, are potential hurdles to overcome. Also, e-bus technology often is perceived as a risk, due to concerns on battery lifetime and driving range. (For more information on implementing the e-bus solution, have a look at the E-bus Solution Guide.)

Additionally, there is a lack of business models for private companies making charging infrastructure available on their private premises. Often, there is also no legal regulation for electrical energy reselling (this is the case in many European countries).Other challenges may arise due to a limited availability of options for electric commercial vehicles on the market.

From an engagement perspective, it is important to take into account all stakeholders’ concerns. Pedestrians and drivers of certain vehicles (be it low-noise electric vehicles or e-scooters) need to change their behavior in traffic, as well as certain habits in how they approach mobility (see also Citizen Engagement). Retailers and city inhabitants on the other hand, will have to deal with the effects of new ways of transport and adapt to this new situation.

Recommendations

To tackle these challenges, cities should take into account and book the time needed for the development of a global integrated approach. Furthermore, low cost space or space that otherwise won’t be used for any other purpose (e.g. old industrial site) in city centres could be assigned to sustainable last mile delivery organisations. (For more information on this solution, read the Last Mile Delivery Solution Booklet.) Public/private relationships should also be improved through better governance and through the delivery of new business models.

Moreover, there should be both national and local incentives to support and accelerate the adoption of new approaches or installation of new infrastructure.

There are also many possible actions related to communication and engagement: taking a participatory approach when deciding on things such as space allocation in city centres for last mile delivery organisations; consulting stakeholder before deciding wher new charging points should be installed. Innovating and working in an ecosystem approach can be the right push in a scarcity context. It should also be taken into account that cooperative relationships are necessary across sectors and that investment in good communication will pay off.

Finally, it should be avoided to reinvent the wheel: Ideas and methods that have already worked for other cities can be reused.

Plans Implementation

Commitment of politicians, city departments as well as public transport operators (city and regional level) and the public are true enablers for follower cities. People in power do not only have to assure participatory engagement but should also work with stakeholders, investing in small incentives that can be deal-breakers for behavioural change, such as shared vehicles and bicycles as well as a charging infrastructure.

Moreover, getting the support of national and local governments and investors like for example the EIB that is funding the charging infrastructure expansion in one city can be real door openers.