Latest news

Latest news relating to SOLUTIONS and its consortium.

2 March 2017

Call for urban mobility change-maker cities

The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and the urban mobility SOLUTIONS Network are calling for cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to become involved as leading city, take-up city or training participants.

The SOLUTIONS Network and UEMI are looking for take-up cities to work together on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. As part of urban implementation actions the team now works with cities to assess the opportunities for e-mobility concepts in their wider sustainable transport strategy.

The mission of the SOLUTIONS and UEMI partnerships is therefore to support the take-up of innovative sustainable urban mobility solutions in cities across the world and foster the integration of urban electric mobility solutions into sustainable transport concepts. This activity is part of the EU-funded project FUTURE-RADAR. All activities within the context of the initiative will take place between May 2017 and May 2020.

The call is open until 30 April 2017. For more details on the process and the application form, visit the UEMI website.

20 February 2017

Urban Pathways: Transition towards Low-Carbon, Sustainable Cities in Emerging Economies

Building on the SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN and SOLUTIONS projects, scientists from the Wuppertal Institute call for papers for a Special Issue of the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, focusing on implementation pathways of the New Urban Agenda. Manuscripts can be submitted until 31 May 2017.

Urbanisation is increasing rapidly, particularly in emerging economies. While an enabler of economic growth, one of the consequences of unplanned urbanisation is highly inefficient urban services, in particular energy, transport, and waste management.

Cities currently account for about 70 percent of energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, the integration of urban energy, transport, and resource sectors in the delivery on the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) is vital for the success of global climate change mitigation efforts. This is a vital objective of the New Urban Agenda, and this Special Issue will aim to help in bringing together climate change and urban development objectives by exploring the links between urban and national actions.

It will build directly on the commitments delivered by countries as part of the UNFCCC and Habitat III processes. The Special Issue will outline key issues and barriers and showcase local implementation concepts from key emerging economies. Papers should include aspects of the political, technological, socio-economic, and financial viability of sustainable development solutions in emerging economies.

Guest Editors are Oliver Lah (Wuppertal Institute), Ralph Sims (Massey University), and Shobakar Dhakal (Asian Institute of Technology).

For more information, visit mdpi.com

21 October 2016

New Urban Agenda adopted with focus on safe and sustainable urban mobility

United Nations member states have adopted the New Urban Agenda, recognising the role safe and sustainable mobility has to play in meeting the global challenges posed by rapidly growing cities.

The New Urban Agenda is a framework document that will guide how countries, city and regional leaders, international development funders, UN programmes and civil society will address urbanisation over the next 20 years.

Adopted yesterday at the Habitat III conference in Quito (Ecuador), it includes a strong focus on mobility and envisages cities and human settlements that promote age- and gender-responsive planning and investment for sustainable, safe and accessible urban mobility for all.

The document emphasises integrating transport and mobility plans into overall urban and territorial plans. It also encourages developing sustainable urban transport and mobility policies, expanding financing instruments and urban-rural interactions and connectivity to strengthen sustainable transport and mobility.

Reflected in the New Urban Agenda is also the importance of improving road safety and integrating safety elements into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. As part of this, member states committed to promoting a safe system approach called for in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.

National governments agreed to adopt, implement, and enforce policies and measures to actively protect and promote pedestrian and cyclist safety – and to prioritise promoting safe and healthy journeys to school for children. This approach will improve the health of citizens, and prevent injuries and non-communicable diseases.

SOLUTIONS partners presented the project in several HABITAT III sessions, highlighting the potential of city twinning for transferring and implementing sustainable urban mobility solutions.

19 October 2016

SOLUTIONS presents city-to-city cooperation for sustainable urban mobility at Habitat III

The EU-funded SOLUTIONS project presented the potential of city twinning for transferring and implementing sustainable urban mobility solutions at two events at the Habitat III Conference.

At the Transport and Mobility Special Session, organised by UN-HABITAT and attended by around 200 participants, ICLEI Europe Deputy Regional Director Ruud Schuthof introduced the aim, the progress and the main outcomes of SOLUTIONS, as well as the pairs of cities that have been partnering in the project.

In a session at the German Pavilion in the Habitat III Exhibition Area, co-organised by the SOLUTIONS network and the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, panelists discussed the opportunities and barriers of sustainable transport measures.

Marcelo Cintra do Amaral, co-ordinator of sustainable policies in Belo-Horizonte, Brazil, explained the work done with their twin city, Bremen, Germany. Ashish Rao-Ghorpade (ICLEI South Asia) shared the experience of the cities of Cochin, India, and Hangzhou, China, and how city twins can inspire cities to look beyond their own context.

The panel applauded the references in the New Urban Agenda to sustainable urban mobility and the panellists shared their ideas on how they wish to support its implementation.

The Urban Mobility Training on the third day of the conference provided insights on the challenges of creating liveable cities and the role that urban mobility can have to increase liveability while reducing carbon emissions.

After an inspiring introduction on sustainable mobility opportunities from Clayton Lane from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, presentations followed from Oliver Lah (Wuppertal Institute) on the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative and the SOLUTIONS network; from Stefanie Holzwarth (UN-Habitat) on sustainable mobility planning in Kenya; and from Oleg Kamberski (International Road Transport Union) on the perspective of the private sector. The discussion then focused on creating equitable and liveable cities within the New Urban Agenda.

At the "Boosting Urban Climate Action” Side Event, international activities in the areas of sustainable urban development, energy, mobility and climate change mitigation were showcased, drawing on the experiences from the SOLUTIONS and the SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN projects.

A presentation from Jean-François Gagné (International Energy Agency) about trends and drivers in urban development and insights from the building and transport sectors was followed by short presentations on supporting local implementation action and highlights from recent initiatives by Oliver Lah, Sabine Drees (Deutscher Städtetag), Stefanie Holzwarth, Ruud Schuthof, Florinda Boscheti (Polis) and Xiaomei Tan (Global Environment Facility).

The Urban Dialogue session on the last day of the conference on Urban Services and Technology was organised by the German Association of Cities and UITP featuring practice-oriented solutions to address key challenges to sustainable urbanisation.

Hilmar von Lojewski (Deutscher Städtetag) and Mircea Steriu (UITP) moderated the session, which contained valuable insights from Philipp Rode (LSE Cities) who highlighted the key role mobility has in providing access to opportunities for citizens, and Oliver Lah who presented key findings of the expert group of the Policy Unit 9. A panel discussion discussed local best practices and challenges in various urban sectors, such as transport,energy waste and water.

17 October 2016

SOLUTIONS launches reports on urban mobility needs, barriers and recommendations

The SOLUTIONS project has released three reports that present the urban mobility needs, policy barriers and recommendations for sustainable solutions in countries in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.

The reports - which focus on Brazil, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco and Turkey, are based on research conducted by leading climate, mobility and transport experts from local authorities, consultancies and research institutes.

The research included analysing innovative and sustainable urban mobility solutions, conducting personal interviews and hosting local workshops.

This allowed the project’s experts to identify the main urban mobility needs, gaps and priorities in the respective countries, and to recommend relevant urban mobility measures.

The SOLUTIONS project is also launching the SOLUTIONS Network - a new initiative to maintain its collaborations on sustainable urban mobility.

Oliver Lah, the SOLUTIONS project co-ordinator, said: ‘The SOLUTIONS Network will broaden the original project’s partnerships by inviting additional organisations from around the world that are working on implementing sustainable urban mobility actions.

He added: ‘It will also link their activities to boost their impact, and create new partnerships to develop targeted concepts and pilot projects for sustainable urban mobility solutions.

To join or to find out more about the SOLUTIONS Network, please contact Oliver Lah, oliver.lah@wupperinst.org.

To download the SOLUTIONS reports, visit the Products section on the SOLUTIONS website.

20 May 2016

SOLUTIONS partners join global project to decarbonise transport

SOLUTIONS partners, including the Wuppertal Institute, Polis and the World Resources Institute have teamed-up with the International Transport Forum (ITF) on a major global initiative towards carbon-free transport.

More than 40 partners and supporting organisations joined the ITF for the kick-off of the Decarbonising Transport project at a global summit of transport ministers.

“The COP 21 Paris Agreement created a political pathway for global CO2 mitigation efforts. The key is to close the gaps between commitments and delivery. It is now up to the transport sector to demonstrate how carbon-free mobility can be achieved. That is why we are launching today the Decarbonising Transport project," said Secretary-General José Viegas at the project inauguration event during the Annual Summit of transport ministers in Leipzig, Germany.

The Decarbonising Transport project aims to:

• Provide a common assessment tool based on a comprehensive modelling framework supported by dialogue with key stakeholders. This is essential for “clarity, transparency and understanding” of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions as required in the Paris Agreement for carbon emissions. This approach will enable the ITF and its partners to evaluate the impacts of different sets of measures on carbon reduction.
• Enable countries and other stakeholders to translate roadmaps into actions that deliver results grounded in quantitative data.
• Support actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals along with the decarbonisation of the transport sector.

The Decarbonising Transport project is supported by a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector companies, multilateral development banks, intergovernmental organisations, sector associations, NGOs and research institutions. It is anchored in the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board, the organisation’s platform for discussions with the private sector.

For more information on the Decarbonising Transport project, visit itf-oecd.org.

11 May 2016

Kochi's Raahgiri returns the streets to the people

On 1 May 2016 Kochi became the first city in the Indian state of Kerala to launch the open-streets movement, Raahgiri Day (Theruvulsavam).

Organised by the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL), City of Cochin, WRI India, SOLUTIONS, and the traffic police in collaboration with several other organisations in the city, the event began at 6:30 am and witnessed an overwhelming first day turnout.

It was the first time that in India a metro corporation took the lead to launch Raahgiri.

Over 3,000 people participated in the event along the one-kilometre stretch of Shanmugham Road in the heart of the city. The district collector of Kochi, M.G. Rajamanickam, and the managing director of KMRL, Elias George, also actively participated in the initiative.

Kochi’s rendition of Raahgiri Day saw special programs including fitness dancing, exercises, live music, cycling, skating, kite-making and sports including cricket, badminton and yoga.

Traffic police officials gave important information about road safety. Participants cheered the concept of Kochi as a smart city for people, not for vehicles.

The city installed widespread outdoor marketing and advertising at major intersections and popular market places prior to the event to raise awareness. In addition, an engaging social media campaign via Facebook informed supporters and participants about key events for the day. The media were also actively involved in publicising the event.

11 April 2016

SOLUTIONS to contribute to Warsaw transport research conference

The SOLUTIONS project coordinator, Oliver Lah, will be taking part in a special session at the Transport Research Arena conference in Warsaw (Poland).

The session, called International Cooperation: Experiences and Open Opportunities, will take place on Monday 18 April from 16:45-18:00.

This session will give an overview of international cooperation opportunities in the field of transport research, based on current experience from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, and past experiences from its predecessor FP7, as well as from other similar transport research programmes.

It also aims to present some key success stories of such international cooperation and to discuss the necessary steps forward.

Oliver will present delegates with examples of how SOLUTIONS has enabled cities to work and learn together in order to introduce sustainable urban mobility solutions.

Specifically, Oliver will focus on how the SOLUTIONS project enabled cooperation between the EU, and China and Brazil, and discuss the experiences of cities that were joined together – known as “twinning” - in order to learn from each other’s sustainable urban mobility initiatives.

Other examples will the EU-US joint symposia on R&I themes of common interest, which have been taking place once a year since 2013 and the twinning of EU-US research projects associated with that initiative.

For more information, see the session overview.

15 March 2016

Registration for SOLUTIONS final conference now open!

The registration for the SOLUTIONS final conference, held on 14-15 April in Berlin (Germany), is now open.

The conference will showcase the activities performed by cities working together on sustainable mobility as part of the SOLUTIONS project. The theme of the conference is 'Transport in action: boosting the takeup of sustainable urban mobility solutions'.

The SOLUTIONS project supports the exchange on innovative and green urban mobility solutions between cities from Europe, Latin America and the Mediterranean.

Its overall objective is to make a substantial contribution to the uptake of innovative and green urban mobility solutions across the world by facilitating dialogue and exchange, promoting successful policy, providing guidance and tailored advice to city officials, and fostering future cooperation on research, development and innovation.

This event will bring together international organisations, consultants, local authorities, and experts involved in transport issues and solutions - and present and discuss the progress, results and legacy of the SOLUTIONS project.

For more information, please see the draft agenda (opens .pdf, 1.8MB). Registration is now open here.

2 March 2016

Eltis features interview with SOLUTIONS co-ordinator

The Commission's urban mobility observatory spoke to Oliver Lah in its recent newsletter

The interview appeared in the Eltis portal's February issue of the Eltis Mobility Update, a monthly newsletter sent out by the project. It has been reproduced below, courtesy of the Eltis project.

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Please sum up your project in a sentence

OL: SOLUTIONS identifies innovative sustainable urban mobility measures from around the world, assesses the potential for their transferability and looks at how they can be implemented in cities in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.

In what way are cities already benefitting from your project?

OL: We had the pleasure to work directly with cities in Europe, China, India, Mexico and Brazil on concrete plans for the implementation of sustainable mobility solutions. In addition, we have been hosting a number of webinars, e-learning sessions and face-to-face workshops that have been attended by representatives from cities across the world.

At these events, urban mobility experts present sustainable urban mobility solutions and discuss how cities can introduce similar measures. In this way, we are teaching key decision-makers how to make their cities more sustainable.

What is your project’s biggest success to date?

OL: We have managed to facilitate exchange between cities around the world on sustainable urban mobility, which has created great partnerships that will endure well beyond the project´s lifetime. We also the opportunity to initiate the take-up and implementation of sustainable urban mobility solutions, for example the SOLUTIONS city Belo-Horizonte (Brazil) is now in the process of introducing a 30km/h zone in the city centre and is upgrading its cycling infrastructure based on learning from its partner city Bremen (Germany).

What are the key project publications or resources (current or future), and how will they be used by cities?

OL: Through our early research we identified a number of transferable urban mobility solutions, and we have also compiled a state-of-the-art of mobility in selected cities in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. We will be publishing later this year three regional reports that provide recommendations on how to improve sustainable urban mobility in these cities, and correlate them with a set of in-depth fact sheets that analyse specific transferable urban mobility solutions to these cities, and provide case studies of successful, real-world examples.

What opportunities are there for others to become involved in the project?

OL: There will continue to be several collaboration opportunities beyond the project’s lifetime, for example through the city networks Polis and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, the Clean Air Partnership and the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, which provide opportunities for cities to engage in knowledge exchange activities. SOLUTIONS itself will continue as a network of experts working together on local implementation action.

How can people keep up to date with project activity?

OL: You can check the SOLUTIONS website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. SOLUTIONS project partners also regularly lead presentations during transport-related conferences and events around the world, so look out for one of us when checking programme notes or agendas.

Name one development/innovation that you think will impact urban mobility in Europe over the next five years.

OL: There are no silver bullets or quick-fix solutions that will make urban mobility suddenly sustainable. Technologies will be part of the mix, but a broader approach is required to initiate the transformational change to move towards a sustainable, low-carbon mobility pathway. This includes integrated city and transport planning, public transport, walking and cycling, city logistics, ICT and vehicle technology.

What is the most interesting mobility-related book/paper/research you have read recently, and why?

OL: The Global High Shift studies by UC-Davis and others on public transport and cycling explore the potential not just environmentally, but also economically of a transition towards a low-carbon transport system, which is a vital aspect in making the case for policy and investment changes.