CIVITAS DESTINATIONS is a large innovative project co-funded by EU, with a total budget of 19.9 M€ (17.8 M€ in EC Contribution). The project intends to test in 6 touristic cities smart and intelligent solutions to attract more tourists to sustainable transport options. Horários do Funchal (HF), is the lead partner in the project consortium and is under the spotlight due to its role of coordinator of such flagship program.
The scope of the project is to foster a sustainable mobility approach in tourist destinations in order to support the development of innovative, quality tourism products and services to make destinations even more attractive.
Considering that the overall objective of the DESTI-SMART project is the combined improvement of transport and tourism polices at tourist destinations, there is a large potential for synergies between the DESTINATIONS and DESTI-SMART projects.
The DESTINATIONS project has a holistic approach which covers through its project measures the main topics addressed in DESTI-SMART. Below a brief description of the ongoing actions under the scope of DESTINATIONS, per DESTI-SMART main topic, targeted to the improvement of mobility and tourism as backbone for sustainable and developed touristic destinations.
Under DESTINATIONS project was implemented a set of several actions that set up the basis for sustainable urban transport, through the electromobility. Iincentives schemes for the acquisition of electric vehicles (EV) were carried out and collaboration works with private stakeholders and local municipalities to promote the installation of e-charging stations. Also, demonstrations with EV occurred, where were tested 2 electric buses, with public presentation, technical road show and organization of a free of charge circuits.
Strategic objectives and actions aimed at facilitating and the intermodality between transport modes of the partner cities. The project measures implementation allowed to integrate the ferry system into the Public Transport (PT) in Malta city, for example. It was planned to introduce a new PT route which connected the ferry landing site at Valletta to the PT network. It is a circular route which connects the ferry landing sites on each side of the city with the main bus terminus right outside of the city.
The DESTINATIONS partners have been reinforcing the accessibility and pedestrian conditions in some areas of the regions. Cities carried out access improvements to the beaches and the main attraction points, through installation of new traffic lights systems and construction of ramps in strategic locations. Also, improvements regarding accessibility to public transport stop, shelter renovation and strengthening lanes reserved for pedestrian mobility are a main measure with proved success. Complementarily, a selection of measures aims to improve the accessibility for disabled, as example the installation of wheelchairs ramps for people with disabilities, traffic light system, flat and raised pedestrian road crossing.
The DESTINATIONS regions, finalized plans to upgrade and restyle cycling, walking and hiking path as an integrated and innovative tourist product. In several cases the cycling and walking networks were revised and expanded, bicycle parking facilities added, new routes were created and adapted and map panels and signage installed. In many regions the bike system network was also upgraded and built new bike lanes with walking paths in the cities. In Las Palmas the Public bike system was also enlarged by adding e-bikes and smart bikes, which included: 42 new stations, 520 anchor points, 20 e-bikes, 375 conventional smart bikes and 2 adapted bikes accessible for the physically impaired.
DESTI-SMART is the perfect tool to capitalize the knowledge gained in the abovementioned measures and the scope and experience gained in DESTINATIONS. Such know how will feed the political and regulation framework. Interreg Europe is acting as a catalyst and long run catapult for successful tested ideas. DESTI-SMART will act in synergy with DESTINATIONS, considering the similar scope and methodologies, Interreg Europe project in this case will boost especially policy strategies and it will support the take up activities for further exploitation.