On 26 June, the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform on Low Carbon Economy held a workshop on sustainable urban mobility planning.

During the workshop policy makers, researchers and experts, including representatives from nine Interreg Europe projects, discussed challenges and opportunities to promote sustainable – low carbon transport and mobility in Europe’s regions, cities and local authorities.

Discussions revealed the two topics participants considered both, challenging and promising, to promote cleaner transport and alternative mobility behavior – namely, cycling and ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS).

Many participants noted the raise of a more positive attitude towards cycling in urban areas, especially among younger generations. At the same time, in many cities and regions there is still a lack of a coherent approach to promote a ‘cycling culture’. Also, most cities and regions have not yet managed to create a safe and attractive cycling infrastructure. Good practice examples do exist, mainly in North-West Europe. There was a particular interest from the participants to learn about successful approaches adopted in other parts of the EU.

Mobility as a Service is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand. New mobility services emerge rapidly, applying strong user-centric approaches and sometimes disruptive business models. Whilst acknowledging the potential for MaaS to spur more sustainable mobility, there are issues that need solving. For instance, there is a need to better understand the impact of MaaS on mobility behavior. Also, creating an enabling environment for MaaS presents new challenges to public authorities, for example as concerns the regulation and contracting of public transport and the facilitation of (real-time) data exchange.

The policy learning workshop was a great opportunity for the participants to meet and learn more about each other and the Interreg Europe projects, also – to map the challenges relating to sustainable urban mobility planning and explore the possible solutions. There is a clear demand for the PLP to facilitate collaboration among the Interreg Europe projects, but also to enable exchange of interesting approaches and practices with other stakeholders and actors, beyond Interreg Europe.

Image credit: Image by congerdesign from Pixabay