Tag Archive: Urban Mobility

  1. 17 ‘eHubs’ now operational in Amsterdam

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    Source: fietsberaad

    The final 7 Amsterdam hubs have recently been completed, bringing the total to 17. At such locations, city-goers can borrow a shared bike, cargo bike, car, or scooter.

    The eHubs have become operational on a trial basis with a subsidy. Further European cities including Arnhem, Nijmegen, Leuven and Manchester are operating similar schemes. The hubs act as a research point for various universities conducting research on the interchangeability of shared mobility in modern cities.

    Three of the recently added eHubs are located at the Amsterdam Science Park. Three other eHubs are set up in Amsterdam-West and one is operational in Watergraafsmeer.

    Due to the Hubs only becoming functional in recent months, their success cannot yet be confirmed. However, other EV rental schemes have seen steady increases since launch.

  2. Amsterdam unveils new universal bike rack

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    Source: themayor.eu, Aseniya Dimitrova

    The new design commissioned by the city aims to facilitate many types of bikes, improving on current flawed designs

    A newly designed bike rack has appeared in Amsterdam, on Haarlemmerplein. The model was designed by the city itself in response to more conventional bike racks failing to cater to the varying bike sizes and varieties utilized across Amsterdam. Allegedly, the “ultimate bike rack” can do it all.

    The new installation is a product of extensive research conducted with residents, in which they expressed which existing facilities were suitable for parking and storing their vehicles, and which were not. Tests were run throughout the West borough, where varying racks were placed and feedback provided; this informed the new ‘ultimate’ design.

    “According to the city website, the new model features more space between the bicycles which is good for models with a crate or wide handlebars. Furthermore, the rack also takes into account the increasing number of heavy e-bikes driving in the city. In addition, the rack is low enough, so one does not need to lift their bike to secure it.

    The rack also fits children’s bicycles and bicycles with thicker tires up to 7 centimeters. It stores more bicycles in a smaller space and it also looks neater. In addition, the ground under the rack is easier to wipe clean, authorities claim. And finally, the rack is produced in a sustainable and circular way.” – A. Dimitrova

    The new design will complement existing models rather than replace them. Following further feedback, the rack will be rolled out on a larger scale in busy areas, during refurbishment projects, in locations undergoing major maintenance, and in places where outdated racks must be replaced.

  3. White Paper – Transitioning with LEVs: No cars and then what?

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    Source: LEV kenniscentrum

    New paper provides comprehensive insight for the state of LEVs in the Netherlands

    Countrywide, municipalities in the Netherlands are working to reduce car use in their cities. Ongoing challenges including climate change and city center densification have pushed policymakers to consider options with which to transform the way we fill our urban spaces, and how we move around these spaces. This white paper examines the state of play of a new category of vehicles that can play an important driving role in the mobility transition: light electric vehicles, or LEVs for short. What do we already know, and what is still unclear? What about sustainability, or regulations? Are partial concepts also commercially interesting? And how do LEVs add to the fun of being on the road?

    Challenges of LEV transition are considered in three themes: business and service; people and technology; and policy and mobility. These broad categories are explored and connected through research, fact, and experiences collected within the LEV knowledge center. The final paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs regarding micromobility, from which further developments can be understood and steered.

    Access the White Paper here.

  4. Clean Cities Campaign – No EU cities on track for zero-emission mobility

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    Goal to move citizens onto climate-friendly transport by 2030 will be missed at the current transition rate

    Source: Clean Cities Campaign

    In a report released by the Clean Cities Campaign, 36 European cities were shown to have made inadequate progress towards green mobility goals if they are to meet the agreed 2030 deadline. Zero-emission mobility can be reached via a transition to active, shared, and electric mobility options. Director Barbara Stoll has referred to the report as “a wake-up call to city leaders across Europe“.

    Cities were ranked according to criteria including active travel options (walking, cycling, etc.), road safety, public transport accessibility, congestion level, electric charging infrastructure, and pollution levels. Taking into account the ongoing climate crisis, city policymakers must act quickly to transition populations to sustainable transport options. Three-quarters of all Europeans live in cities, all of which are ‘failing’ in regard to mobility goals.

    Renowned forward-thinking city Oslo topped the rankings, and notably, Ghent, in which the LEVA-EU headquarters are based, was placed 7th with a rating of B, sitting amongst the likes of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. These cities, while still having room for improvement, can serve as an inspiration for others who wish to accelerate their green transition.

  5. New research uncovers the economic and environmental benefits of the electric motorcycle

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    Source: Science Direct

    The potential to transform polluted city centres?

    Transportation accounts for 25% of total global CO2 emissions, primarily through fuel combustion. In many large cities, such as Barcelona and Madrid, combustion engine vehicle density has escalated air pollution levels to exceedingly high values. In line with European health legislation, many such cities have been forced to implement action plans to alleviate this issue; this includes low emission zones and vehicle environmental impact assessments.

    A current emerging trend is electrifying mobility, with electric vehicle ownership increasing by a factor of ten in the last 5 years. These vehicles are perceived to have a significantly lower environmental impact than their combustion engine counterparts. Carranza et al. now analyze this environmental disparity in the context of Barcelona and motorcycles – in Spain, there was an 8.7% growth of motorcycle registrations in 2021 compared to the previous year. Understanding the potential for developing battery-electric motorcycle technology to reduce the environmental impact of motorcycle use in Spain is therefore crucial for limiting the country’s emissions going forward.

    When analyzing the environmental impact of any vehicle there are multiple stages to consider – manufacturing, maintenance, operation, and disposal; however, the operational stage is where the most impact takes place. In internal combustion engine vehicles, direct emissions from fuel during their lifecycle equate to a value 10 times higher than their electric counterparts (6670 kgCO2-eq global warming potential compared to 650 kgCO2-eq). The source of electricity for battery electric vehicles does of course impact their individual emissions, doubling if supplied by purely coal plants; however, even at their highest point, operational emissions are still far below those of internal combustion vehicles.

    Electric vs combustion engine

    Considering all aspects of lifecycle, the global warming potential of battery-electric motorcycles is approximately one-fifth of internal combustion engine motorcycles, showing them to be a promising alternative. Regarding air pollution, the results of photochemical oxidation formation were 30% lower for electric motorcycles.

    Electromobility will play a fundamental role in the transformation of densely populated and pollution-troubled European cities such as Barcelona. To read the full open access study, offering additional analysis and findings, click here.

  6. The 10 minute city – optimising urban spatial planning

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    Source: fietsberaad

    The ten minute city is a key research theme for the Knowlege Institute for Mobility Policy (KiM) this year.

    A ‘ten-minute city’ refers to the spatial planning concept in which daily services and amenities can be reached from any home within a ten-minute walk or bike ride. While the concept of mixing functions in urban areas is well-established, there has been additional interest in the theory after a fifteen-minute variant was recently opted for in Paris. KiM aims to further expand the understanding of this concept in 2022, exploring the concept from a mobility perspective.

    One factor to consider is that a large part of new residential construction is centralized in urban areas, promoting the use of public transportation and bicycles and impeding that of cars. When taking into account the growing popularity of e-bikes, the 10-minute city concept transforms once again as commuters boast an expanded travel distance – with this in mind there are sure to be extensive findings as KiM develops this research theme through 2022.

  7. Car-free zone larger than Manhattan proposed in Berlin

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    Source: Fast Company

    Action group proposes car limitations on the entirety of Berlin city centre enclosed within the RingBahn train line.

    Having been conceptualised in 2019 by three friends, the Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei’s (People’s Decision for Auto-Free Berlin) radical proposal to transform Berlin city centre into a car-free zone is now under consideration by Berlin Senate, having reached 50,000 supporting signatures. The governing body will reach a decision by February, in a similar process to the 2016 law changes that improved cycling across Berlin.

    Of course, car-free does not equate to a complete ban, but rather a significant reduction in the prevalence of private car use – emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, and other service vehicles would still function as normal. Campaigners highlight the benefits not only to the wider environment but the local one experienced by Berlin residents on a daily basis. By removing private car usage from the city, communities can ‘take back’ the Berlin streets as functional and versatile public spaces, improving both the health and safety of commuters.

    With traffic already limited in some Berlin neighbourhoods, or ‘Kiezblocks’, the proposal would massively accelerate the shift in Berlin’s urban environment, again highlighted by campaigners as a crucial step to take in light of the ongoing climate crisis. If rejected by the city, organisers will continue to collect signatures of support until the issue can go to ballot – with 175,000 required backers.

  8. Sofia launches new green mobility app

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    Source: The Mayor EU

    ‘Sofia Coin’ will track individual usage of sustainable transport, offering rewards for consistent adoption.

    The app ‘Sofia Coin’ is the collaborative effort of the Municipality and Bulgarian businesses to promote sustainable mobility, healthier lifestyles, and boost the economy. City goers can use the app to track the distance travelled using bikes, e-scooters, e-bikes, public transportation, or by foot. The app will then relay information on carbon emissions saved; and by accumulating points over time, prizes ranging from small accessories to concert tickets can be won.

    Outside of encouraging commuters to alter their habits, Sofia Coin will allow local authorities to target high-volume areas for a sustainable upgrade. In a swift move, the Municipality has incentivised green mobility, and, created a research tool that allows intelligent city planning to further solidify sustainable transport in Sofia’s future.

    The app combines the efforts of Eventim, the biggest event ticket platform, Hobo and Brum, e-scooter operators in the city, E-bike rental and A1 – the biggest telecommunications operator.

  9. Urban Mobility Next #5 – Costs and benefits of the sustainable urban mobility transition in Europe

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    Source: Eltis

    The recently published report outlines key parameters for sustainable transport transformation of European cities.

    Image credit: EIT Urban Mobility

    The fifth report of the Urban Mobility Next series, which explores the costs and benefits of the sustainable mobility transition in European cities, has now been released. The analysis focuses on 779 EU-27 cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants based on 12 city prototypes. The model used in the report covers small, medium, and large cities in Eastern, Northern, Central/ Western Europe, and Southern Europe.

    The report models three different transition scenarios to reflect possible pathways for cities to address the European Green Deal objectives for the transport sector of -55% CO2 emissions by 2030 and -90% CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. These pathways are composed of a set of 29 different policy measures (e.g. car and bike sharing, cycling infrastructure, metro and bus lanes, etc.) grouped into three main scenarios:

    • “Promote and Regulate”: this transition pathway assumes the promotion and regulation of 19 sustainable mobility options;
    • “Plan and Build”: this transition pathway focuses on 14 infrastructure building and technology related actions;
    • “Mixed”: this transition pathway is a mix of the two above-mentioned approaches, with 23 measures related to both technological innovations and behavioural change.

    Discover the report and explore the results here.

    TRT Trasporti e Territorio, has carried out this study using the MOMOS (Sustainable MObility Model) tool. MOMOS is a quantitative tool which allows to simulate the impacts of different mobility transition pathways on a range of indicators, including costs and environmental benefits, for different types of cities.

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