A new European project aims to reduce urban traffic congestion by encouraging a switch from cars to more sustainable modes of transport.
Funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the CREATE project focuses on five major European capitals: Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Paris and Vienna. It takes a long-term view of how to tackle urban road congestion, especially in cities experiencing rapid growth in car ownership and use.
In particular, CREATE wants to help cities decouple economic growth and high mobility from traffic growth, and to create a sustainable transport system.
The project website notes that most cities around the world are at different stages of a transport policy development process:
Stage 1: Cities with ‘pro-car’ policies are characterised by rapid urban economic growth linked to the growth of car ownership and use. They prioritise major road building and new car parking.
Stage 2: Cities facing problems associated with increased car use, such as congestion and pollution, introduce policies to provide better public transport alternatives and limit car access to city centres.
Stage 3: Cities aspire to become ‘liveable cities’ by encouraging street activities, relocating road space to public transport, and promoting walking and cycling.
CREATE intends to promote knowledge transfer to stage 1 cities and support them in short-circuiting this process, to become more liveable and sustainable. Additionally, stage 3 cities will work together on future solutions to move towards a stage 4.
The three-year project will also identify ways to deal with the consequences of future population growth and associated mobility densification, through new technologies, business models and social practices.