Past News, Events and Interviews
Last updated 11.01.2019
Szeged Scoops CIVITAS Award and Looks Beyond (17.12.2018)
Szeged was recently recognised by jurors of the CIVITAS Initiative for its inspiring contribution in realising sustainable urban mobility based on long-lasting innovative measures, when it recently received the CIVITAS ‘Legacy’ Award. Over the past 15 years the city has implemented various mobility solutions, including traffic calming zones; improved cycle infrastructure; new bus lanes; and expanded and reconstructed tram and trolleybus networks. It has also been involved in neighbourhood regeneration projects. Read the LOW-CARB Digest's cover story here.
Parma Road-tests e-Buses as Action Plan Takes Shape (13.11.2018)
During July, Parma’s TEP took the first Chinese e-bus manufactured in the EU to the roads and tested its energy consumption and approximate recharging times under different conditions (empty, with air-conditioning, etc). Media interest was high and during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK (see separate story), Parma’s citizens were invited to share their views. The results of the line 8 tests, which connects the city’s eastern suburbs, are already feeding into an action plan for multipurpose charging infrastructure for public transport e-services, to be completed by May 2020. The end result? Seamless multi-modal local zero-emission mobility in Parma!
Leipzig Looks Ahead to 2030 - Unanimously! (10.10.2018)
SPECIAL FEATURE: ‘Leipzig Kommt!’ or ‘Leipzig hat Zukunft’ were monikers I recall seeing dotted on posters around the city in the early 1990s. Once again, the city is experiencing strong population growth, as it did over a century ago. But with many new residents counting on being able to continue driving their cars, the city authority foresees gridlock within years. For this reason, Stadt Leipzig has adopted a new strategy to tackle the growing crisis, seeking to guarantee ‘Mobility is safe, reliable, clean, affordable and should ensure that every population group has the opportunity to participate in.’ On Thursday, September 27th, 2018, it was welcomed by the city council - unanimously. Read the full article here.
Open Call for LOW-CARB Followers (23.07 and updated 01.10.2018)
If your region, city or town is developing a sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP) for its functional urban area or is implementing or planning to implement a pilot measure for low-carbon mobility, you are warmly invited to apply to become one of 18 selected towns, cities or regions in the Interreg Central Europe region to benefit from the LOW-CARB ‘Follower City Programme.’ Selected followers will profit from a knowledge transfer scheme which includes mentored site visits to LOW-CARB’s partner cities (each open to 2-4 persons), workshops and tool-testing. Moreover, a granting scheme of up to EUR 2,000 per city/region will be available for the reimbursement of travel and subsistence costs. The full call and application form is available here. Proposals must be submitted by Oct. 12th, 2018. Mentoring visits will start in early 2019 and run until mid-2020.
Luka Mladenovič: Summing up the Slovenian SUMPs (01.07.2018)
SPECIAL FEATURE: Having been involved first-hand in encouraging Slovenian municipalities’ development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans or SUMPs, Luka Mladenovič, researcher at the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, was invited to join the LOW-CARB project’s board of advisers with the aim of sharing insights and recommendations to better realise the project’s objectives. And he has quite substantial experience to learn from. Read more in our special feature here.
Planning with Renewables in Koprivnica (13.02.2018)
A smart multimodal electric mobility station is on the horizon in Koprivnica, some 70km northeast of Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. The photovoltaic-based station will include a terminal for five e-bikes, an information point (e-kiosk) as well as new urban furniture. Batteries will store energy collected via the station for e-bike charging while e-buses will be fed by the national grid. Service procurement will get underway around May 2018 for the best design and concept, together with a feasibility study. Koprivnica’s plans are closely aligned with Croatia’s National Low Carbon, Transport and Climate Change Adaptation strategies besides the city’s Development Masterplan, which seeks to encourage intermodality.
Looking to the Future (06.12.2017)
In November and December, LOW-CARB’s management team visited partners to assess forthcoming investments and activities. In Skawina, plans for testing an electric public transport feeder service for its buses were reviewed and one potential drop-off site visited. In Brno, planning for its pilot ‘impact assessment and monitoring tool’ for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning, due spring 2018, was confirmed while in Szeged, the focus was on low carbon company travel planning for employees in its industrial logistics area, northwest of the city. LOW-CARB’s upgrade of the Southeast European SUMP Competence Centre was appraised in Koprivnica with Sveučilište Sjever (University North). Beforehand, Leipzig’s three partners, LVB, MDV and Stadt Leipzig, discussed first approaches to organizing public transport services in its northern hinterland while plans for multi-purpose charging infrastructure in Parma were top-billing there.
LOW-CARB Kicks Off! (01.06.2017)
SPECIAL FEATURE: Beginning June 1st, 2017 and until May 31st, 2020, eleven partners will implement a Eur 2.7m, three year Interreg Central Europe project. LOW-CARB will build capacity for integrated low-carbon mobility planning in functional urban areas of cities of different sizes, thereby bringing a keen regional perspective. Its endeavours will not only link to, but finance, sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP) and work towards ensuring integrated coordination, institutional cooperation and action plan implementation through joint financing and public investments in low-carbon mobility systems. Read more about LOW-CARB here...
Local Training Series Kicks Off in Skawina, Poland (18.10.2018)
Together with Partnerska Inicjatywa Miast (PIM, the Cities Partnership Initiative), Skawina hosted would-be low carbon mobility planners between October 15th – 17th to discuss emobility and #VisionZero. The workshop included two site visits to Jaworzno, encompassing a velostrada and e-bus infrastructure, and to Wola Duchacka near Kraków on electromobility. Experiencing sustainable urban mobility solutions gives a big boost to those exploring alternatives, and so site visits and training are central to motivating transport practitioners. Reflecting on the event, Maciej Zacher, noted, “participants were suprised at how different the approach towards e-mobility is in Jaworzno compared to much larger Kraków. In Jaworzno, 40 percent of its fleet is electric and in (almost) constant operation, while in Kraków e-buses are used on a much smaller scale." Twenty one similar such local language workshops are scheduled between now and the end of 2019 with the goal of improving skills and fostering knowledge exchange of mobility planning authorities, as well as providing insights into novel best-practices – including LOW-CARB’s pilots – and results. Please follow all upcoming events via the Interreg calendar here.
Leipzig Leads the Way (22.09.2018)
SPECIAL FEATURE: With EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK participation reaching record levels for a third straight year, LOW-CARB played its part from September 16th-22nd! All partners, including Koprivnica, Brno, Szeged, Skawina, Parma, undertook specific activities and measures, with Leipzig leading the way. Employees were engaged at their worksteads in the northern industrial area and beyond, and directly informed about the public transport offer. Being a highly dynamic economic area with many large companies and over 35,000 commuters, this all means demand management has never been more important. Consultations helped identify future public transport investments and improvements. Read the full article here.
LOW-CARB on the Road (20.07.2018)
The LOW-CARB project was present during the 5th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, organized by the European Commission and held in in Nicosia, Cyprus, on May 14th and 15th, 2018 (to have access to the presentations, go here). But we don’t stop there! We will also be at the CIVITAS Forum Conference on September 19th-21st, in Umeå, Sweden, which will deal with topics surrounding sustainable urban mobility and the pioneering solutions for a cleaner transport in Europe. And on November 22nd-23rd, we will also be present in Manchester, UK, for the 2018 Annual Polis Conference, focused on transport innovation for sustainable cities and regions. So, come and join us!
Lifelong Learning Opportunities (05.04.2018)
A series of learning activities for mobility practitioners kicks off across Central Europe in 2018. Workshops and webinars will improve skills and foster knowledge exchange of mobility planning authorities, as well as provide insights into novel best-practices – including LOW-CARB’s pilots – and results. Critically, knowledge and input provided by participants will be fed directly into the development of LOW-CARB’s tools and resources to improve the project’s outcome, final event agenda, and policy and exploitation workshops. A total of 22 events, mostly in the local language, are planned. The first, a transnational workshop on regional mobility planning in functional urban areas to lower CO2 emissions already took place in Brno on May 25, 2018. You can follow all upcoming events via the Interreg calendar here.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered! (13.02.2018)
The first signatories of the LOW-CARB ‘Declaration’ were captured in December 2018, when Antonio Rizzi, the president of Parma-based TEP, and Ronald Juhrs, Managing Director of Technology and Operations at Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe, both local transport authorities, put pen to paper. The Declaration heralds their commitment, in line with the goals of the EU’s White Paper, to increase the use of public transport, foster multimodal mobility and reduce CO2 emissions from private motorized modes, which account for around 90 percent of the total urban transport emissions. Their agreement thus inducts them to the LOW-CARB ‘hall of fame,’ where further information on the Declaration and its would-be signatories is available.
Parma Shows Off Its Multimodal Success (06.12.2017)
After a multi-modal journey, LOW-CARB partners were hosted by TEP, the public transport company that serves Parma and its province during Dec. 13-14. The agenda, which kicked-off with an interview and signing ceremony for the LOW-CARB Declaration, hosted 'working sessions' on the project’s upcoming SUMP Competence Center and LOW-CARB training series (see ‘ACTIVITIES’ below) while the project’s communications arm, led by the Regional Environmental Center braced the team for local outreach. Project planners parsed the status of and challenges to realising city SUMPs in the project’s cities and their involvement of stakeholders, and a site visit aptly illustrated our end-goal: multi-modal connectivity with peri-urban areas.
See the Day! (22.06.2017)
June 20 and June 21, the summer solstice, marked the launch of LOW-CARB. Project Partners were hosted by Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe in the hometown of the lead partner, and besides running through the project's key outputs, enjoyed a city site visit via the city's new 'XL' tram. LOW-CARB puts low-carbon public transport (PT) organisation at its centre to reduce GHG emissions, with new combined mobility offers like bike sharing (supported by solar-powered e-bike charging stations), public transport (e.g. e-feeder service) or multimodal information services (incl. MaaS) to encourage shared mobility.
Realising a LOW-CARB Future (14.01.2019)
As part of our interview series, the LOW-CARB Digest spoke to Ronald Juhrs, Managing Director of Technology and Operations at LVB, Leipzig’s public transport company, about the city’s new ‘2030 Strategy‘ and its forthcoming LOW-CARB action plan, as well as those measures we can expect to see realised in the northern area of Leipzig. Given that the company sits at the helm of the LOW-CARB project, we also asked him to share his views on the project at the midway stage. Read the LOW-CARB Digest Interview here.
The Szeg(ed) Way (01.07.2018)
Szeged, in south Hungary, is aiming towards change. And the city does look to it seriously, being currently involved in two major European-funded projects focused on mobility issues. On the one hand, through the Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility (SASMob) project, their objective is to build a data-driven, responsive transport system based on cooperation between public entities, private businesses and transport providers in the city; on the other hand, within the LOW-CARB project, the Szeged Transport company will be focusing on the development of company travel plans and of a CO2 Trip Calculator. Having recently signed the LOW-CARB Declaration, the city’s Vice Mayor, Sándor Nagy, took some minutes of his time to further explain Szeged’s horizon of actions and expectations. Please find the interview here.
Smarter Ways to Travel (01.01.2018)
Electric buses, charging stations, the integration of trains, buses and bicycles — Antonio Rizzi seems to be permanently preoccupied with how to make local transport in Parma’s functional urban area more convenient for the city and its hinterland’s roughly half a million inhabitants. As president of the local transport authority, TEP, he oversees public transportation in the entire province, serving 33 million passengers on an annual basis. Knowing the full extent of the work involved in achieving TEP’s goals, requesting an interview might seem like asking to be stuck in a traffic jam. However, Antonio kindly agreed to devote a few minutes to discuss the recent signing of the LOW-CARB Declaration and TEP’s vision of how Parma will go about reducing its transport-related carbon emissions. Read his interview here.