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New and Innovative Concepts for Helping European Transport Sustainability - Towards Implementation

Final Report Summary - NICHES+ (New and Innovative Concepts for Helping European Transport Sustainability - Towards Implementation)

Executive Summary:
1.1 Executive summary
The mission of NICHES+ (2008-2011) was to stimulate a wide debate on innovative transport and mobility among relevant stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines across the EU and accession countries. The project aimed to promote the most promising new urban transport concepts, initiatives and projects in order to move them from their current "niche" position to a mainstream urban transport application.
The following 12 innovative concepts in 4 thematic areas were examined and promoted:
WG1: Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility
Concept 1.1: Travel training for public transport
Concept 1.2: Neighbourhood accessibility planning
Concept 1.3: Tailored traveller information for users with reduced mobility
WG2: Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and transport interchanges
Concept 2.1: Passenger friendly intermodal interchanges
Concept 2.2.: Innovative cycling facilities for intermodal interchanges
Concept 2.3: Infrastructure for innovative bus systems
WG3: Traffic management centres
Concept 3.1: Finance models for traffic management centres
Concept 3.2: Mobile travel information services for the public
Concept 3.3: Using environmental pollution data in traffic management
WG4: Automated and space efficient transport systems
Concept 4.1: Group Rapid Transit (GRT)
Concept 4.2: Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
Concept 4.3: Using Electric Vehicles in City Car Share Schemes
Key achievements of the project include:
* Effective networking established through organising exchange among a wide range of urban transport stakeholders from all over Europe at NICHES+ events;
* Publishing effective guidance for cities in form of 'Guidelines for Implementers' and e-learning modules including key information on how to successfully implement the selected urban transport innovations;
* Spreading the word at European and national events to effectively disseminate the project results and to encourage uptake of the twelve innovative concepts;
* Working with cities on the ground by providing resources and support for 6 champion cities helping them to develop concrete implementation scenarios for NICHES+ concepts. The champion cities were: Artois-Gohelle (FR), Burgos (ES), Worcestershire (UK), Cork (IE), Trondheim (NO) and Daventry (UK).
* Providing a methodology for a transferability analysis in the form of 'Guidelines for Assessing the Transferability of Innovative Concepts'.
The project consortium consisted of: Polis (coordinator), Rupprecht Consult (technical coordinator), Transman, University of Newcastle, Transport Research Group - University of Southampton and EUROCITIES. The project website with more details is www.niches-transport.org.

Project Context and Objectives:
1.2 Summary description of project context and objectives
1.2.1 Mission and Objectives of NICHES+
Mission
The mission of NICHES+ was to promote 12 innovative measures for making urban transport more efficient and sustainable and to move them from their current "niche" position into a mainstream urban transport application.
Overall project objectives
The main objectives of the NICHES+ project were:
* Providing networking opportunities: stimulate exchange on urban transport and mobility innovation between a wide range of urban transport stakeholders from all over Europe;
* Publishing effective guidance for cities: develop brochures with key information on how to successfully implement the selected urban transport innovations;
* Spreading the word: organise European and national events to effectively disseminate the project results and to encourage the uptake of the 12 innovative concepts;
* Working with cities on the ground: provide resources and support for 6 champion cities, helping them to develop concrete implementation plans for NICHES+ concepts.
Operational objectives
On the basis of the overall objectives the following operational objectives were specified:
* Involve a wide range of stakeholders through interviews, four expert working groups, site visits and transfer workshops to discuss and validate innovative concepts in four thematic areas;
* Analyse in depth twelve selected innovative urban transport and mobility concepts, related needs of users and implementers and the transferability potential of the concepts based on existing good practices;
* Explore with leading practitioners the feasibility and transferability of the innovative concepts for other European cities and regions;
* Develop an overview brochure on the twelve innovative concepts that highlights their key characteristics;
* Develop a "Guidelines for implementers" document for each of the twelve innovative transport and mobility concepts examined in NICHES+ to provide guidance on crucial aspects for the implementation process;
* Provide policy recommendations on how to enhance the four thematic areas of NICHES+ targeted at the European and national level;
* Address existing gaps and coordination requirements by developing European research recommendations for urban transport innovations, particularly in the thematic areas covered by NICHES+;
* Develop with 6 NICHES+ Champion Cities concrete scenarios on how to implement selected innovative concepts in their local context and support this via site visits and workshops that involve practitioners from good practice cities;
* Encourage the use of innovative planning and financing strategies in the implementation by providing tailored recommendations on these aspects;
* Promote the further uptake of the innovative concepts beyond the Champion Cities through the provision of a study tour catalogue presenting cities that successfully implemented innovative concepts;
* Organise a range of dissemination events at national and European level to further facilitate uptake and implementation of the 12 innovative concepts;
* Disseminate the project results via the NICHES+ website, the OSMOSE portal on urban transport innovation and six electronic newsletters.
During the project the following additional operational objectives that were not part of the DoW were added:
* Make available e-learning courses on how to implement selected innovative concepts;
* Provide an accessible guideline on how to apply the NICHES+ transferability methodology.
1.2.2 Background
Building on the successful first NICHES project
NICHES+ built on the success of the first NICHES project (2004-2007) that identified, examined and promoted twelve excellent, transferable innovative transport concepts in four crucial thematic areas of sustainable urban transport: new seamless mobility services, innovative approaches in city logistics, new non-polluting and energy-efficient vehicles, and innovative demand management strategies. The first NICHES project successfully facilitated the coordination of research activities of academic institutions, industry, mobility operators and transport authorities. This experience was the basis for developing the NICHES+ project.
New thematic areas and methodology
Throughout the first NICHES project, it became clear that a range of other innovative themes and niches also have the potential to become crucial for sustainable urban transport. The project also identified a significant need for further guiding local authorities in taking up the challenge of actually integrating and implementing such innovative concepts in their urban transport policies. NICHES+ (2008-2011) therefore looked into the specific needs and expectations of potential users and implementers, while exploring topical new themes and corresponding innovative concepts to complete the picture.
The project focused on a set of 12 new innovative transport and mobility concepts in four thematic areas as summarised in the table below and developed a new methodology for the transferability analysis. The thematic areas were supported by project partners that took the role as Working Group leaders.
Table 1: NICHES+ 12 innovative urban mobility concepts (WG leader in brackets)
WG1: Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility (Rupprecht Consult)
Concept 1.1: Travel training for public transport
Concept 1.2: Neighbourhood accessibility planning
Concept 1.3: Tailored traveller information for users with reduced mobility
WG2: Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and transport interchanges (Transman)
Concept 2.1: Passenger friendly intermodal interchanges
Concept 2.2.: Innovative cycling facilities for intermodal interchanges
Concept 2.3: Infrastructure for innovative bus systems
WG3: Traffic management centres (Newcastle University)
Concept 3.1: Finance models for traffic management centres
Concept 3.2: Mobile travel information services for the public
Concept 3.3: Using environmental pollution data in traffic management
WG4: Automated and space efficient transport systems (University of Southampton, TRG)
Concept 4.1: Group Rapid Transit (GRT)
Concept 4.2: Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
Concept 4.3: Using Electric Vehicles in City Car Share Schemes

Involvement of Champion Cities
The project worked directly with its main target group (i.e. local and regional authorities) to develop implementation scenarios for the integration of innovative concepts in existing urban transport policies. This way, NICHES+ could help to find answers to crucial questions relating to innovative and sustainable urban transport policy making.
NICHES+ worked with the 6 NICHES+ Champion Cities (see map below) that were supported in the uptake of selected innovative concepts.

A call for proposals through Polis and EUROCITIES had been issued at the beginning of the project to search for cities that were interested in the uptake of the innovative transport and mobility concepts covered in NICHES+.
The six Champion Cities selected the following innovative concepts for their implementation scenarios:
1. Artois-Gohelle (France) - Travel Training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
2. Burgos (Spain) - Travel training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
3. Worcestershire (UK) - Key Corridor Improvement Schemes, incorporating Innovative Bus Systems
4. Trondheim (Norway) - Mobile Travel Information Services for the Public
5. Cork (Ireland) - Smarter Travel scheme (WG3 themes)
6. Daventry (UK) - Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
These cities worked together with the NICHES+ partners in drafting realistic implementation scenarios to support the uptake of the innovative concepts in the local context. Managerial issues, stakeholder consultation, financing and action planning were addressed. The NICHES+ project provided technical advice as well as financial support to the cities. National take-up seminars, organised by the Champion Cities in their respective countries, offered a chance to spread the message about the innovative concepts and to raise their profile among decision makers.

1.2.3 Methodological Approach
Building on the successful approach of the first project, which identified, examined and promoted examples of innovative transport concepts, NICHES+ followed 5 working steps:
Step 1: Selection of Champion cities and Innovative Concepts
Step 2: Analysis of needs and expectations of potential users and implementers
Step 3: Reviewing the transferability of Innovative concepts
Step 4: Developing research and policy recommendations (incl. Guidelines for implementers for all 12 innovative concepts)
Step 5: Implementation scenarios and preparation of take up in Champion Cities
The project dissemination activities were a horizontal task. The NICHES+ Advisory Committee supported the project in assessing progress and as jury for the European OSMOSE Awards on urban transport innovation that were handed over at the NICHES+ final conference.

1.2.4 Project Consortium
The NICHES+ consortium was composed of a variety of experts in the field of urban transport, ensuring the knowledge of the academic sector (Universities of Southampton and Newcastle), the expertise of consultants (Rupprecht Consult, TRANSMAN) and the multiplier effect of European networks (Polis, EUROCITIES).
The project was coordinated by Polis, supported by Rupprecht Consult as technical coordinator.

Project Results:
1.3 Description of the main S&T results/foregrounds
1.3.1 Overview on project structure
The implementation of the NICHES+ project and its 5 main work steps was organised in 7 Work Packages as illustrated in the figure 2 on the previous page. For each thematic area, a working group was established that met three times during the project. Each of these groups was guided by a Working Group leader from the Consortium and involved external experts on the 12 selected innovative concepts.
The project consortium was kept small on purpose to ensure an efficient cooperation. This helped to run the project with a pragmatic and decentralised management structure, in order to avoid both the risk of bottlenecks in management, as well as overly complicated implementation procedures. The management structure was based on the division of technical and administrative management and included the following roles:
* Project Manager and secretariat (Administrative coordinator): Polis
* Technical Co-ordinator: Rupprecht Consult
* NICHES+ Advisory Committee (NAC): External experts
* Work Package (WP) leaders: Polis, Rupprecht Consult, TRG, UNEW, Eurocities
* Working Group leaders: Rupprecht Consult (WG1), Transman (WG2), UNEW (WG3), TRG (WG4)
The Champion Cities were involved via sub-contracts. They were supported by the WG leader that covered the innovative concepts they worked on.

1.3.2 Work performed and main S&T results/ foregrounds
The work carried out within NICHES+ was structured into 7 WPs. In the following, the main S&T results/ foreground for WP1 to WP6 have been summarised. WP7 was related to project management and therefore did not produce any S&T results.

WP 1: Selection of Champion Cities and Innovative Concepts
Work package objectives
WP1 was led by POLIS. The main objectives of the WP were to:
* Select a group of 7 Champion Cities that express strong interest in implementing one or more of the innovative urban transport concepts identified and studied by NICHES and NICHES+;
* Provide a final selection of promising innovative urban transport concepts to be studied in the 4 Working Groups.
Work package results
Six Champion Cities selected for take-up of innovative concepts
At the beginning of the project, the city networks Polis and EUROCITIES launched a call for Champion Cities open to local and regional authorities. The call was widely promoted through the partner networks. To enable an objective assessment, the Consortium had developed criteria and parameters for the evaluation of applications by the Working Group leaders. The final selection was made at a Consortium meeting. The selected cities received a sub-contract to formalise their involvement in NICHES+. The whole procedure and the results of this process were summarised in Deliverable D 1.1 'Selection of Champion Cities'.
Eventually NICHES+ involved successfully the following 6 Champion Cities:
Artois-Gohelle focused on "Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility" (WG1)
The region is located in northern France and characterised by a disperse polycentric settlement structure with many small towns and villages. The "urban heart" of the region is formed by the cities Lens (35,000 inhabitants) and Liévin (32,500 inhabitants). The region is a former coal mining area. Urban regeneration and renewal is a key policy objective, in which attractive and accessible public transport services also play a role.
The key partner for the work in NICHES+ was the Transport Authority Syndicat Mixte des Transports Artois-Gohelle (SMT), which is responsible for managing public transport in the region. In response to the French Accessibility Act from 2005, SMT developed an accessibility scheme with a comprehensive strategy to enhance the accessibility of public transport in the region.

Burgos focused on 'Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility' (WG1)
The medium-sized city has 180,000 inhabitants and is situated in north-western Spain, in the Autonomous Region of Castilla-León. Burgos offers a rich historic and cultural heritage and an active cultural life around its flourishing university with the bustling presence of 9,500 students.
Burgos devised and drew up a Civic Mobility and Accessibility Pact, which was the first step towards developing a serious mobility and transport policy for the city. This Pact is founded on the premise that the key to a sustainable city and an improved quality of life is to solve the problem of mobility and urban accessibility. The principles of mobility, global accessibility and sustainability formulated in the Mobility Pact provided the framework for the CiViTAS project in Burgos. Its implementation has meant a complete transformation for the city in terms of mobility.
The body responsible for the work in NICHES+ was the Strategic City Plan (APEBU), a non-profit and public association belonging to the City Council.

Worcester focused on Concepts for Efficient Planning and Use of Infrastructure (WG2)
Worcester is one of the premier cathedral cities of England, its setting on the River Severn adds to its attraction and its role as a focal point for the regions rural communities give it a vibrancy and strong economic role within the region. The city is situated some 48 km southwest of Birmingham, 47 km north of Gloucester, with an estimated population of 94,700 people with a wider Worcester-shire population of 556,500.
Worcestershire aims to be a 'self-contained' county, offering a wide range of service and amenities to its residents, reducing their need to 'out-migrate' in search of suitable employment or other opportunities.
Worcestershire County Council, the cooperation partner in NICHES+, proposed the implementation of a series of high quality Key Corridor of Improvement (KCI) schemes, which embrace the BHLS (Buses with a High Level of Service - Innovative Bus Systems) concept. In the next 20 years, the City of Worcester could grow significantly. The City must embrace this change.

Cork focused on the thematic area of Traffic Management Centres (WG3)
Cork is Ireland's second largest city, located in the south-west of the country with a population of 119,418 (270,000 in the wider metropolitan area). It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork.
The broad economic situation in Cork is one of reduced budgets. Despite these economic conditions, Cork is still prioritising its planning objectives to provide a smart, effective and efficient transportation system. Traffic control within Cork currently comprises a number of stand-alone deployments. The cooperation partner in NICHES+ was Cork City Council.

Trondheim focused on the thematic area of Traffic Management Centres (WG3)
Trondheim is the fourth most populated city in Norway and is the administrative centre of Sør-Trøndelag county. The city of Trondheim has 165,000 inhabitants at a density of 458 people per km2. Trondheim currently experiences an adverse environmental impact from excess car use in the city centre: 44% of journeys in the CBD are made by private car. The re-introduction of road tolling was a strong recommendation of the Norwegian Department for Transport but has enabled Trondheim's objectives to become self-financing through the hypothecation of revenues to finance improvements to Public Transport.
The main objective is to increase the attractiveness of Public Transport by reducing travel times and improving the range and quality of services on offer. The cooperation partner in NICHES+ was the city administration.

Daventry focused on the thematic area of 'Automated and Space Efficient Transport Systems' (WG4)
Daventry is a small market town situated in a rural ie green environment, although it lies in the midlands area of the UK where car manufacturing in nearby towns and cities such as Longbridge, Birmingham, and Coventry, has traditionally been a major industry. The town of Daventry is expected to nearly double in population from 23,000 to 40,000 by 2021. Mobility is currently heavily focused on the use of the private car (59% modal share). Public transport services are based almost exclusively on a bus network and are used for only 2% of all trips. The size of the town and the passenger numbers are too small to allow an economic service with a sufficiently high frequency to be attractive to users, and this situation is not expected to change significantly as the town grows. Daventry is therefore keen to find a new sustainable system of transportation that will provide flexible transport between the existing and new residential, business, retail and leisure areas and at the same time help reduce the need to travel, especially by car; support the development of sustainable communities; reduce social exclusion and improve intermodality. The town falls within Daventry District and the responsible local government body is Daventry District Council (DDC) who were the partner representing Daventry in NICHES+.

12 innovative concepts selected for examination and promotion in NICHES+
The initial phase of the project served to refine the definition of the four thematic areas and related 12 innovative concepts for NICHES+. Based on a procedure for final assessment, selection and analysis of the Innovative Concepts, that was developed by Polis, the WG leaders were the key partners to carry out this task.
The results of this exercise were processed and integrated by the respective WG leaders into Deliverable D 1.2 'Selection of Innovative Concepts'. More precisely, this deliverable for each Working Group creates a vision for 2020, establishes a common understanding of the innovative concepts and ensures a sound coverage and representativeness of reference examples.

The 12 selected concepts are the following:

INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY (WG1)

1.1 Travel training for public transport
Travel training enables passengers to use public transport independently, without fears or concerns. The principal target groups are older people, people with disabilities or learning difficulties, and school children. The concept is becoming more and more popular, but is still not mainstream in public transport. Due to low costs and easy implementation, it is highly transferable.

1.2 Neighbourhood accessibility planning
Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning (NAP) aims at improving local conditions for walking and cycling as well as facilitating safe access to local facilities (e.g. schools, shops) and public transport services. New mobility forms such as inline-skating and local demands towards the public transport network can also be considered. A NAP scheme follows a participatory process with the local community to identify the main issues to be addressed. Despite its high relevance and potential to not only improve daily mobility but also social interaction in a neighbourhood, the concept is still not mainstream in Europe.

1.3 Tailored information for users with reduced mobility
This concept aims to provide tailored public transport travel information to people with reduced mobility. Information on barrier-free travel options via the Internet (and hotline), as a convenient means for planning a trip in advance, is a key characteristic of the concept. Tailored online information and information via a hotline for mobility impaired travellers is still the exception in Europe, but has a lot of potential to improve the daily mobility of many users.


CONCEPTS FOR EFFICIENT PLANNING AND USE OF INFRASTRUCTURES (WG2)

2.1 Passenger friendly intermodal interchanges
A number of traffic flows of a different nature meet and cross each other at an intermodal interchange. Enhanced transport functions are focused on providing solutions for smart and efficient interaction of these flows in interchanges. Different user groups come together in intermodal interchanges. Passenger friendliness of these interchanges is crucial to further developments in public transport.

2.2 Innovative cycling facilities for intermodal interchanges
Bicycle use is a promising alternative to the car as feeder transport to interchanges, if bicycles can be parked in a safe, secure place. From an environmental perspective, the combined use of cycling and public transport offers one of the best alternatives to the car and provides an additional travel choice for passengers.

2.3 Infrastructure for innovative bus systems
Giving priority to buses in congested cities has proven to be a very effective strategy. In its simplest form, a bus lane can be implemented on a short stretch of road, as a through- or by-pass for a congested zone. In many cases however, bus lanes are connected to a separate road network with its own traffic management system, traffic signals, and bus stop facilities. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and bus lanes are not only implemented to pass through congested road sections, but to connect several districts or suburban areas with each other. They operate in central (often congested) urban areas with the reliability of light rail, and with the flexibility of buses in peripheral areas.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CENTRES (WG3)

3.1 Finance models for traffic management centres
Collaboration between public and private partners enables industry to innovate, think long term and influence the public sector. The private sector can manage a 'public' Traffic Management Centre (TMC) to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Identifying an appropriate financial and management model is crucial for implementing, improving or upgrading a TMC.

3.2 Mobile travel information services for the public
Delivery of travel information to mobile devices provides new options for travellers on the move. Mobile travel information services (MTIS) provide comprehensive information for a traveller during a trip. MTIS can enhance the convenience of travel by public transport. They can thus contribute towards "green choices" by making public transport a more attractive option. They require integration of mobile communication, wireless, Internet, satellite and computing technologies.

3.3 Using environmental pollution data in traffic management
There is a wide range of pollutants in urban areas, many of them by-products of transport activities. The ability to gather, manage and process pollution data enables a local authority to fully understand the impact of transport in their city. Provision of environmental data in meaningful formats can be used to agree policy decisions, and can be disseminated to the public to help them make informed travel decisions and "green choices".

AUTOMATED SPACE EFFICIENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS (WG4)

4.1 Group Rapid Transit
Group Rapid Transit (GRT) is a new form of collective public transport using small automated electric "cyberbuses" to provide demand responsive feeder and shuttle services connecting e.g. a parking lot with a major transport terminal and/or with other facilities such as a business or retail park, university, hospital, hotels, shopping or exhibition centre.

4.2 Personal Rapid Transit
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is a new form of public transport using small automated electric "podcars" to provide a taxi-like service for individuals or small groups of travellers, and to provide demand responsive feeder and shuttle services connecting, for example a parking lot with a major transport terminal and/or with other facilities such as business and retail parks, universities, hospitals, hotels, shopping or exhibition centres.

4.3 Electric cars in city car share schemes
City Car Share Clubs are well established, though many cities do not yet see them as a legitimate "public transport" offering, and only very few examples use electric vehicles. Car share clubs mean shared vehicles, and consequently, a reduced number of privately owned cars on the roads and at the same time a proportional reduction in the number of parking spaces needed. Electric vehicles are green, clean and quiet, and offer obvious advantages over conventional fossil fuelled cars in city environments.

NICHES+ Advisory Committee (NAC) established
The NAC consisted of experienced experts on urban transport and mobility. The following persons were members of the NAC:
* John Miles, Road Transport Advisory Committee PIARC, facilitator of the world ITS community
* Réginald Babin, Head of Transport Systems and innovation at GART
* Thanos Vlastos, Professor at Athens University, specialised in transport and user behaviour
* Tiago Farias, Professor at University of Lisbon specialised in urban transport
* Marcin Wolek, Councillor in Gdynia and deputy head of the Department of Transportation Markets within the faculty of economic at the University of Gdansk.
This high-level advisory committee accompanied the NICHES+ project with assessments of the project's progress and advice on the approach to follow throughout the project.

Follow-up work with Champion Cities
After the selection and notification of the 7 Champion Cities, Polis and the WG leaders were in regular contact with the Champion Cities.
The first phase of the project served to:
* Set-up communication structures between Champion Cities and WG leaders
* Prepare of a template for the implementation scenarios
* Establish individual work plans for the Champion Cities
* Have first site visits of WG leaders to Champion Cities to assess the local challenges and opportunities
Two joint meetings with the complete NICHES+ Consortium and all Champion Cities took place in this phase to provide the fundament for the work on the implementation scenarios (→ see WP5).
In this phase the Champion Cities defined more precisely the innovative concepts to focus on:
1. Artois-Gohelle (France) - Travel Training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
2. Burgos (Spain) - Travel training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
3. Worcestershire (UK) - Key Corridor Improvement Schemes, incorporating Innovative Bus Systems
4. Trondheim (Norway) - Mobile Travel Information Services for the Public
5. Cork (Ireland) - Smarter Travel scheme (WG3 themes)
6. Daventry (UK) - Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)

Overview of deliverables and events
* Deliverable D 1.1 'Selection of Champion Cities'
* Deliverable D 1.2 'Selection of Innovative Concepts'
* First NAC meeting, Brussels, 8 September 2008.
* First Champion City meeting, Brussels, 10-11 December 2008
* First visits of WG leaders in Champion Cities of their thematic area


WP 2: Needs and Expectations of Potential Users and Implementers

Work package objectives
WP2 was led by Rupprecht Consult. The main objectives of the WP were to:
* Identify potential users of the innovative concepts and stakeholders with a key role for uptake and implementation;
* Select the experts for the first WG meeting;
* Identify users' and implementers' needs and expectations in relation to the NICHES+ thematic areas and selected concepts;
* Identify resulting opportunities and barriers for the selected concepts in the market;
* Develop recommendations to potential implementers on how to take into consideration user needs and expectations when designing and implementing the selected innovative concepts.

Work package results
Expert exchange on needs and expectations of potential users and implementers
The first NICHES+ working group meeting, which took place in Brussels on 9-10 December 2008, gathered 35 experts on the innovative concepts to discuss the needs and expectations of potential users and implementers. This topic was chosen as it is essential for the better understanding of the innovative concepts and the rationale behind their implementation. The experience from the first NICHES project clearly showed that a sound understanding of user needs is key to making transport innovations a success. A second key factor, is the composition of the right project team and the definition of how to involve other stakeholders that influence the process.
The expert selection for the working group meeting was based on criteria agreed on in the Consortium. The WG leaders had a key role in identifying practitioners with hands-on experience in the implementation and analysis of the 12 innovative concepts. This approach was also used for following WG meetings.
The WG meeting was successful not only in gathering a substantial amount of information on the topic, but also in enabling networking between the experts. The NICHES+ Champion cities attended the meeting and had a chance to develop a better understanding of the concept(s) they wanted to implement and to exchange with the experts.
The results of the WG meeting are available in D 2.1 'Minutes of First Working Group Meeting'.

Report on 'Needs and expectations of potential users and implementers'
Deliverable D 2.2 'Report on needs and expectations of potential users and implementers' summarises the results of the WG meeting and further desktop research as well as informal expert interviews of the WG leaders. The document targets city administrations and other local stakeholders interested in uptake of the 12 innovative concepts. It is clear that each local context needs to be looked at individually and that user needs and stakeholders for implementation will differ from place to place. The report on needs and expectations therefore cannot give answers to all questions, but rather provides some generalised hints on user needs and stakeholders for implementation to support potential implementers in their analysis of the local context. The information given in the document is building on experiences from practitioners that have already implemented successful examples of the innovative concepts.

The report provides valuable information for take-up cities:
* Basic understanding of why it is important to look at users and stakeholders for implementation;
* Detailed analyses on who typical users for each of the twelve innovative concepts are;
* Identification of typical needs and expectations that the users may have with regards to the thematic fields covered by the innovative concepts;
* Detailed analyses on the typical stakeholders for implementation and their expectations. The report looks closer at how project teams that take the lead in implementation can be composed and at typical outside influencers that can support or oppose the implementation;
* A separate annex provides interested stakeholders with some basics on stakeholder analysis and participation. It also gives an overview on available tools and methodologies and sources for further reading.
The report gives some generalised key results across the thematic areas for users, project teams and outside influencers.
Users:
* The analysis across the four thematic areas of NICHES+ showed that the user needs are often not sufficiently analysed before project implementation. In many cases the users do not have a sufficient voice to make themselves heard and would need empowerment. In some cases local interest groups take the role of raising awareness for weaker citizens (e.g. older people), but there are still many users that do not have such representatives.
* While the involvement of users can be considered to be a must, when implementing urban transport innovation, it also needs careful consideration at which level and when during the processes users should be involved via participatory tools. While a high level of participation has usually a positive connotation, too much participation carried out at the wrong moment, or without professional preparation, can be counterproductive for the realisation of the uptake.
* Another crucial point is to provide regular feedback loops to the users that have been involved in participation. There are a wide range of expectations on the user side and people may wonder what happened to their input if no feedback is provided. This also means that user involvement is not only a singular event in the implementation, but should be understood as constant task in the long-run, including user feedback on a fully operative service (e.g. for fine-tuning).
Project team:
* A clear message across the four Working Groups was that the project team, which is driving forward the planning and implementation of an innovative concept should consist of a small and effective group of stakeholders, which is not too big. This core group needs to work towards common aims and to have good communication within the team, while other crucial stakeholders can also be involved via well-managed cooperative processes.
* Typical initiators of project implementation are local authorities, public transport operators, public transport authorities or associations, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or local interest groups. For bigger organisations, several departments or units may be involved and need to be well coordinated.
* The project team can include very different stakeholders depending on the tasks to be taken on. In many cases there are also technical experts, external moderators or planners, or other specialists (e.g. legal experts, psychologist, public relations experts) in the team. This can also be via subcontracting to make available expertise that is not present within the core organisations.
* Money is of course a big issue. Those that decide on public money (e.g. financial officers, politicians) or private investors and developers may have a very important role in the project team or need to be paid special attention to as cooperation partners.
Outside influencers:
* Doing a "stakeholder mapping" exercise (details annex of report D2.2) which helps to identify the different interests and influence of potential stakeholders for project implementation should be a must for each project team. This can help to identify those stakeholders that may become problematic and those that may be supportive of the implementation process.
* There may be a big number of potential "outside influencers" and it is recommendable to have a clear strategy on how to use the available resources for cooperation with and/ or involvement of these groups and when to do this in the process.
* Experience shows that this can be crucial to address possible fears and concerns that stakeholders may have. A typical case are local businesses that may be afraid of suffering from any measure that aims at the reduction of car traffic.
* Local interest groups often become important cooperation partners, while it was also mentioned by some experts, that they do not necessarily always express what individual users would say. Therefore it may be recommendable to involve not only local interest groups but also individual users.
* In most cases it is also advisable to establish early a good relationship to the media. Good press may be decisive to activate public and political support.
* Finally, each project team should define a clear strategy on how to bring the decisive people together at one table to commonly work towards project implementation. This also requires good moderation skills.

Overview of deliverables and events
* First WG meeting, Brussels, 9-10 December 2008
* D 2.1 'Minutes of First Working Group Meeting'
* D 2.2 'Report on needs and expectations of potential users and implementers'

WP 3: Reviewing the Transferability of Innovative Concepts

Work package objectives
WP3 was led by TRG. The overall aim of the WP was to examine the key issues for successful implementation and transferability of the innovative concepts. The main objectives of the WP were to:
* Analyse the framework conditions for a successful implementation and transfer of the innovative concepts into mainstream;
* Study key success factors and barriers for different implementation phases (preparation, actual implementation, operation);
* Determine the integration potential - as well as integration need - of single innovative concepts into comprehensive packages of urban transport policies and measures;
* Draw conclusions about the complementarity of these concepts and their transferability to other urban contexts in relation to national/regional conditions.


Work package results
The transferability of the innovative concepts was at the core of NICHES+. This included two elements:
* The generalised analysis of the transferability with the help of practitioners from good practice cities (WP3), and
* The practical and specific work on the transferability to the NICHES+ Champion Cities (see WP5).
WP3 provided the basic analysis needed for the elaboration of the Guidelines for implementers (see WP4) and the implementation scenarios (see WP5).

Exchange on transferability of innovative concepts
The 2nd WG meeting, 27-28 April 2009 in Budapest focused on the analysis of conditions for successful implementation of innovative concepts. The meeting brought together experts from across Europe to gather input on the key success factors and barriers for implementing the innovative concepts. There was a lively exchange between the experts, as well as with the Champion Cities attending the meeting.
The results of the WG meeting are available in D 3.1 'Minutes of second Working Group Meeting'.

In depth- analysis of transferability potential of innovative concepts
While the first NICHES project had already applied a transferability analysis, it also became clear that there a more sophisticated tool was needed for analysing the transferability of innovative urban mobility concepts. The WP leader TRG developed a new methodology, taking into account selected results from existing work from several European projects, notably MOBISERVICES (2002) and PRISCILLA (2002), METEOR (2005) and NICHES (2006).
The tool for analysing the transferability needed to take into account the following objectives:
* To show how the selected NICHES+ Innovation Concepts (ICs) could be implemented successfully in other 'cities' in order to encourage the transfer of good practice.
* To assess whether the success of an IC is dependent on any particular conditions, and whether the success achieved and the lessons learnt in one 'city' can be transferred to other 'cities'.
A methodology for assessing transferability was developed that consists of a 6 step approach:
(1) Clarify the impacts and measures of success of the Innovative Concepts (ICs);
(2) Identify if up-scaling is required and take into account subsequently as appropriate;
(3) Identify the main components of the IC and its context relevant to transferability;
(4) Identify the main characteristics of each component and their level of existence/achievement in the current context;
(5) Assess the likely ease or difficulty in achieving the necessary level of the characteristic in a receiving city;
(6) Consider the set of values across the characteristics and assess the likely potential for transferability and any conditions that may be required.
An understanding of the transferability issues relating to the 12 NICHES+ innovative concepts has been achieved by engaging in dialogue with experts in the field. Three approaches have been deployed:
* initially, to identify the key issues relating to transferability;
* secondly in the 2nd WG meeting in Budapest, attended by around forty experts to discuss and refine the key issues, particularly the key success factors and barriers to deployment;
* thirdly, through a series of detailed interviews undertaken with practitioners.
The transferability methodology has been described in well accessible format in the 'Guidelines for assessing the transferability of an innovative urban mobility concept' (see below).
The results of the specific analyses of the transferability of the 12 innovative concepts have been described in D 3.3 'Report on implementation issues and transferability of innovative concepts' (see below).
The findings of the transferability analysis were reported to the NAC at its second meeting, which took place 6 October 2009.

Report on implementation issues and transferability + fact sheets
Deliverable D 3.3 'Report on implementation issues and transferability of innovative concepts' summarises the process and findings for the transferability of the NICHES+ innovative concepts (ICs).
In summary: the analysis of constraints upon transferability identified through the interview process enabled some generic understandings to be developed. With the single exception of IC2.1 'Pedestrian friendly intermodal interchanges', constraints upon transferability of at least a modest nature were identified for every IC from the interview process. However, the lack of any strong constraints upon transferability for ICs 1.1 'Travel Training', 2.1 'Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning', 2.2 'Innovative cycling facilities for intermodal interchanges', 3.2 'Mobile traveller information services for the public' and 4.3 'Electric vehicles in city car share schemes' suggests that these five ICs are likely to offer the greatest potential for unproblematic implementation.
Some of the most common strong constraints across the remaining innovative concepts relate to the financing of implementation and concern issues such as the difficulties of obtaining funding from relevant bodies such as national and local government and of obtaining the scale of investment required to meet the capital costs of design, planning and implementation.
Organisational and institutional aspects were another area of common strong constraint upon transferability. Issues such as obtaining interest and support from major stakeholders, most typically national and local government, were most significant. Once support had been obtained, a common issue was the facilitation of cooperative working in the implementation of solutions.
Strong constraints relating to technical requirements were necessarily more specific than generic in nature. For ICs involving significant infrastructure and technological developments (particularly those in thematic area 4 Automated and Space efficient transport systems), some major constraints upon transferability were identified. In other cases, technical issues commonly related to the costs associated with the collection and analysis of data.
In broad terms, the degree to which strong constraints upon transferability were identified across the ICs was strongly influenced by two factors:
* The scale of the intervention being considered in terms of cost and its perceived impacts on travel behaviour and the urban environment - the greater the costs and impacts associated with the intervention, the greater the likelihood of barriers to transferability being identified:
* The degree of innovation involved in the intervention - the more radical the intervention, the greater the likelihood of barriers to transferability being identified.
In addition to the transferability report, the Consortium produced fact sheets on all 12 innovative concepts (D 3.2) that present them in brief. They have been summarised in a quality print brochure.


Overview of deliverables and events
* 2nd WG meeting, 27-28 April 2009 in Budapest
* D 3.1 'Minutes of second Working Group Meeting'
* D 3.2 Fact sheets on all 12 innovative concepts
* D 3.3 'Report on implementation issues and transferability of innovative concepts'
* Second NAC meeting, 6 October 2009.

WP4: Research and Policy Recommendations

Work package objectives
WP4 was led by UNEW. The objectives of the WP were to:
* Adapt the recommendations methodology successfully applied in the previous NICHES project to the new thematic areas identified for NICHES+, thereby providing a consistent methodological approach across the 8 thematic areas of both projects;
* Provide targeted recommendations on each of the 12 NICHES+ concepts that are of high practical value to implement the concepts and will assist the Champion Cities in their selection of suitable implementation strategies;
* Initiate a broad debate on research and policy requirements to enhance the development and uptake of urban transport innovations, and achieve a targeted involvement of stakeholders;
* Address existing gaps and coordination requirements by developing European 'Research Recommendations' for urban transport innovations, particularly in the thematic areas covered in NICHES+;
* Address cooperation and coordination needs at the level of policy and decision making by formulating 'Policy recommendations', targeted at the local, regional, national and European level.

Work package results
Exchange on policy and research recommendations
The 3rd WG meeting that took place on 1-2 December 2009 in Cork, served to develop research and policy recommendations on all four thematic areas of NICHES+with a group of thematic experts. These recommendations were principally targeted at European (partially national) level.
Furthermore, the draft Guidelines for implementers (see below) were discussed with the experts and their feedback for fine-tuning was collected.
The results of the WG meeting are available in D 4.2 'Minutes of third Working Group Meeting'.

12 Guidelines for implementers on the innovative concepts
For each of the 12 innovative concepts the WG leaders developed 'Guidelines for implementers' document (D 4.1). These publications can be considered to be among the key outputs of the project, which also have been made available as quality print brochures (see WP6).
Concept implementers such as the Champion Cities and other adopting cities or regions benefit directly from the Guidelines. Within the NICHES+ project they also assisted the development of suitable Implementation Strategies in the Champion Cities.
The overall aim of the Guidelines is to create awareness for a specific concept and provide more detailed information for uptake at a local level. By providing practical hints on the implementation process at the local level, they prove very useful to officials and technicians of local authorities and other stakeholders potentially involved in the implementation process. They assist decision makers in assessing the suitability and feasibility of an innovative concept in their city.
The design of the Guidelines is similar to the 12 Policy Notes designed in the first NICHES project (2004-2007). This provides a consistency of methodological approach and output across the two projects.
The Guidelines give an overview on:
* The characteristics of the innovative concept;
* Benefits and costs;
* Users & Stakeholders;
* Preparation of implementation;
* Actual implementation process;
* Operation and long-term perspective;
* Good practice studies and illustrations from advanced cities in Europe;
* Further information sources;
* Contacts of practitioners that have already implemented the concept and other experts in the field.
The Guidelines for Implementers were very well received by the target group as various comments and follow-up contacts showed. Also the Champion Cities confirmed the value of the documents for their work on implementing an innovative concept in their specific context.


Research recommendations
In the first NICHES project, it was found that despite the large amount of research activities in the urban transport field, there were still significant research gaps in the thematic areas of the project. Addressing these gaps enabled provision of key research recommendations structured around research topics, perspectives and formats. The analysis took into account the full range of activities covered by research programmes, including theoretical and applied research, exchange of results, good practice transfer, and case studies.
NICHES+ followed a similar approach. The research recommendations have been targeted at EU level decision-makers and the European research community, in particular upcoming EU-funded research activities. The recommendations should not be seen as an exhaustive list, but rather as input to the discussion on future research needs.
The identification of research recommendations was carried out by the WG leaders of each thematic area through the 3rd Working Group meeting in Cork, Ireland, through a survey of specially selected experts, and through a discussion with the NICHES Advisory Committee (NAC) at its third meeting on 29 June 2010.
The research recommendations document (D 4.3) provides an overview on the analysis of existing research recommendations prior to NICHES+ and on the research recommendations generated with the help of the expert network in NICHES+.

Policy recommendations
The NICHES+ Policy Recommendations are aimed generally at EU level (and in some instances national level). They complement the Guidelines for Implementers (D6.6) which are targeted at the local or regional level. Creating the right context conditions for the implementation of concepts at the local or regional level is a key output of NICHES+, however sometimes national or European policies are factors that contribute to these context conditions. Making high level policy makers aware of the policy requirements for concept implementation is therefore another key output of the project.
The identification of policy recommendations was carried out by the leader of each thematic area through the third working group meeting in Cork, Ireland, and through a survey of selected experts.
The policy recommendations document (D 4.4) provides an overview of the policy recommendations by thematic area that were developed with the NICHES+ expert network. They specifically address the following areas where barriers to successful implementation may exist:
* Financial issues;
* Stakeholders relations;
* Organisational issues;
* Administrative issues;
Furthermore the policy recommendations from the original NICHES project are presented in an Annex, and are revisited to assess the extent to which they have been implemented.
Both the policy and research recommendation have been made available in an easy to read format per Working Group theme.

Guidelines for assessing the transferability of an innovative urban mobility concept
The methodology for the transferability analysis has been described in D 3.3 but it became clear that a more accessible document was needed that outlines briefly and in simple language how to apply the methodology for the transferability analysis.
Therefore, a document suitable for wider dissemination to potential up-take candidates was developed by the WP leader TRG. It explains in detail and with examples how to apply the six step approach used in NICHES+.
The document has been made available as quality print and as electronic version as D4.5. It was an additional output that was originally not foreseen in Annex 1 'Description of Work'.

Overview of deliverables and events
* 3rd WG meeting, 1-2 December 2009, Cork
* D 4.1 'Guidelines for implementers (for each of the 12 innovative concepts)
* D 4.2 'Minutes of third Working Group Meeting'
* D 4.3 Research recommendations
* D 4.4 Policy recommendations
* D 4.5 'Guidelines for assessing the transferability of an innovative urban mobility concept'
* NICHES Advisory Committee (NAC), third meeting, 29 June 2010

WP5: Implementation Scenarios and Preparation of Take-up
Work package objectives
WP5 was led by Rupprecht Consult. The objectives of the WP were:
* To match the selected champion cities with suitable NICHES+ concepts that could be implemented at the specific sites;
* To develop - in cooperation with selected stakeholders in the champion cities - concrete implementation plans for the uptake of innovative concepts;
* To encourage the use of innovative planning and financing strategies in the implementation by providing tailored recommendations on these aspects;
* To promote the further uptake of the innovative concepts beyond the champion cities through the provision of a study tour catalogue presenting cities that successfully implemented the innovative concepts.

Work package results
Site visits and workshops with Champion Cities
The practical work with the Champion Cities was a core element of NICHES+. On the one hand it served to test the transferability analysis and the suitability of the Guidelines for implementers, on the other hand the experiences of the Champion Cities contributed to better understand the barriers and success factors for the uptake of innovative urban transport and mobility solutions.
Several site visits of the WG leaders and of external experts were an essential element of NICHES+ to understand the local context and to provide tailored advice to the Champion Cities on how to implement a given innovative concept.
Besides several meetings between the WG leaders and the Champion Cities, the following site visits (inbound or outbound) with local stakeholders and external experts took place and contributed to advance the implementation scenarios:
* Artois-Gohelle
▪ Outbound: Munich, 26 and 27 October 2009, site visit and workshop on Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning measures
▪ Outbound: Gothenburg, 8-9 July 2010, site visit and workshop, exchange between SMT Artois-Gohelle and City of Gothenburg's accessibility expert. Input to implementation scenario on Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning.
▪ Outbound: Salzburg, 5-6 October 2010, site visit and workshop, exchange between SMT Artois-Gohelle, TADAO (PT operator) and Salzburg AG. Input on implementation scenario on Travel Training.
* Burgos:
▪ Outbound: Munich, 26 and 27 October 2009, site visit and workshop on Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning measures
▪ Inbound: 23 March 2010, site visit and workshop with two German experts on Travel Training to deliver input on Burgos' locally tailored travel training scheme for school children in Burgos.
* Worcestershire:
▪ Outbound: Lorient/Nantes, 8-10 March 2010, visit of French examples of BRT systems.
* Daventry:
▪ Outbound: Rivium (Netherlands), 19 March 2010, visit of GRT and PRT systems.
▪ Outbound: PRT at Heathrow, 14 July 2010
* Cork:
▪ Inbound: 1 June 2010, site visit and workshop with Danny Vroemen, Imtech, expert on TMCs

Implementation scenarios for 6 Champion Cities
Each of the Champion Cities produced, in close cooperation with the responsible WG leader, an implementation scenario that describes in detail how one or more of the NICHES+ innovative concepts can realistically be implemented in the local context. All 6 cities are highly committed to implementation and in some cases implementation is under way or has already been concluded (see overview below).
The cities focus on the following innovative concepts:
1. Artois-Gohelle (France) - Travel Training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
2. Burgos (Spain) - Travel training and Neighbourhood Accessibility Planning
3. Worcestershire (UK) - Key Corridor Improvement Schemes, incorporating Innovative Bus Systems
4. Trondheim (Norway) - Mobile Travel Information Services for the Public
5. Cork (Ireland) - Smarter Travel scheme
6. Daventry (UK) - Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
For each city, several draft versions of the implementation scenario were elaborated by the WG leader and reviewed/ complemented by the Champion Cities. A dedicated session at the 3rd NAC meeting on 29 June 2010 served to discuss the status of the implementation scenarios and to identify gaps, where more work was needed.
The implementation scenarios describe a realistic path towards measure implementation. They also include tailored recommendations on innovative planning and financing strategies, answering questions that were identified by the Champion Cities via a survey.
Each WG leader had a concluding meeting or phone conference with his Champion City/ies to approve the final version of the implementation scenario.
Based on the final versions of the full implementation scenarios (D 5.1) illustrated short versions for wider dissemination (D 6.8) were elaborated by the WG leaders. These documents are recommended for readers that want to get a quick overview on the plans of the Champion Cities.
All implementation scenarios have been made available on the NICHES+ website.

Good progress in actual implementation of innovative concepts
All of the NICHES+ Champion Cities benefitted from the elaboration of concrete implementation scenarios. For some of the Champion Cities, the implementation of the selected concept has already taken place (e.g. travel training and neighbourhood accessibility planning in Burgos), is under way (e.g. BRT in Worcester) or has been confirmed to take place in 2011 (e.g. travel training in Artois-Gohelle). For others, the implementation scenario is an important basis to work towards the implementation (e.g. advanced traffic management and traveller information in Cork).

Study tour catalogue
The study tour catalogue includes 35 good practice examples on urban transport innovation in Europe. The work on this deliverable was carried out by EUROCITIES (WP6 leader) in cooperation with Polis and Rupprecht Consult. The final print of the brochure has been sent to the experts involved in NICHES+ and is also available for wider dissemination. An electronic version has been made available on the NICHES+ website. The aim of the this Study Tour Catalogue is to provide urban transport professionals and local decision makers with an overview of European towns and cities that successfully implemented innovative strategies which have the potential to become mainstream transport solutions. The featured cities have been selected by the urban transport experts that were involved in NICHES and NICHES+.


Overview of deliverables, events and other outputs
* Site visits (inbound/ outbound) and transfer workshops with Champion City participation (see list above)
* D 5.1 Full implementation scenario for each Champion City (+ D 6.8 illustrated short versions for wider dissemination)
* 3rd NAC meeting, 29 June 2010
* Implementation of innovative concepts in Champion Cities already on the way or with good progress (see list above)

WP 6: Dissemination and Exploitation (POLIS)

Work package objectives
WP6 was led by EUROCITIES. The objectives of the WP were to:
* Ensure the widest possible dissemination of the outputs of the NICHES+ and NICHES projects;
* Identify target groups and collate contact database;
* Develop print and on-line communication tools;
* Organise dissemination events at national and European level to further facilitate uptake and implementation of innovative concepts.
The Work Package was designed to deliver and present the products of the WP3, 4 and 5 to a broader audience. The main objective of these Work Packages were there for the development of scientifically sound content. The project's dissemination and exploitation work package then managed public print edition.

Work package results
Publications
A project leaflet describing the project at a glance was published, with an insert that highlights the involvement of the 6 Champion Cities. (D6.2 project leaflet).
A summary brochure "Moving from theory to Practice" with all 12 innovative urban transport concepts was made available in print and digital format in English, Polish, German and Spanish and in French in digital format. (D6.5)
Twelve guidelines for implementers were produced following the Innovative Concepts selected in Work Package 1 and studied in WP3, 3 and 4 (D6.6). NICHES+ developed, together with leading experts on urban transport, twelve highly attractive and interesting practitioner manuals which explain how to implement the NICHES+ schemes, the costs involved, the benefits of the measures, and which stakeholders to involve.
The twelve guidelines are:
- Travel training for public transport
- Neighbourhood accessibility planning
- Tailored traveller information for users with reduced mobility
- Passenger friendly intermodal interchanges
- Innovative cycling facilities for intermodal interchanges
- Infrastructure for innovative bus systems
- Financing and implementing traffic management centres
- Mobile travel information services for the public
- Using environmental pollution data in traffic management
- Group Rapid Transit
- Personal Rapid Transit
- Electric cars in car share clubs

NICHES+ also published guidelines for transferability, which can help the assessment of the transferability potential of an innovative transport measure.
Finally, the NICHES+ Study Tour Catalogue was published. The study tour catalogue includes 35 good practice examples on urban transport innovation in Europe. The document is produced both in digital and in printed form.

All publications have been bundled in the NICHES+ Transport Innovation Box, an attractive folder that helps urban transport experts to store and access the various materials of NICHES+.

Events
The NICHES+ events took place at two levels.

1. National level.
Seven national events highlighted the experiences of the 6 Champion Cities for urban transport professionals of their country. One additional national event took place in Warsaw, Poland.
The NICHES+ Champion Cities acted as disseminators towards other cities in their countries. The cities, in close cooperation with Polis and EUROCITIES, organised take-up seminars at the national level that targeted other cities within the same country. This country-based approach overcame the language-barriers often encountered in European projects and capitalised on the interest of cities to learn from their peers. Cooperation with project partners ensured that the learning process took into account the inputs from the project. The national seminars acted as transmitters from European to national level and complemented the European dissemination efforts undertaken by the project partners.
* Burgos, 14 October 2010, 40 participants: A dedicated NICHES+ session within a conference that explored the Burgos European Involvement in urban transport projects,
* Artois-Gohelle, 2 December 2010, 65 participants: The event was organised in Liévin, in cooperation with CETE-Nord-Picardie (Centre d'etudes techniques de l'équippement),
* Trondheim, 7 December 2010, 15 participants: this targeted workshop (upon invitation only) brought together the key-experts in Norway on mobile travel information systems,
* Daventry, 8 February 2011, 120 participants: this high level conference addressed the potential of Personal Rapid Transit in Daventrye,
* Worcestershire, 2 March 2011, 45 participants. The seminar was dedicated to the Worcestershire key-transport corridors and included a site visit,
* Warsaw, 17 March 2011, 65 participants. The event was organised in cooperation with IKKU, the Polish association for continuous professional training of transport experts. The programme contained an interesting mix of European (project) experiences and Polish good practice within the NICHES+ thematic areas, especially WG2.
* Cork, 23 March, 50 participants. The event addressed the topic of Smarter Travel - Traffic &Travel Information.
The national events also provided an excellent occasion to bring in expertise of other European projects such as EBSF, Green Emotion, CITYMOBIL, MEDIATE, COST BHLS and AENEAS. The presentations of the events are available at the NICHES+ website.

2. European level.
At the European level, the NICHES+ final conference took place in London on the 7th of April 2011. The conference - organised in cooperation with the London European Partnership For Transport (LEPT) - attracted 125 participants. It offered a unique opportunity for urban transport practitioners and policy makers from all over Europe to learn more about innovative approaches in urban transport accessibility, infrastructure and interchanges, traffic management centres and automated vehicles. The programme combined expert presentations with testimonials from NICHES+ champion cities, plenary debates, technical displays and unique site visit opportunities.
The final conference also celebrated the winners of the second edition of the OSMOSE awards (see below). Master class site visits were organised on the 8th of April offering opportunities to visit PRT at Heathrow, the Golden Mile for Mobility Management, King's Cross / Saint Pancras Interchange and Arriva's new bus control centre, Mild May Park.

The final conference was reported upon in an attractive video. This video gives the floor to key-stakeholders in urban transport innovation, and gives motivating examples of innovation in practice. The video is available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPa-Asm9BLs.
Another European event was the Clermont-Ferrand summer university. The project addressed young urban transport professionals by organising the two-day NICHES+ summer school as part of the longer summer school entitled 'New Urban Mobility Services' which is organised by the universities, high schools, and public transport provider of Clermont-Ferrand in cooperation with Polis on 9-10 September 2010.
The two-day summer school aimed at providing participants with a solid basis in the concept of transferability assessment and background information about innovative concepts such as neighbourhood accessibility planning, Bus Rapid Transit, Urban Traffic Management Centres and electric vehicles. The summer school addressed a group of 20 young transport professionals from all over Europe - students and graduates.

Website
The NICHES+ website (www.niches-transport.org) was constantly updated throughout the project and in its final form holds information and download opportunities for:
* All NICHES+ deliverables
* All NICHES+ events
* NICHES+ good practice case studies and fact sheets
* NICHES+ Champion Cities activities, including the short and long versions of the local Implementation Scenarios
* Access to the e-learning tools (see below)
In parallel with the NICHES+ project website, the OSMOSE portal (www.osmose-os.org) was kept up to date with relevant case studies and reports, and an update of the NICHES+ involved urban transport experts.

E-learning
As additional dissemination tool in innovative format, NICHES+ developed three e-learning courses on the following topics:
* Travel training for public transport (develop by RC)
* Neighbourhood accessibility planning (developed by RC)
* Traffic management centres (developed by UNEW)
The e-learning modules offer a guided training tour with text, illustrations, videos and quizzes. They include material from the Guidelines for Implementers and from further sources.
The e-learning tools were not foreseen in Annex 1 (DoW), but the Consortium with the agreement of the EC officer decided to make use of some remaining resources to develop a more interactive electronic training format for people interested in the uptake of selected innovative concepts. The participants of the e-learning courses need to register on the NICHES+ website. This enables to track the usage of the tool.

The OSMOSE awards
The second edition of the OSMOSE awards was organised by Polis and EUROCITIES. The winners were presented with the awards on 7 April in London at the final conference of the NICHES+ project. The first OSMOSE Awards were presented in 2007 to Barcelona, Bremen, Freiburg, Graz, Emilia Romagna and Stockholm at the final conference of the NICHES project.
Madrid (ES), Essex (UK), Barcelona (ES), Aalborg (DK) and San Sebastian (ES) won the OSMOSE Awards for local traffic innovations. The awards were presented to the winners on 7 April in London. The OSMOSE Awards honour local and regional authorities that have shown the courage to introduce innovative and daring measures in order to meet today's challenges in urban transport in a sustainable and effective way. The awards particularly looked at the most promising new initiatives, which today still occupy a 'niche' position but clearly have the potential to become a 'mainstream' urban transport policy application in the future.

The 2nd edition of the OSMOSE Awards were presented in five categories:
* Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility: Essex (UK)
* Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges: Madrid (ES)
* Traffic Management Centres: Aalborg (DK)
* Automated and Space-efficient Transport: San Sebastian (ES)
* Integrated approach on urban transport innovation: Barcelona (ES)
The news about the awards was presented in the form of a press release. News was taken up by several channels (www.itsinternational.com ELTIS, www.ecnmag.com etc.)

Promotion at external events
* The project was presented at a variety of conferences: NICHES+ presented and held a stand at the TRA (June 2010),
* NICHES+ was presented by UNEW and the City of Cork at the Polis conference on 10-11 December 2009 in Brussels,
* The EUROCITIES Mobility Forum meeting in Toulouse (November 2009),
* NICHES+ was presented at the ITS Ireland launch in Cork on 23-24 September 2010,
* NICHES+ was the subject of the Clermont-Ferrand summer university 2010 that took place on 9-10 September 2010,
* NICHES+ findings were presented at the Manchester Travel Trainer Forum,
* The EUROCITIES Mobility Forum in Copenhagen,
* A poster was prepared for the Walk21 conference (The Hague 17-19 November 2010) to disseminate NICHES+ results and publications on neighbourhood accessibility planning,
* The Daventry experience was presented at the Polis Conference in Dresden, December 2010,
* The project's WG 3 achievements were presented at the ITS Europe conference in Lyon, 6-9 June 2011.
* An abstract has been submitted to present NICHES+ at the TRA2012.
* NICHES+ WG1 activities were presented at the OASIS first international conference, Firenze, 4-5 November 2009.
* NICHES+ (with focus on the Artois-Gohelle experience) was presented at the ECOMM2011 in Toulouse, 18-20 May 2011.
* NICHES+ material was disseminated at the March 2011 Impacts conference in Barcelona.

Other dissemination activities and tools
The project published 7 newsletters, which are also available online. NICHES+ roll-ups were produced for each of the four NICHES+ working groups. Together with a general project roll-up they were used to enhance the project visibility at the NICHES+ events. The project's final conference was reported upon in an attractive video, as mentioned above.

Overview of deliverables and events
* 7 National events (see above) reaching in total 400 participants.
* The Final Conference reaching 125 participants.
* The NICHES+ materials grouped in an attractive Transport Innovation Box
o (D6.5) The NICHES+ Innovative Concepts Brochure in 5 languages
o (D6.6) 12 Guidelines for Implementers
o (D6.7) The NICHES+ Study Tour Catalogue
o (D3.4) Guidelines for assessing the transferability of innovative concepts
* The NICHES+ website (D6.1) and OSMOSE portal (D6.4) together with the 7 electronic newsletters (D6.3) guaranteed a constant flow of information about NICHES+
* The second edition of the OSMOSE awards
* The NICHES+ final conference video
* D6.9 NICHES+ E-learning modules
o E-learning module on travel training for public transport
o E-learning module on neighbourhood accessibility planning
o E-learning module on traffic management centres


Potential Impact:
Potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results

Networking and exchange on European scale
As described above, a principal aim of NICHES+ was to foster networking and exchange between a wide range of European stakeholders on the topic of urban transport innovation. Hundreds of people have been brought together at Working Group meetings, national seminars and the final conference for this purpose. The feedback received from the participants regarding the added value for them was very positive. While it is difficult to follow-up precisely on the results of the networking and exchange activities, it was clearly visible that potential up-take cities were keen on learning about the experiences of cities that had already implemented innovative concepts in their context. NICHES+ provided the necessary context and guidelines to interpret these experiences for the own local context.
The philosophy of NICHES+ was to avoid "re-inventing the wheel", if mature approaches on how to implement innovative concepts for urban transport and mobility are already available. This can help to avoid costly mistakes and enhances the chances for a successful implementation and long-term operation. The networking and exchange events were organised around the leading theme of transferring innovative concepts from one context to the other and from niche to mainstream. The methodological guidance provided by the NICHES+ consortium was extremely helpful to approach the questions that potential up-take cities might have in a structured way.
Each of the thematic areas examined in NICHES+ was able to form a network of stakeholders that are working in the respective areas. The Working Group meetings enabled a very intense exchange between practitioners in the field, while also the participating Champion Cities benefited from this knowledge. The results of the Working Group meetings also fed the NICHES+ publications, especially the Guidelines for Implementers that were widely disseminated to potential uptake cities. The national seminar that took place in each of the Champion Cities as well as a special event in Poland, helped to reach a wider group of stakeholders interested in the thematic areas that the cities dealt with. The NICHES+ final conference had a wider perspective on urban transport and mobility innovation in general, but also offered the opportunity to focus on thematic sessions and site visits. This also provided excellent networking opportunities to a wider circle of stakeholders.
The project addressed young urban transport professionals by organising the two-day NICHES+ Summer School as part of the longer summer school entitled 'New Urban Mobility Services' which was organised by the universities, high schools, and public transport provider of Clermont-Ferrand in cooperation with Polis on 9-10 September 2010.
The two-day summer school aimed at providing participants with a solid background on transferability assessment and innovative concepts such as neighbourhood accessibility planning, Bus Rapid Transit, urban traffic management centres and electric vehicles. The summer school addressed a group of 20 young transport professionals from all over Europe - students and graduates.
As mentioned above, the project reached through its decentralised national events a group of 450 urban transport experts, while 125 experts participated in the final conference in London on the 7th of April 2011. Also the three working group meetings brought together urban transport experts. At the first meeting in Brussels (December 2008) 50 people joined (of which ten consortium members), the second meeting in Budapest, 40 people met in April 2009. The same number of experts met in Cork (December 2010).
The networking and exchange activities also contributed to raising awareness for the unexploited potential of innovative transport and mobility concepts to address important societal, economic and environmental challenges. Just some examples: the thematic area of accessibility (WG1) is becoming more important in the light of demographic change and an ageing society in all European countries. Traffic Management Centres (WG3) that are linked to environmental pollution data can help to reduce health problems due to air pollution in hot spots. High quality bus systems (WG2) are a cost-efficient way to increase the use of public transport systems. And looking into the future, Personal Rapid Transit systems (WG4) could combine the comfort and flexibility of individual mobility with the environmental and economic advantages of public transport. The list of benefits that the innovative transport and mobility concepts examined in NICHES+ provide is long. NICHES+ made an important contribution to better exploit them.

Direct impact in Champion Cities
The most visible impact has been achieved in the 6 NICHES+ Champion Cities. As described above, each of the Champion Cities has made excellent progress towards the implementation of one or more of the innovative concepts examined in NICHES+. The feedback of the cities at the end of the project showed that the exchange with peers from other European cities and the guidance provided by NICHES+ was highly valuable to better understand the innovative concepts and how to implement them successfully in the own local context.
It was visible that NICHES+:
* Positively influenced decision-makers on the local level by highlighting the potential benefits of the innovative concepts and showing that implementation is feasible by pointing to other examples;
* Helped technical staff in charge of the implementation to develop a clearer view on success factors and barriers for implementing an innovative concept;
* In some cases already has reached the citizens, e.g. in Burgos, where a travel training for school children was already carried out and most of the measures to improve the vertical accessibility have already been realised.
The implementation of most of the innovative concepts will take place after the end of NICHES+. The implementation scenarios developed in the project provide a sound basis for the work of the local stakeholders to drive these processes forward.
The NICHES+ Champion Cities have a good potential to be recognised as good practice cities in their national context and on European level.
Wider impact on potential up-take cities through publications
The NICHES+ Guidelines for Implementers provide an overview of key factors for the successful implementation of the 12 innovative concepts examined in the project. These documents integrate knowledge from practitioners that are experienced with these concepts.
The publications have been widely disseminated and informal feedback shows that they are perceived as being very valuable for potential up-take cities. They provide the starting point to assess whether an innovative concept would be beneficial and feasible for a given context. Further sources and contacts that have been included in the Guidelines provide the basis for the next step of examining in more detail how the measure implementation could look like in a given place.

A broad variety of professional audiences covered through different events
National events
The national events have been a positive experience for all parties involved. The Champion Cities were supported in terms of programme design, European experts contributions, promotion and logistics from the side of the NICHES+ consortium. The Champion Cities had to opportunity to showcase their experiences in a peer to peer relation for a national audience. They could involve their national professional networks to a degree of detail that is difficult to achieve at project level. Most national events involved the local or national political level.
Final conference
The NICHES+ final conference was designed to show the real life potential of the NICHES+ innovative concepts. That is why London was chosen as a location: a lot of the concepts have been implemented here (Legible London, iBus, electric vehicles in car share clubs). 125 urban transport professionals from all over Europe participated. The conference is reported upon in an attractive video that is made available online.
NICHES+ at events
NICHES+ has been presented at major transport conferences in Europe: Walk21 (soft modes, accessibility and pedestrian experts, TRA (transport researchers), ITS Europe (European ITS community), ECOMM (Mobility Management community) as well as at Polis and EUROCITIES events (addressing a.o. city representatives and local decision makers).

Research and policy recommendations
The NICHES+ Policy and Research recommendations provide an input for discussion among European stakeholders, in some cases also national stakeholders. The aim of NICHES+ was to channel experiences and insights from the local and regional level to higher-level decision makers that influence the context conditions for the implementation of urban transport and mobility innovation.
The hope of the project is that the policy recommendations will find the right recipients at the European Commission that influence fields which are relevant for the uptake of the 12 innovative concepts examined.
For the research recommendations the aim was to identify gaps in the current research landscape and to provide the EC with sound recommendations on how to address these gaps in future research programmes.