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New and Innovative Concepts for Helping European transport Sustainability

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Migration from rural to urban centres, changing lifestyles, and increasing motorisation rates are among the many factors that have contributed to congestion, pollution and noise, and to reduced efficiency of the transport systems in our cities. Over the last few years, scientists, transport operators, the industry and policy makers have developed a wide range of innovative concepts to make urban transport more efficient, competitive and sustainable. Despite significant progress, a number of barriers have prevented the large scale implementation of these innovative concepts. The Niches project has facilitated the coordination of research activities of academic institutions, industry, mobility operators and transport authorities in the area of innovative urban transport concepts. It has also helped to identify and disseminate excellent, transferable examples of innovative transport measures in the most crucial areas of urban transport. The main achievements reached by the project are as follows. 1) Establish the state of the art The main achievement has been the development of the document 'State of the art in developing innovative transport concepts in Europe', which provides an overview of this topic, and defines, describes and analyses the 12 selected Niches innovative concepts and examples of their successful implementation in cities across Europe. These innovative concepts, which the other steps focused on, are: - urban lift-sharing services; - space management for urban delivery; - policy strategies for clean vehicles; - transportation management associations (TMAs); - public bicycles; - inner-city night delivery; - biogas in captive fleets; - local taxes or charges, ring-fenced for transport; - call-a-bus services; - alternative solutions for home delivery; - joint procurement of clean vehicles; - city-wide campaigns. More specifically, the document includes: - precise definitions for all selected concepts and description of different approaches that they embrace; - an explanation of the selection process for concepts by providing arguments that clarify why a concept suits the Niches approach; - descriptions of both the context of the four thematic areas and the selected concepts by identifying macro trends, driving forces as well as barriers and problems; - a brief description of examples chosen as representative of the concept; - a first snapshot of synergies and integrative potential within and between thematic areas and concepts. 2) Assess success factors, barriers and transferability of innovative concepts The main achievements have been: - - the identification and involvement of key actors that implemented the selected innovative concepts in different forms and places, who provided crucial input to the project; - the production of the report 'Success factors and transferability of innovative urban transport concepts', which provides detailed information on the implementation of the selected innovative concepts, as well as conclusions regarding relevant success factors and barriers for the implementation and transferability to other urban contexts. 3) Integrate innovative concepts into coherent transport strategies The main outcomes are: - the identification of 11 integrated strategies combining the innovative concepts and measures to achieve specific objectives of urban transport and mobility policies; - the publication of the 'Guide to innovative urban transport strategies', which illustrates how developing innovative concepts into integrated strategies for urban transport. The guide represent a valid support for urban transport decision makers and practitioners to find innovations that could be applied in their cities, by providing a description of the combinations of Niches concepts and measures to develop integrated urban transport strategies. 4) Research and policy recommendations The main achievements are the following: - the identification of research gaps for urban transport innovation; - the formulation of research and policy recommendations for the different stakeholders (researchers, decision makers, public transport operators, etc.) at local, national and European level; - the identification of the mobility trends and visions on urban mobility (this analysis is the subject of the working document 'Mobility trends and visions'); - The publication of the document 'Facilitating urban transport innovation on the European level - Research and policy recommendations', which is particularly targeted to EU level decision makers and the European research community in the field of urban transport and includes key research recommendations addressing research topics, perspectives and formats as well as policy recommendations; - The publication of the report 'Local policy recommendations for sustainable urban transport', which supports local decision makers to stimulate innovative transport and mobility solutions in their cities and regions. Policy recommendations are proposed, which focus on what should be put forward on local agendas to facilitate the uptake of Niches concepts and to enhance the development and implementation of local transport innovations. - The publication of 12 policy notes dedicated to each of the 12 Niches innovative concepts, where the costs and benefits, the stakeholders to be involved, the users to whom the initiative should be addressed, and the key steps for implementation are described.