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Congestion Reduction in Europe : Advancing Transport Efficiency (CREATE)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CREATE (Congestion Reduction in Europe : Advancing Transport Efficiency (CREATE))

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Most cities face problems of high levels of road traffic congestion, air pollution and CO2 emissions, associated with population growth, economic development and increases in car ownership and use. But some Western European cities have managed to support substantial increases in urban mobility while at the same time reducing levels of car use – by achieving ‘peak car’ – and hence taking some pressures off the road network and alleviating traffic congestion.

CREATE is interested in learning how they have achieved this, for the benefit of other cities in Europe and beyond.
The project started with the idea of a three-stage ‘policy development process’ (See Image 1), to describe the evolution of urban transport policies since the 1950s:
• Stage 1: focus on car mobility, by providing new roads and parking places
• Stage 2: switch to person mobility, by encouraging (rail-based) public transport
• Stage 3: focus on liveability, by improving the built environment and discouraging car use

The main objectives of CREATE are to:
• Improve our understanding and measurement of congestion and road network performance
• Identify factors that have encouraged the switch from Stage 1 to Stage 3 transport policies, both technical/quantitative and administrative/qualitative
• Explore future mobility pressures faced by cities with growing populations, and the potential emergence of a ‘Stage 4’
• Develop guidelines and training materials for cities

The study is being carried out by a team of 18 partners over three years; five ‘Western European’ cities (Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Paris and Vienna), five ‘Eastern European and Euro-Med’ cities (Adana, Amman, Bucharest, Skopje and Tallinn), three university research groups (Technical University of Dresden, SciencesPo, UCL), four private companies (COWI, EIP, INRIX and Vectos) and Eurocities.
Early efforts went into reviewing methods to measure traffic congestion and network performance, to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and to develop new performance measures more appropriate for assessing cities that have introduced Stage 3 policies. This report is publically available.
Priority was also given to identifying interested parties who would benefit from the CREATE findings. An external ‘Stakeholder Engagement Group’ has been set up, to express user needs and react to study outputs; formal procedures have also been put in place to communicate regularly with our five Stage 1 and Stage 3 city partners. This has identified a strong interested in looking forward to Stage 4.
CREATE has taken an historical look at travel trends in our five Western European partner cites, measuring changes in travel patterns over the past 50 years and the factors which have contributed, in particular, to the reductions in car use in recent decades. This has involved:
• A conceptual framework and analysis scheme , including a detailed technical specification for analysis purposes
• A comprehensive methodology for quantitative analysis of travel
• Extensive data collection and harmonisation (demand-side, supply-side, contextual factors, framework conditions); where gaps were identified, then alternative approaches to accessing to those data were found
A basic descriptive data analysis has been completed for individual cities, and documented in city-specific reports. These reports include:
• Historical developments of travel behaviour and traffic conditions
• First city-specific factors, leading to changes in travel behaviour
• Preliminary results describing drivers and barriers regarding successful car use reductions
An extensive, comparable cross-city data base has now been constructed, and enable extensive quantitative analyses to be carried out in he next phase of CREATE.
Alongside the various quantitative analyses, CREATE has been exploring the ‘framework conditions’ in each city which have affected transport policy making, delivery and public and political attitudes. This has including examining the various administrative and governance arrangements, legislation, funding mechanisms and political traditions.
Technically, this has involved:
• Developing a common research design, methodology and data collection strategy for each Stage 3 city.
• Providing an overview of the current state of urban sustainable mobility policies and governance arrangements across the Stage 3 cities.
• Conducting a qualitative analysis of the urban transport policy development processes in each of the Stage 3 cities.
This work has been reported in a WP4 technical report on the conceptual and analytical methods (D4.1) and in five Stage 3 cities’ monographs recording historical processes (D4.2). The research has found general support for the notion of a transition from Stage 1 to Stage 3, but details of the processes and outcomes vary considerably from one city to another - with important spatial and temporal variations. In order to better identify covariations over time, it has been decided to include detailed chronological timelines representing major events in each city that could have affected policy making and travel behaviour, as well as policy changes. As part of WP4 a comprehensive data base has been developed, that will be used in the next phase of the project for cross-city comparable analyses.

From the very start of the CREATE project, considerable emphasis has been placed on effective branding and communication. The following tasks have been carried out during the first half of the project:
• The dissemination strategy has been defined for the entire project and for each city, together with an exploi
• WP2 providing a more critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different methods of measuring congestion and network performance and how they can distort policy making – leading to fresh insights into better problem diagnosis and objective setting.
• WP3 giving policy makers much better insights into the respective roles of policy, demography and economy in shaping travel trends
• WP4 helping policy makers to better understand the key role of legislation, administration and funding arrangements in delivering Stage 3 policies.
CREATE (636573) Three stage Transport Policy Development Process