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PORT-Cities: Integrating Sustainability

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - PORTIS (PORT-Cities: Integrating Sustainability)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-11-30

Port cities are recognised by the European Union as a priority action area. The need for enhanced communication, and integrated management systems and practices between port and city authorities are considered as being of increasing importance. Port cities face intriguing transport challenges and opportunities, beyond those of urban contexts that do not contain port facilities, due to the complex interaction between the port, the city, and the shared hinterland. This results in a wide and varied scope for planning and implementing integrated urban mobility solutions. Furthermore, port cities play a significant role in terms of the broader transport interactions beyond the urban context; with their presence as multi-modal hubs for the movement of passengers and goods able to influence growth at regional, national and international levels.
CIVITAS PORTIS is an Innovation Action (IA) financed by INEA under the H2020 Framework Programme. Its key objective is to try out and assess the efficacy of innovative sustainable mobility measures that address the problems of port cities across Europe. These solutions are demonstrated in five major port cities located on the four seas of Europe: Aberdeen, Antwerp (North Sea), Trieste (Mediterranean Sea), Constanta (Black Sea) and Klaipeda (Baltic Sea). The project also involves an international follower port city on the East China Sea (Ningbo).
PORTIS has established living laboratories in each of these cities to test 49 innovative mobility solutions ranging from newly-emerging technologies to policy-based and soft measures. The living laboratories focus on four areas: governance, people, transport systems, and goods. Most of the measures employ common approaches that are reinforced by four specific objectives: to generate and build innovation through collaboration across cities; to gather quantitative and qualitative evidence of the effectiveness of these measures; to transfer these innovations to port cities and marketplaces across Europe and beyond; and to ensure that the project’s results are accessible and expand the European knowledge base on the effectiveness and impacts of innovative mobility solutions.
All five cities have finalised their local measures in the living laboratories. The governance initiatives led to the approval of the SUMPs in Aberdeen, Trieste and Klaipeda, and to the upgrade of the SUMP to a regional level in Antwerp. Constanta and Klaipeda established a structured dialogue with citizens and stakeholders, never before seen in Romania and Lithuania, while Trieste has set up a project office to redevelop the Old Port area together with citizens and other stakeholders (WP1). In addition, the five cities have taken steps to improve public transport and encourage cycling, thereby providing mobility apps and guides to facilitate getting around the city/port area for citizens and tourists. Reallocation of road space to pedestrians, cycling and PT has been implemented in Antwerp and Constanta, supported by awareness-raising campaigns, which was a core activity in all cities (WP2). The cities have also implemented solutions to manage traffic flows and parking, improved signage and boosted the uptake of e-mobility, finding innovative ways to reduce pollution and make transport more efficient. A new system for the prioritisation of public transport has been developed in Klaipeda and an access control system is now in use in Trieste based on camera and sensor technology while Antwerp move to the NXTMobility, a data-driven mobility policy (WP3). Given the importance of freight transport in port cities, improvement of interconnectivity and traffic flows in order to reduce environmental impacts has been pursued. Freight routing backed by smart technology and cooperation with industry has been developed in Aberdeen, while real-time tracking of vehicles and cargoes to and inside the port is being developed in Trieste. A market place for logistic solutions is active in Antwerp, with continuous calls for projects (WP4).
The project has also devised the CIVITAS PORTIS Innovation Process, created electronic innovation brochures, and established the Thematic Innovation Platform (WP5). Moreover, evaluation activities have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the PORTIS measures in terms of impacts and process (WP6). Actions to understand the potential market for CIVITAS PORTIS innovations have been finalised and the transferability potential of local measures has been assessed and disseminated for the benefit of port cities across Europe and beyond. Exchanges with EU cities, China and third countries have been enhanced via webinars, training sessions and workshops (WP7). Regarding the project’s visibility, the cities have set up their national websites and have used their selected ambassadors to increase citizen engagement and promote sustainable mobility. PORTIS days have been held in all cities over the years. A successful final conference was jointly organised with the other CIVITAS IAs with a remarkable attendance of participants (WP8). The Policy Group met annually all along the project lifetime and discussed mobility themes of common interest (WP9).
Project evaluation activities have been undertaken and finalised to detail impacts of the PORTIS measures realised during the project’s funded period, as well as expectations for longer-term impacts to be realised subsequent to the project’s completion. These impacts have been detailed on a measure-by-measure basis, as well as at a more strategic level. The latter responds to requests from SATELLITE to address the joint impacts of clusters of measures on high-level indicators (such as modal shift). Given the complexities of implementation processes, as well as the parallel impacts of non-PORTIS investments, this was undertaken in a structured manner utilising both quantitative data and a qualitative Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) process utilising expert input to provide a general understanding of the overall impact.
Significant impacts have been realised across the project, both in terms of planning processes, particularly related to collaboration and communication between cities and their ports, for example, facilitated by Constanta’s Mobility Forum, and in direct impacts in areas such as modal share. Currently realised impacts include Antwerp’s 28% increase in cycling in the city, with an increase from 10% to 16% by Port commuters. Aberdeen has seen an 11% increase of freight movements travelling on principal routes instead of on minor or residential roads, while Klaipeda has seen a 7.5% decrease in CO2 emissions in city/port interaction zone and Trieste has significantly increased its pedestrian infrastructure in proximity to the old Port. A note is that due to the timing of measure implementation in some cases, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the full impacts of these measures will be more directly measurable over the coming years.
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