CORDIS - EU research results

Enabling the transferability of cycling innovations and assessment of its implications

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Handshake (Enabling the transferability of cycling innovations and assessment of its implications)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-08-31

In all corners of Europe, cities face alarming levels of congestion and air pollution and a scarcity of public space, whilst urban environments remain dangerous for vulnerable road users.Cycling is a powerful way to address these challenges and steer cities toward being more sustainable, equitable, and economically prosperous places for citizens. Handshake helps cities of all types become more livable places, improving conditions for cycling as an everyday mode of transport.Handshake will achieve this by improving the quality of both cycling infrastructure and communications through identifying innovation in areas such as intelligent transport systems, bike sharing, modeling, bike parking, socio-economic assessment, governance and decision-making.

The project concludes by achieving all goals, milestones, and deliverables set up. The HANDSHAKE partners worked together for four years forging what has become tight-knit sense of togetherness, across many different countries and through unprecedented complications ensuing from the outbreak of COVID-19. When looking at all the lessons learned in the process, the single most revealing insight that we have been able to elicit is the following: dozens of people involved in the project came to truly appreciate the benefits of working together in an open-minded and supportive setting, overcoming cultural, organisational, and linguistic barriers. HANDSHAKE thus confirmed first-hand what literature contends: breaking urban ‘silos’ unleash vast potential, allowing individuals, teams, and entire organisations to open up, exploiting synergies and efficiencies that have always been there, albeit dormant.
In the start-up phase of the project, WP1 and task 4.1 defined the benchmarking cycling state-of-affair in each city, the cycling solutions to be transferred from CCs to FCCs, identifying the areas in which inspiration and capacity building was most needed.

RP2 has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, disrupting project and partners' activities. Progressively partners have been empowered and intensified mentoring and cross-city discussion through multiple online platforms for virtual collaboration. By fall 2020, the project was successfully able to hold online a number of critical knowledge share and transfer events, some of which were newly designed, including thematic workshops gathering the technical staff of the cycling capital cities.

Finally, with the end of the pandemic, the consortium was able to organise the much-desired Immersive Study Tours and Symposium as well as effectively implement cycling solutions. Covid-19 impacted negatively the actual rollout of some measures - 13 out of 63 suffered considerable delays - but it also proved to be an unexpected ally enabling the proliferation of several cycling-supportive initiatives. Indeed, almost 80% of cycling solutions have been developed as planned. The majority of the benefits are related to accessibility (in terms of reduced travel time and marginal congestion costs) and the different impacts related to reduced physical inactivity due to the fact that bicycle use increased by 28,3% compared to 2018 levels.

Thanks to the collaborative spirit build as of day one, HANDSHAKE was able to deliver a number of exciting outputs, including the following illustrative list of inspirational products:
1. Hands-on lessons narrated directly by our 13 cities:
a. Facts and lessons from the transferred solutions (D3.3).
b. The HANDSHAKE way: 50 years of cycling progress squeezed into 5 (D5.3).
c. Cycling innovation: evidence and conceptualisation, how to push cycling to the next level, faster (D2.2).
d. Standards in innovation for quality cycling (D2.3).
e. Stories and lessons from the deployment of the solutions (D2.4).
f. Post-project action plans (D3.5).
2. Results, lessons learned, and comparisons (D4.4).
3. A final series of 8 videos was shot on-site in our 13 cities to wrap up their insights, each one following a specific cycling theme (D5.1).
4. 2 scientific publications: “Overcoming barriers in the evaluation of cycling projects and Learning through study visits?”, and “Exploring the role of study visits as arenas for niche innovation” (D5.2).
5. A novel, co-created cycling self-assessment system, currently hosted on the HANDSHAKE website.
6. A Cycling Community of Practice, released by the end of HANDSHAKE and ready for post-project exploitation.

The HANDSHAKE website contains a wealth of information and it has been visited by 18,000+ users in RP3. Other major disseminating results of the project contributed to raising international interest in the project:
• Major social media impact (Twitter: 2,022 followers, LinkedIn: 667, Facebook: 276 )
• Exciting audiovisual materials appearance on 4 podcasts and 1 radio show
• 7+ Cycling Scoop Newsletter (210 subscribers)
• 5 International conferences
• Two Handshake-organised sessions at Velo-city 2022
Handshake products have been exploited at the local level:
- DUB developing Walking and Cycling Plan inspired by cycling plans shared on Exchange Hub
- MAN designing a Streets for All Design Guide inspired by Copenhagen Study Tour
- BOR wrote an internal report on lessons learned to help shape future mobility planning
- BRU hosted networking event focused on Flanders region, inspired by Handshake Immersive Tours
- BRU utilised HS-developed transition management tools to form new neighbourhood mobility plans
- RIG, ROM & TUR indicated interest to utilise Bikenomics to support future planning,
And a broader level:
- Ongoing collaboration between cities and exploitation of results (COP, HEL & MAN webinar)
- Training courses developed by DECISIO and UCI tailored to policy-makers, urban planners, etc.
- HANDSHAKE TV, a YouTube playlist showcases cycling solutions in the Handshake cities
contributing to spark active mobility interest and uptake, supporting the targets of the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 Mission.
As said bicycle use increased by 28,3% in HANDSHAKE cities and an additional growth of 40% has been estimated within 2030 thanks to the increase in cycling attractiveness due to the implementation of infrastructure measures.
This implies other considerable benefits:
• Condition on the constructed cycling corridors appears to have improved cycling competitiveness (in terms of ratio speed of cycling vis-à-vis driving) by 20% thanks to higher cycling speeds.
• Regarding qualitative effects in terms of cycling satisfaction, cities that have monitored this aspect report positive results.
• Of the new cyclists, an estimated 22% previously used the car, 20%used the bus and 8% used the footpath. This is partly due to the bicycle's better competitiveness against the car: namely, increased by 20%, which is more than expected.
• In terms of safety, it is difficult to conclude, as there is under-reporting, and the number of accidents (per trip) has decreased less than expected. On the other hand, perceived safety has increased.
• The measured effects of the Flagship solutions show that the wider socio-economic benefits amount to around €7.5 million annually.
• The increase in cycling modal share and accessibility relieved congestion and reduced emissions (noise, CO2, particulate matter).
• It also makes people feel better and creates economic growth because people are sick less often and become more productive.
Greater Manchester
Dutch family cycling
Handshake Infographic