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Supporting Urban Integrated Transport Systems: Transferable tools for authorities

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SUITS (Supporting Urban Integrated Transport Systems: Transferable tools for authorities)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-02-28

H2020 CIVITAS SUITS addressed the topic ‘strengthening the knowledge and capacity of local authorities’ (MG-5.4 -2015) by providing SM LAs with a holistic and sustainable approach to capacity building , with the aim of transforming transport departments into resilient learning organisations able to meet future challenges and lead innovation in their cities. One of the key USPs of SUITS is in relation to organisational change, creating a climate for the development and implementation of context specific sustainable transport measures.
At the time of the proposal DGMove ranked the barriers to integrated sustainable mobility measures in terms of importance as 1) lack of political will; 2) lack of knowledge of integrated transport measures and approaches; 3) planning culture and tradition; 4) lack of funds for integrated projects.

Using a socio-technical, participatory approach with the LAs, a range of tools and methods were developed and validated in the project to reduce knowledge gaps, enable organisational change and provided guidance on innovative funding and procurement. Developing the capacity of LAs means that they can draw on evidence-based practice and mobility data to make more convincing arguments to local politicians and senior members of the authority to implement sustainable transport measures.

In summary, in relation to the specific challenges of the call
1. A range of tools has been developed to capture and integrate freight and passenger movement
2. SM LAs have been supported in undertaking an organisational analysis which supports long term policies and focus
3. Long term policies and focus have been further supported through an organizational change programmed which has been embedded within the LAs as part of their culture.

The Capacity Building Toolbox (including e-learning material, guidelines and demonstrations) has been shown to enhance LA’s capacity to successfully plan and implement sustainable transport measures. SUITS demonstrated the importance of data, how it can be captured, visualized, integrated and used to inform transport decision making, thereby reducing knowledge gaps and capability. The project also recorded highlight the continued gap in knowledge the existence of additional barriers in this area.

In relation to capacity gaps in understanding of innovative financing, procurement. SUITS has produced guidelines (in all project languages), an online decision support tool, new business templates, these have already been used to inform SUMP development and win tenders. On relation to the development of bankable projects and partnerships, over 10 specimen business model templates have been created, in discussion with LAs, relating to contemporary innovative sustainable transport propositions, with SUITS partners also benefitting from this activity. The use of such templates can ensure that business startups have a greater chance of long-term success and understand the needs of LAs.
SUITS adopted a socio technical approach to developing materials to support capacity building in small – medium local authorities. This started with a skills audit in Kalamaria (Greece), Valencia (Spain0, Transport for West Midlands (UK), Rome and Turino (Italy, and Alba Iulia (Romania). Tpo identify strengths and weaknesses in the capacity of each city in relation to the implementation of planned sustainable mobility measures. The self-audit enabled the LAs to prioritise areas they needed to focus on during their organisational changes and develop relevant KPIs .

The first output of the project was therefore a self-audit process for LAs. This fed into an organisational change programme, which was designed with each LA to develop them into learning, innovative and resilient workplaces, which understood and worked towards sustainability agendas. All LAs in SUITS followed the 6-stage process, which had an immediate, and beneficial impact on their work working practices and structures.

Based on these experiences, the project has developed a framework and guidelines on how to conduct organisational change in LAs.
Working with the LAs, SUITS identified a number of gaps in knowledge in employees and across the organisation relating to implementation of innovative transport measures, financing and procurement and data handling. A set of multilingual, training material was developed, the capacity building toolset. This includes workbooks, facilitators guide, workshops, webinars, e-learning material relating to building S-M LA’s capacity to :
1 implement emerging transport technologies (ITS, Electric mobility, CAVs etc.)
2 introduce innovative transport schemes" (MaaS, Uber, Business Models etc.)
3 implement urban transport safety and security measures for all vulnerable users (passenger and freight vehicles etc.)
4 implement urban freight transport measures (SULPs, Crowd-shipping, cargo bikes etc.)
5 data collection and analysis tools for integrated measures.
6 use innovative financing, procurement and business models.

All material is available on the project web site, Eltis and Civitas portals https://civitas.eu/tool-inventory/suits-tool-0) and Eltis’ website: (https://www.eltis.org/resources/tools/suits-capacity-building-toolbox).

Lastly SUITS (www.sboing.net) created and demonstrated a bespoke suite of data collection and visualisation tools to enable smaller authorities to crowdsource, store and visualise real time mobility data to inform transport planning. Additional investigations on data integration led to a congestion KPI, and greater understanding of barriers faced by LAs
The project has had an immediate impact on the working practices of the LAs, making them more efficient, adaptable and resilient, and has lead to increases in citizen engagement. SUITS activities have also directly infomraed the developmenr of SUMPS and investment in sustaianable transport measures, directly mapping on to 9 areas of the SUMP cycle, and addressing the need to look at wider organisational issues prior to commencing the SUMP cycle.
Impact has been demonstrated in each LA in terms of increases in institutional co-operation and co-operation with businesses; imporved understanding and use of innovative financing and procurement; citisen engagement, turst and transparency; social impact assessment; increased knowledge and use of technology and data collection; increased knowledge of sustainability; improved knowleage transfer and increase in political awareness of sustainbility.
SUITS workshop at CIVITAS FORUM 2017
SUITS consortium
SUITS workshop on Eastern European cities