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FLOW Report Summary

Project ID: 635998
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FLOW (Furthering Less Congestion by creating Opportunities for more Walking and cycling)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Despite the acknowledged benefits of walking and cycling in terms of health, travel-time reliability and cost effectiveness, motorised traffic is still often the main focus of mainstream urban mobility policy. FLOW sees a need for:
• a clear link between (currently poorly connected) walking and cycling, traffic performance and congestion.
• a paradigm shift wherein non-motorised transport, often seen from a transport policy perspective simply as a nice “extra”, is placed on an equal footing with motorised modes.
• improving the understanding of walking and cycling measures that have the potential to improve traffic performance and reduce urban congestion.
The mission of the FLOW project is to place non-motorised transport on an equal footing with motorised modes with regard to the analysis of urban road traffic performance and congestion. It will achieve this by developing a methodology and tools to assess the ability of walking and cycling measures to reduce congestion in European cities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

FLOW is successfully applying its trans-disciplinary approach to create a clear link between walking and cycling and congestion reduction. In the first half of the project, consortium partners laid the foundation for achieving the following objectives:
1. To define the role of walking and (safe) cycling in congestion reduction (WP1): This objective was achieved almost entirely within the first period as part of WP1, which works towards developing a new paradigm for understanding walking and cycling in cities by identifying their contribution to congestion reduction.

2. To develop and apply tools for assessing congestion busting impacts of walking and cycling measures (WP2): The first half of this objective (developing the tools for impact assessment, modelling and decision making) was achieved in the first half of the project. In the second half of the project, Partner Cities will apply these tools to analyse the FLOW measures being implemented.

3. To demonstrate and assess the congestion busting impact of walking and cycling (WP3)
The first steps towards achieving this goal were taken with the FLOW Partner Cities and Exchange Cities, however the majority of this work will be done in the second period. In the first period, Partner Cities developed the following deliverables:
D3.1 ‘Analyses of local context conditions and assessment requirements in FLOW Partner Cities’: Partner Cities with support from their respective Technical Support Partners and the Technical Knowledge Partners identified their local context conditions and assessment requirements for their respective measures.

4. To provide opportunities for cities to learn about cycling and walking congestion busting measures (WP4)
The first steps towards achieving this goal were taken in the first period, with the majority of learning and exchange activities scheduled for the second period. 26 Follower Cities were selected (MS15, MS16) and participated in the first Follower Cities’ learning and exchange workshop (MS17). Follower Cities were introduced to the FLOW methodology and indicators, as well as examples from the FLOW portfolio of measures and FLOW Partner Cities.

5. To make decision makers aware of the congestion busting potential of walking and cycling measures (WP5)
WP5 partners took the first steps towards achieving this objective in the first period. In the first year of the FLOW project, 222 key decision makers were identified and 79 of them provided their current position on urban transport challenges and the role of cycling and walking in the context of congestion by responding to a baseline “Decision-Makers’ Trends Survey” (D5.1).

6. To foster the market for new walking and cycling products and services for congestion reduction (WP6)
WP6 partners have laid the groundwork for achieving this objective. 12 Market Forerunners were selected (MS20, MS21) which are comprised of consultancies that do transport modelling. The Market Forerunners participated in the first “Create a Market” workshop (MS22).

7. To communicate and disseminate congestion busting facts of walking and cycling (WP7)
FLOW partners have regularly and prolifically promoted the FLOW project and disseminated its outputs across Europe through a variety of channels targeted to cities, decision makers and industry multipliers. The FLOW website and social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) were set up, as well as a project leaflet, roll-up and gadgets for distribution at events.

8. To deliver a high-quality project (WP8)
The FLOW project partners have maintained a high quality standard for all deliverables while making every effort to submit deliverables and achieve milestones on time to ensure a smooth implementation of the project and fulfilment of all project objectives.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

FLOW has made a significant contribution to improving the knowledge base about walking and cycling as congestion reducing measures. Traditionally, transport planning was concerned with planning the movement of motor vehicles. FLOW has broadened the focus of transport planning by developing a multimodal definition of congestion that includes also walking and cycling. This multimodal definition was operationalised through a multimodal analysis methodology to analyse the performance of urban road transport. This methodology allows transport planning professionals to analyse and compare the congestion reduction impact of traditional car-focused measures with walking and cycling measures. This is important step in a fact-based multimodal transport planning in European cities.

This was also supported by the enhancement of existing microscopic and macroscopic transport simulation tools to better represent walking and cycling. With the achieved software developments, cities will be able to depict the behaviour of pedestrians & cyclists, as well as to model their interactions with cars in a more realistic manner. The developments took place on two levels. The first level includes extending the macroscopic travel demand model PTV Visum and testing its ability to accurately evaluate the impacts of typical walking and cycling measures, including their congestion reduction benefits. The second level refers to the improvement of features in the microscopic transport simulation software PTV Vissim/Viswalk.

Through the development of a multimodal definition and the extended transport modelling tools FLOW has contributed to reducing the barriers to the deployment of walking and cycling measures in European cities. The legacy of FLOW is that cities can now use “congestion reduction” as a powerful argument to promote walking and cycling measures.

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