Polis Newsletter
June 2019

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Dear colleagues,

Developing a vision, and making a plan to achieve it, is no longer a privilege of "the happy few". More than a thousand cities, towns and regions from across Europe have adopted Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

SUMPs have clearly become a key tool for cities and regions to improve their transport systems.

Next week's European SUMP Conference brings all those who develop, draft and implement SUMPs toegther. Learnings from the event's 6th edition will shape the upcoming revised European SUMP guidelines, mark the launch of the SUMP Award, and will also be the occasion to launch the next edition of our 'Thinking Cities' magazine. Lots will be happening next week!

The Polis team looks forward to meeting many of you in Groningen, and to interact via #SUMP2019.

I wish you a nice read!

Karen Vancluysen
Secretary General


Polis contributed to 2019 International Transport Forum (ITF), Leipzig

Polis Secretary General, Karen Vancluysen, shared Polis' views on Mobility as a Service and reflected on ITF's "future scenarios on disruptions" on 22 and 24 May. Recordings are available.

Polis recommendations to new MEPs

Following the European elections, Polis would like to remind the new members of the European Parliament of key issues that are at stake for citizens living in the cities and regions of the European Union. Read them here.

Polis Network News

Meet Polis and its members at the SUMP Conference in Groningen

The 6th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, the most important annual gathering for the SUMP community in Europe, is about to kick-off in Groningen. With the conference programme available online, here is an overview of what to look out for expect from our members’ presentations in plenary and breakout sessions.

The long-awaited 2019 SUMP Conference will open its doors on Monday 17 June at De Oosterpoort. Participants will be welcomed by Peter den Ousten, Mayor of Groningen, who will pronounce a welcome address on behalf of the city. What role does sustainable mobility play in Groningen? What’s behind the city’s longstanding culture of sustainable urban mobility planning? Mayor Den Ousten will provide an introduction to these questions, whereas representatives from the Municipality of Groningen will go more in depth in several parallel sessions on different topics. Polis Secretary General Karen Vancluysen will moderate the opening plenary session.

On the second day of the conference, the plenary session will give participants the chance to hear from the protagonists of the 2018 SUMP Award, which recognises local and regional authorities for excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning. Nicola Kane from Transport for Greater Manchester, winner of the 2018 SUMP Award, will be on stage alongside Kerstin Burggraf, City of Dresden and Alain Groff from the City of Basel.

At the end of the second day, Xavier Sanyer from the Metropolitan Transport Authority of Barcelona will deliver a keynote speech on their effort to achieve the most efficient, safe and sustainable transport system and the implementation of the new 2020-2025 mobility plan. Polis Director for Policy and Projects Ivo Cré will also intervene in the closing plenary session.

Many more representatives from local authorities across Europe will take the floor to exchange ideas on the updated SUMP guidelines and the challenges of planning for sustainable and active cities. Ile-de-France’s Francoise Guaspare, chair of the Polis Working Group on Governance, will present on regulating new mobility services for their integration into a multimodal transport network. Pedro Homem de Gouveia, from the Municipality of Lisbon, will moderate a session on making cities more inclusive and accessible for all. Sergio Fernandez Balaguer, from Madrid’s public transport company EMT, will present how the Spanish capital is developing its charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

The cities of Budapest, Helmond, Thessaloniki, Rotterdam and the Belgian region of Flanders are also in the programme and will present on the work they have been doing in the fields of public involvement, automated driving, innovative financing methods and parking management.

The full programme of the 6th Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans is available here. Visit the event page featuring additional information about the side events taking place during or after the conference, the site visits and some practical information on how to get to the venue.

Geofencing – new tool in town!

Forty European experts met 29 May in Gothenburg to discuss geofencing and see the technology in action.

The first geofencing applications appear in city streets: hybrid vehicles are turned to electric mode within specific areas, and speed is limited close to schools. Within this frame, forty European experts met 29 May in Gothenburg to discuss geofencing and see the technology in action.

Questions addressed: How is the technology evolving, what is the expected market uptake, and how can cities use this in planning and managing traffic? Furthermore, what is the role of the cities, what challenges are posed and what are the next steps?

Geofencing Workshop in Gothenburg - a closer look

The city of Gothenburg, Volvo Group, CLOSER and Polis cooperated to have this first-of-a-kind exchange, for cities to better understand what the technology and its applications entail, and for industry and research to see how geofencing can help cities.

"The workshop is an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience, and an important step in intensifying cooperation at the European level. Geofencing has been in use on two bus lines in Gothenburg since 2015, as part of the cooperation ElectriCity. Geofencing is used to limit the speed of the buses on parts of the route and to ensure that the buses run on electricity when they should. Our ambition now is to scale up", says Mikael Ivari, senior advisor at the Urban Transport Department in Gothenburg.

"The Volvo group participates in a number of initiatives aiming to maintain a close dialogue with all types of stakeholders. It is crucial for us, as a provider of heavy vehicles, to engage actively in the dialogue of creating a safer and more sustainable city environment", says Peter Kronberg, Safety Director at the Volvo Group.

"In 2017, the Swedish government initiated a project to create safer and more climate-smart cities using geofencing technology. Due to this we have a national arena in place for strategic collaboration. The workshop today is an important step towards intensifying the collaboration, on matters such as harmonisation of policy and technology on the international level", says Lina Moritz Program Manager at CLOSER, that coordinates the Swedish R&I platform for geofencing.

Polis Secretary-General Karen Vancluysen welcomes the exchange: "Polis and its members show great interest in understanding the potential of geofenced solutions for better road safety, air quality and access regulation. Our member Gothenburg won the Thinking Cities award for a project using this technology. Today’s workshop provided a unique opportunity to discuss how geofencing can be used to implement local policies, and which technological conditions need to be met to enable its further take-up. We look forward to further developments in this field."

All presentations are available:

More information

Contact Polis: Ivo Cré (icre@polisnetwork.eu)

Contact VOLVO group: Annika Stromdahl (annika.Stromdahl@volvo.com)

Contact CLOSER: Lina Moritz (lina.moritz@lindholmen.se)

Contact City of Gothenburg: Mikael Ivari (mikael.ivari@trafikkontoret.goteborg.se)

What do policy makers want to know about the impact of connected automated vehicles?

On 28 May, Gothenburg hosted 45 experts from Europe and Australia to discuss which societal impacts connected and automated vehicles will have. The workshop is organised within the Horizon 2020 funded research project LEVITATE, of which Polis is a partner. Watch the workshop video here.

Workshop participants shared their thoughts about the contributions of CAT to the future of passenger cars, urban transport, and freight transport. They also stated their perspective of long-term goals with respect to safety, society, economy and environment, along with relevant indicators and conflict potentials between these goal dimensions.

“While automated vehicles may bring some benefits, there is also the possibility that their widespread introduction in urban areas could lead to increased congestion, negative environmental impacts and negative health impacts, if walking and cycling are discouraged”, says Suzanne Hoadley of Polis who also authored Polis' discussion paper "Road Vehicle Automation and Cities and Regions".

“Therefore, it is of utmost urgency to bring professionals together beyond their own sectors and exchange about use cases and risks of CATs. Today’s workshop in Gothenburg takes an important step on that matter.”

About the stakeholder group

The workshop marked the first meeting of the LEVITATE Stakeholder Group, which meets several times until the completion of the project in 2021. The stakeholder group facilitates a continuous dialogue with experts, users and the consortium about the impacts of connected and automated transport (CAT). Through the stakeholder group, LEVITATE provides a European platform for knowledge sharing and discussion about automation in transport.


The LEVITATE project develops methods to forecast societal level impacts of connected and automated transport (CATs). This includes the impact of CATs on safety, the environment, the economy and society.

More information

Apply for the MOMENTUM project's call for follower cities!

The MOMENTUM project is looking for cities to join its City Pool. City Pool members will be provided with dedicated tools to model and assess the impact of new mobility services on the urban mobility ecosystem. The deadline is 15 June 2019.

New mobility systems and disruptive technologies (carsharing, bikesharing, e-scootersharing,  ridehailing, MaaS, CAVs…) are operating or emerging in a wide number of cities, affecting urban mobility patterns and generating challenges that cities are sometimes not well prepared to cope with.

The MOMENTUM project will develop a set of new analysis methods, transport models and planning support tools to capture the impact of these new transport options on the urban mobility ecosystem, in order to support cities in the task of designing the right policy mix to exploit their full potential. The tools developed will be tested in Leuven, Madrid, Thessaloniki and Regensburg.

If your city is facing challenges due to the introduction of new mobility services and you would like to gain a clearer vision of how to harness the potential of new emerging technologies, you might be interested in applying for this call!

The selected follower cities will benefit from:

  • Networking opportunities across Europe
  • Acquiring a better understanding of disruptive changes in mobility
  • Having access to cutting-edge research on new mobility services and technologies as well as related modelling tools
  • Learning how to integrate the outputs and tools developed by the MOMENTUM project into their local policy through a dedicated and tailored roll-out plan, capacity-building webinars and training sessions
  • Reimbursement for any required travel

Between June 2019 and April 2022, follower cities will be expected to participate in (at least 2 and maximum 4) face-to-face workshops/meetings (online meetings might also take place). The first Workshop will take place at the CIVITAS Forum 2019 (2-4 October, Graz). The cities will also be expected to complete a Consultation Delphi Poll by October 2019.

For further information, please check the City Pool Activity Description.

If you want to apply to join the MOMENTUM City Pool, please complete this online survey here. The deadline for the submission of your application is 15 June 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria José Rojo, project manager at POLIS mjrojo@polisnetwork.eu.

New PIN report reveals data about urban road safety in the EU

The European Road Safety Council (ETSC) issued a new PIN report today, titled "Safer Roads, Safer Cities". According to the data revealed today, road deaths on urban roads decreased at around half the rate of those on rural roads over the period 2010-2017. Some Polis members contributed their case studies.

Urban populations are increasing, the population is ageing, people are being encouraged to walk and cycle more as concerns over congestion and air pollution move up the political agenda.

New forms of mobility are popping up increasingly. Road safety is not always the top priority. As this report shows, deaths and serious injuries on urban roads are not declining as fast as on other types of roads in many countries.

The report contains more than twenty main recommendations for action at EU, country and city authority level and can be downloaded from the ETSC website at: www.etsc.eu/pinflash37.


Brussels to reduce number of commuting cars by 15%

Image: brussels-express.eu

The Brussels government launched an appeal to reduce the flow of traffic and the levels of congestion by decreasing the number of cars entering and circulating the Region by 15%. The way to achieve this: promoting shared mobility solutions. Read more.


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