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Car-independent Lifestyles

Activities and solutions promoting walking, cycling, multi-modal travel, car sharing, bike sharing and carpooling

We need to reduce dependency on the private car  in order to make cities safer, more attractive and economically viable places to live, work and spend leisure time.

This thematic group focusses on the basics of sustainable urban mobility: creating safe and attractive places to walk and cycle. It also looks at measures and solutions which seek to make more efficient and sustainable use of the car through carpoolingcar sharing and bike sharing.  

Carpooling (also called ride sharing or lift sharing or sometimes - confusingly! - car sharing) involves two or more people travelling together in a car (usually owned by the driver of the vehicle) to a shared destination, whereas car sharing allows different people access to the use of a fleet of vehicles (normally owned and maintained by a private company or a cooperative) by booking a vehicle for a defined period of time. Each works best in a different context (urban vs. suburban/rural), addresses different issues (urban space issues vs. pollution and congestion) and serves a different target audience (those who don’t need a car for regular daily journeys vs. those who depend on a car for daily use).

Bike sharing schemes involve making bikes available to the public for short-term use, usually in urban areas. Bike share stations are a visible sign that bikes are welcome in a city. Bike sharing schemes can be part of a package of measures that serves to encourage cycling as a means of transportation in a city.

More information

Feel free to take a look at the cities and organisations that are members of this thematic group and view resources for members below. To join the group, click on the banner on the right-hand side on this page. For more information, contact Bonnie Fenton, the group moderator.

PCancellara's picture
Submitted by Pasquale Cancellara on 12/06/2017

Dear members of the CiViTAS car-independent lifestyles thematic group,

We would like to inform you that the CiViTAS SUNRISE project successfully kicked off on 16 May 2017 in Malmo, Sweden!

SUNRISE stands for Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods – Research and Implementation Support in Europe. The project will develop new tools to facilitate collaborative ways to address mobility challenges at the neighbourhood level. 

SUNRISE’s innovative approach lies in its concrete involvement of citizens, stakeholders and users throughout all phases of the innovation process, from the early identification of problems to the implementation of solutions and their evaluation.

These solutions will be tested in the six SUNRISE neighbourhood cities of Bremen, Budapest, Jerusalem, Malmo, Southend-on-Sea and Thessaloniki through the so-called “neighbourhood mobility labs”. The neighbourhood mobility labs of the SUNRISE cities set down the  foundation of the Sustainable Neighbourhood Mobility Planning (SNMP) which in turn builds on the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) concept. The SNMP applies the transport measures and participatory approaches to the neighbourhood scale by working closely with local partners organisations and citizens.   

SUNRISE will also seek cooperation with its “sister” projects Cities4People, METAMORPHOSIS and MUV that are funded under the same call and offer great potential for cooperation and exchange of experiences.

The project’s website will soon be launched. A temporary website is currently online at

Stay tuned and follow @CIVITAS_SUNRISE on Twitter! 

Kind regards,

Pasquale Cancellara

On behalf of the SUNRISE project consortium

b.fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 03/05/2017

Hello to members of the CiViTAS car-independent lifestyles thematic group!

I would like to tell you about two recent changes in our group. First of all, I (Bonnie) have taken over the moderation. Second (and much more interesting), the site has a new notification function that sends an e-mail to group members when something new is posted. This makes it much easier for all of us to connect with our colleagues from across Europe. My intention is to post thematically relevant articles and news on a fairly regular basis in the hope that some of them will be interesting or useful to you. If you have anything you would like to share or ask, simply click on "add content" in the black bar at the top of your screen (which only appears when you're logged in).

There are currently 136 members in our group - and more arriving on a regular basis. This creates an excellent opportunity to share and learn from one another.

I look forward to hearing from you!


b.fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 20/03/2017

 If you are interested in adding your input to the draft European Cycling Strategy, now is the time.The European Cyclists' Federation invites all interested stakeholders to comment on the draft blueprint for an EU Cycling Strategy. The consultation will be online from March 20 – April 8, 2017.

This document that has been put together by an expert group of 25 experts, representing 13 governmental and non-governmental organisations, academia and business representations. In addition, input was collected over the past 9 months from a much wider set of stakeholders through various channels: chapter feedback groups, 5 public events/ workshops and a survey in which more than 630 people and organisations from 37 countries participated. The recommendations of the ministerial ‘Declaration on cycling as climate friendly transport mode’ as well of the own-initiative report of the Committee of the Regions on “An EU Roadmap for Cycling” were taken into account too.

Go to the European Cyclists' Federation website to see the draft document.

Submitted by Sebastián PERNET on 22/12/2016

Youth For Public Transport (Y4PT) Foundation, with the support of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and its members, and following the long-standing tradition of Y4PT Youth Lab series, is promoting the organization of local transport hackathons around the world, by combining the best of boundless human creativity and the benefits of current information and communications technologies (ICTs) in collaborative environments, with the aim of advancing transport sector towards sustainability.

Winners from each local transport hackathon will join other Canada-based hackers at the 1st Y4PT Global Transport Hackathon Montreal 2017 ( ) in the framework of the 62nd UITP Global Public Transport Summit Montreal 2017 – the world’s oldest and leading sustainable transport event – to contest in a final round for unveiling the world’s best ground-breaking transport solutions.

More than 20 major cities around the world are hosting the first local transport hackathons. Other cities are also welcome to join.

Different local stakeholders such as universities, youth groups, ICT companies, transport operators, authorities, start-up mentors and hackers are called to collaborate with Y4PT and to be part of the world’s first ever global transport hackathon.

Everyone is invited to get on board. This is an one-off opportunity to show to your audience and users how important is for you to support this kind of events where innovation and creativity is putting forward new ICT-related solutions to boost both the private sector business performance and the public sector policy efficacy, and thus to unlock new opportunities to expand, diversify and renew your organization’s portfolio of products and services.

Further information on the 1st Y4PT Global Transport Hackathon Montreal 2017 at , or or please contact: Mr. Sebastián PERNET, Co-Founder and Treasurer of Y4PT Foundation, .

Follow up the Y4PT Transport Hackathon series on social networking/media websites ( ) such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube by using the hashtag #Y4PThackathon .

Submitted by Eileen O'Connell on 03/08/2016

The EVIDENCE Project has researched and published the economic evidence for sustainable mobility measures. For those involved in training and educating the next generation of transport professionals, the project has made available course material on 7 sustainable mobility themes. These can be downloaded from the project website to be incorporated into your course framework.

adria's picture
Submitted by Adrià Ramirez Papell on 01/08/2016

We are an start-up from Barcelona area developing an exciting project of shared mobility: Shotl ( With Shotl, citizens will insert their desired origin and destination through their smart phone. The system will match the requested route with that of other users traveling in the same direction. One of our main focus is to offer a great customer experience during all the trip, including vehicles with extra comfort, facilities to work on board and vehicles driven by professionals.
We want to work together with public bodies and transit agencies to contribute to better, greener and more accessible cities, enabling the change to more car-independent lifestyles.

We are currently developing and calibrating our product, and trying to understand which are the best cities and environments to do our first deployments. Thus, we would really appreciate collaboration from this forum on the following topics:
- Previous similar experiences that could help us learning the crucial success factors (i.e. Kutsuplus in Helsinki) and best practices.
- Research studies investigating or predicting the potential impacts of a service like ours.
- Regulation, legal and political benchmarking (barriers and facilitators) among EU cities and countries.
- Suggestion of potential cities and areas that would be open and suitable to test Shotl.

Please do not hesitate to ask us more detailed questions about Shotl in case you are interested. We would appreciate help and suggestions.

Kind regards.

SarahMartens's picture
Submitted by Sarah Martens on 16/06/2016

EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services has recently released a publication on shared mobility. It analyses the relevance of shared mobility models which will take up part of the urban mobility as citizens are more often preferring vehicle access over ownership.

Read more: 

Smart Ways to Antwerp – the Belgian city’s programme to stimulate sustainable mobility behaviour – wants to prevent the modal split from tilting back in favour of the car in light of ongoing safety concerns.

Author: Katia Kishchenko
26/05/2020 - 11:07

After a year-and-a-half of mobility interventions in the CIVITAS SUNRISE neighbourhood in Jerusalem (Israel), positive results are becoming apparent.  

Author: Richard Adams
21/05/2020 - 11:43

With the Italian capital only beginning to emerge from a long and intense lockdown, local authorities consider cycling an effective way for residents to remain mobile whilst adhering to the physical distancing rules in place to combat COVID-19.

Author: Richard Adams
14/05/2020 - 19:40

The European Commission has released guidance on how to safely resume travel and tourism as COVID-19 restrictions begin to soften. As part of this, the Commission is encouraging and supporting the progress of new urban mobility solutions, such as extending pavements and bicycles paths or even ada...

Author: Richard Adams
14/05/2020 - 18:40

Madrid (Spain), Leuven (Belgium), Regensburg (Germany) and Thessaloniki (Greece) face varied challenges. Yet they all share the wish to assess the future potential of emerging transport solutions.

Within MOMENTUM, each city is analysing a different mobility challenge linked to such new sol...

Author: Richard Adams
05/05/2020 - 18:34
15/09/2020 to 18/09/2020
Velo-City is the world's premier cycling summit, focusing on cycling infrastructure, bicycle innovations, bicycle safety and the social and cultural changes driven by cycling. Velo-City will:
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29/09/2020 to 01/10/2020
In light of the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission's Urban Mobility Days Conference in 2020 will be held as a fully digital event. 
05/10/2020 to 07/10/2020
The Slovak capital is striving to support and promote car-independent lifestyles to its citizens and put pedestrians and cyclists first. The city’s vision for sustainable mobility – called “Plan Bratislava” – is based on four main pillars: putting pedestrians first; a healthy city with cyclists; hi...
02/12/2020 to 03/12/2020
Following a record-breaking conference in Brussels, which brought together over 600 participants in November 2019, the 2020 Polis Annual Conference will take place in Arnhem-Nijmegen City Region, Netherlands, on 2-3 December 2020.  The Polis Annual Conference provides an opportunity for cities and...
Webinar capacity has now been reached and registration is closed. If you did not book a place, don't worry! The webinar will be recorded and published on YouTube.
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After over three years of working with local authorities and policymakers across Europe to accelerate the uptake of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), SUMPs-Up is slowly drawing to a close. Before it does, it is organising a final event to share its wide-ranging results and multitude of SUMP...
Increasing safety for unprotected road users: examples from strategy, policy and collaboration in Stockholm and CIVITAS ECCENTRIC Policymakers and experts are invited to a workshop focusing on how to increase safety for unprotected road users using simple and low-cost methods.
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Background School streets and street openings are an effective way to create child friendly cities and neighborhoods. However, it is not always easy to consult the different stakeholders involved, and plan for these interventions so that they have wider impact. Content
Background The air pollution and traffic congestion generated by cars and other motorised vehicles is a major concern for our cities and the citizens who live in them. But how do we address some of these concerns, and what can we do to re-create our cities so they are geared more around people and l...


CIVITAS QUOTES: Public involvement in the European Cycling Challenge


CIVITAS QUOTES: CIVITAS & Environment - The high potential of walking

Same destination - same vehicle! All about carpooling.

While much of the CIVITAS Initiative’s work has sought to shift travellers out of their cars and onto public transport or bicycle, carpooling involves sharing rides among travellers in the same vehicle going to the same destination. Carpooling can be facilitated through ‘matching’ services, but the shared rides themselves are very casual.

All the other Insights you can find here, under key publications.

The high potential of walking - often underestimated! Read this new insight

For many cities, the overall quality of life for its citizens is of utmost importance. This is not only characterised by a healthy environment, good living conditions and a growing economy, but also by the possibility to travel in a positive way. Walking is an efficient way of using expensive and scarce space in urban areas, and is healthy, clean, cheap and energy efficient. Almost half of all car trips are over distances of less than five kilometers. Therefore, there is enormous potential for walking, already tapped into by pioneering towns and cities.


CIVITAS QUOTES: Share to be less car-dependent


CIVITAS QUOTES: How to rebalance modal share by 2030


CIVITAS QUOTES: Bike Sharing in numbers worldwide


CIVITAS QUOTES: Benefits of cycling

CIVITAS INSIGHT - Accessible mobility: Enabling independent living for all

CIVITAS INSIGHT - Car sharing - New forms of vehicle use and ownership


CIVITAS QUOTES: CIVITAS & Transport - Car sharing

Wiki-Facts and Figures-2015-03

CIVITAS FACTS & FIGURES: Car-Independent Lifestyles measures in CIVITAS PLUS cities (2008-2012)

Policy Recommendations For EU Sustainable Mobility Concepts based on CIVITAS Experience

The Policy Recommendations present the main findings arising from the evaluation of the CIVITAS Plus Collaborative Projects (CPs), which ran from 2008-2012.

This publication was written under the auspices of the CIVITAS POINTER project, which supported five collaborative projects (CP s) implemented within the framework of the third edition of the CIVITAS programme. Evaluation and monitoring were the key stones of CIVITAS POINTER. Drawing from first-hand, corroborated statistical evidence gathered from participating cities, this publication presents the results of the CIVITAS Plus cross-site evaluation and policy assessment. These findings support the development of clear European-level policy recommendations that have the potential for being embraced by all European cities — not just those which make up the CIVITAS community.

The document seeks to identify factors that can boost the effectiveness and consistency of future strategies, thereby securing greater sustainability in urban mobility patterns. Policy makers are provided with contemporary facts for debating purposes, and a number of conclusions and recommendations based on lessons learnt from CIVITAS Plus are put forward.

CIVITAS reaching out to younger generations

CIVITAS Reaching out to younger generations - Sustainable mobility: Cycling in Porto


On the 26th of February 2014 CIVITAS organized a thematic workshop with students of the "Agrupamento de Escolas Alexandre Herculano" in the city of Porto (PT) to promote city cycling among the young generations.

Highlights on car-pooling

Highlights on car-sharing

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Cycling and Walking

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

Policy Advice Note Alternative Car Use

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

CITY-2-CITY EXCHANGE - car independent lifestyles

Cluster Report