CIVITAS MIMOSA was an innovative collaboration between the cities of Bologna (Italy), Funchal (Portugal), Gdansk (Poland), Tallinn (Estonia), and Utrecht (Netherlands). MIMOSA is short for motto of the project: “Making Innovation in MObility and Sustainable Actions”.

About the project

The five MIMOSA cities joined forces to “learn how to move better, to live in better cities”, by collectively exploring new approaches to sustainable transport and demonstrating new solutions with guidance from scientific and support teams. Through the implementation and evaluation of different activities, the cities worked with their citizens towards a new and innovative concept of urban mobility.

The MIMOSA cities are rather diverse in their physical, climatic and cultural conditions that come with a geographic spread from the Baltic north-east to the far Atlantic south-west. They were however bound together by a concern about urban transport problems and a shared vision of how to solve them.

The MIMOSA cities’ priorities were to improve the quality of life and stimulate healthier lifestyles, improve environmental conditions, reduce congestion, increase energy efficiency, security and safety. All this is to be attained without compromising but ideally improving the mobility of citizens.

In The Learning History Workshops CIVITAS MIMOSA cities for the first time discovered that they suffer from different problems related to similar measures, or they found that other cities have already found solutions on similar problems. It seemed that this sharing of experiences made the cities more confident in working on their measures. They found out that other cities are struggling with similar problems and learnt how to effectively make use of positive events.

Implementing sustainable mobility

MIMOSA cities implemented a range of integrated activities to demonstrate innovative solutions and add to European know-how of sustainable urban transport. Issues of particular importance were the promotion of cleaner vehicles and fuels, attracting new passengers to public transport modes, reducing congestion through access restrictions, road and parking management, and promoting more energy-efficient and sustainable car usage, such as car sharing.

Healthier and cleaner mobility patterns, for instance walking and cycling, were another element in the mix. Innovative telematics systems were installed to improve safety and security conditions. Furthermore, technological solutions were sought to optimise passenger and goods traffic management.

Communication with citizens and involvement of the whole community was a central pillar of the project. Cutting-edge marketing, communication and information tools to reach and involve citizens, schools, companies and institutions formed an essential part of the work in the MIMOSA cities.

INNOVATION: Innovation has to be considered against the social, economic and geographic context of the city. Post-communist Gdansk and Tallinn have inherited command-led economic systems where the customer was often the last to be considered. Both cities have shown significant desire to reverse this and increase communication and liaison with citizens.

Funchal, although always in the western free economic world, was isolated and did not have a mind-set oriented towards change. CIVITAS MIMOSA provided the platform for new thinking in these cities. Bologna and Utrecht have different challenges borne of their already advanced stages of development where innovation and problem-solving were arguably even more difficult.

CiViTAS MIMOSA, had surfaced innovation and development themes that transcended individual city measures and showed that by working together we can demonstrate and validate new ways towards sustainabale mobility.

INTEGRATION: In CiViTAS MIMOSA, the project partners sought avenues of cooperation, for knowledge transfer, network expansion and personal interaction. The whole project was inspired by the concept of integration which was stimulated in a variety of ways, including Integration Workshops for successful team work.

The integration theme created joint discussion platforms for the evaluation of impacts (through the Evaluation Group, the Evaluation Workshops and  the Technical Visits), the awareness raising and communication campaigns (through the Communication Group, the Communication Workshops and the Technical Visits) and the policy assessment, which was steered by a high level and highly committed Policy Group.

Another integration level relates to the synergies created by the measures. The five cities invested quite some time in identifying the areas where they expected to give and receive know-how. This exercise produced interesting results, going beyond the simple sharing of information, to the point of actual joint development of projects.

For example Utrecht and Bologna worked together on the measures concerning city-freight and low-emission zones, where Utrecht developed an integrated traffic management system. This offered an opportunity for the cities of Utrecht, Funchal and Bologna to exchange experiences and know-how, to investigate the best alternatives, work out technical necessities, and monitor the results of cleaner buses on air-quality.

Project results

Clean fuels: From first considerations in Gdansk and Tallinn through adventurous implementation in Utrecht, Bologna and Funchal to facilitation and promotional schemes in Utrecht and Bologna we wanted to demonstrate how sustainable fuels could be implemented in all environments. A frequent theme is differential (lower) pricing for parking clean vehicles and granting access.

Public transport was facilitated and developed not only through ticketing and integration with park & ride but where possible with water borne transport for people and goods. Significantly the needs of customers for ease of use, ticket purchase, integration, comfort and speed were taken into consideration.

Pricing strategies for access control were woven throughout the measures and linked with clean fuels.

Promotion and Awareness: Bold use of media and leading edge marketing techniques were demonstrated. Gdansk sidestepped a whole generation of techniques and launched straight into web-based marketing. All cities implemented campaigns based on best practice, making communications customer driven.

Safety on roads and in vehicles formed a significant component. Infrastructure developments meant that transport modes were segregated and controlled. Bad passenger behaviour was monitored by CCTV and offenders dealt with by new measures as an alternative to the criminal legal system.

Cycle promotion saw a number of innovative aspects from cycling skills through bus&bike, cycle and accessory design and cycle loan schemes.

Logistics plans, imaginative alternative goods delivery systems and integration with road pricing all contributed to an ‘outside the box’ approach to goods delivery.

ITS: From first faltering steps in Gdansk where the concept was struggling for acceptance and reources in the area ofdentifying bus lane violations through total management systems to use for optimising route design, CIVITAS MIMOSA had the full range of innovative demonstrations to add to European knowledge.

The CiViTAS MIMOSA Search Engine, focusing on sustainable mobility, is connected to CiViTAS and other databases, giving access to thousands of documents in the eight thematic fields of CIVITAS.

Enabling Cycling Cities: Ingredients for Success contributes to the body of knowledge in cycling planning providing a number of no-frills and evidence-based facts, inviting cities to take cycling even more seriously.

Smart Apps for Smarter Travel looks at different means of citizen engagement using digital and social media and smart apps. A database has been created which lists examples of these such as crowdsourcing, data sharing, app development competitions and new apps which are being created to promote smarter travel.

“Evaluation Matters - a practitioners guide to sound evaluation for urban mobility measures´ provides guidelines to better understand and plan evaluation activities. It illustrates the usefulness of evaluation of transport measures and provides guidance for successful evaluation. The handbook will help to strengthen the evidence base for transport-related programs and policies in Europe and around the world.


Fast Facts

October 2008 - February 2013

Project duration

17 partners

Project partners


Project funding

73 measures

Implemented measures


Knowledge Bank

Mobility solutions

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European Mobility Week
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