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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.

Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 03/01/2019
London Launches 5-Year Plan To Entice More People To Fall In Love With Cycling

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today joined London’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman at a new-build protected cycleway in the Outer London borough of Enfield for the launch of the capital’s Cycling Action Plan. This five-year plan sets out the timescale for tripling the number of protected cycleways since Khan came to office and also reveals new quality standards for cycling infrastructure.

Norman told Forbes: “We have a climate-change emergency, a toxic air crisis, an inactivity crisis in London, and with a significant growth [in population] that’s coming it is only going to exacerbate these challenges – so, the Mayor’s [earlier] transport strategy set out the way we need to make changes to the way we move around our city to cleaner, greener, more efficient modes of transport. And cycling is a critical part of it.”

Read the full article here.

(photo: Transport for London)

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 16/10/2018

May 20-24, 2019, the Cycling Embassy of Denmark is hosting its 5th Bikeable City Masterclass.

The masterclass targets urban planners, decision makers, and others who want to acquire knowledge and concrete tools on how to promote cycling or improve conditions for cyclists in their country or city.

During the 5-day masterclass, leading Danish experts from academics, consultancies, and city administration will give the participants know-how of integrating cycling in sustainable mobility policies and climate goals, cycle infrastructure design, road safety, multi-modal transport, and city logistics as well as cycle education and promotion. They will also work with the participants to translate Danish solutions to their local contexts.

Deadline for signing up is February 1, 2019 – or December 1, 2018 for early bird. For further information please see the attached flyer or go to: http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/2018/09/12/join-our-bikeable-city-masterclass-2019/

(photo: City of Copenhagen/Troels Heien)

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 13/08/2018

Key roads across Edinburgh will be closed to traffic once a month in a Scottish first, while the public will be asked what they think of radical plans to potentially restrict vehicles in the city centre.

 

Councillors today agreed to approve the roll-out of its Open Streets programme on the first Sunday of every month between 10am and 5pm – despite concerns from the Conservatives that a “more cautious and data-driven approach” should be taken.

Plans for a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) could “leave a legacy” for future generations as the council will carry out an eight-week public consultation on how to shape the future of transport in Edinburgh. A prospectus outlining three visions, including a radical approach where the city centre would be “largely traffic-free”, will form the start of a long consultation process with the public.

No decision has been taken yet on which roads will close in the Open Streets programme, which will also act as a test for any future restrictions on vehicles in certain parts of the city. The closures could include “key parts of the city centre and town centres” across the Capital. The council’s eight town centres are Corstorphine, Gorgie and Dalry, Leith and Leith Walk, Morningside and Bruntsfield, Nicolson Street and Clerk Street, Portobello, Stockbridge and Tollcross.

Project director Daisy Narayanan said the monthly traffic closures would “help us understand what happens” when parts of the city are shut off to vehicles. She said: “All these ideas have to be tested for when we come back with a more concrete package. Where we are today is hugely exciting and we are ready to go to the public with some bold and realistic ideas.”

Green Cllr Chas Booth welcomed the bold proposals, but called for a “hybrid approach” to the LEZ plans, so that areas outside the city centre are also included. Liberal Democrat Cllr Gillian Gloyer agreed, raising worries drivers could end up “dumping polluting vehicles on the periphery of the city”.

Conservatives voted against moving forward the plans for regular Open Streets days, citing a lack of evidence of road closures to air pollution levels. Cllr Nick Cook called for a “high level of public confidence” in the plans and an “assurance that this is what the public and businesses want”.

He said: “We are in a situation where we are using anecdotal evidence.” The council will bring forward proposals later in the year for which routes could be closed.

Vice transport and environment convener, Cllr Karen Doran, said: “There’s no doubt that for many years the city has been crying out for change.” The first Open Streets events could take place early next year.
 

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/key-edinburgh-road...

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 17/04/2018
Lightning Fast, Dirt Cheap: Five Tips From SF’s Protected Bike Lane Projects

f you’d like to cut the project time of a new protected bike lane by 90 percent and the cost by 75 percent, Mike Sallaberry has some advice.

A senior transportation engineer for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Sallaberry has a short piece in the new issue of ITE Journal sharing useful details on three projects in 2016 and 2017 that used the “quick-build” method. Instead of spending two years getting every detail right and then pouring permanent curbs, SFMTA built first — using paint, plastic and removable concrete islands — and asked questions both before and after.

The result, as Sallaberry explains, is a potentially more inclusive public process and a project that’s far more efficient.

“Common practice in San Francisco has been to identify the ideal result then wait for design, funding, contracting and construction to deliver the design,” says Sallaberry. “While this makes sense for many situations, a new approach was used recently where intermediate designs were implemented in the near term to act as ‘stepping stones’ to a longer term design.”

Maybe most important, the inherent flexibility of the quick-build approach makes it institutionally easier for a public agency to innovate. Without so much “fear of installing something that does not work,” Sallaberry explains, city staff feel free “to try new ideas to solve challenging issues.”

Read the whole article here: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/02/27/lightning-fast-dirt-cheap-five-ti...

Photo: Jeremy Menzies, SFMTA.

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 15/01/2018

The Cycling Embassy of Denmark is offering a masterclass in Copenhagen and Odense in May 2018. It targets policy and decision makers, urban planners, NGOs, and others. Participants will get to experience the Danish cycle culture and get first-hand experience with Danish cycle solutions in Copenhagen and Odense. They will obtain knowledge and concrete tools on how to promote cycling or improve conditions for cyclists in their country or city.

A group discount is being offered, so if a group of 4 people registers and pay collectively, they will get a free pass or a 25 % discount for all four passes. The deadline for signing up is March 26, 2018. (If anyone is interested in signing up with a group and saving, feel free to respond to this message and we can try to get a group together here.)

You can find more information about the program and how to register on the Cycling Embassy of Denmark website.

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 08/09/2017

Dear Car-Independent Lifestylists,

I just wanted to send a reminder to those of you who haven't had a chance to do it yet: it would be great if you could take about 5-10 minutes to fill out our short questionnaire about data availability on walking and cycling and on the acceptance of walking and cycling as modes of transport. It will help to give us a better overview of the situation in cities across Europe. Of course we'll share the results here in the group as well as at the CIVITAS Forum in September. The survey is here. If you could complete it by 13 September, that would be super!! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Many thanks!!

Bonnie (b.fenton@rupprecht-consult.eu)

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 20/07/2017

Dear Car-Independent Lifestyle group members,

In preparation for a presentation at the CIVITAS Forum in Torres Vedras in September, we've put together a small questionnaire about data availability on walking and cycling and on the acceptance of walking and cycling as modes of transport. It would be great if you could take about 5-10 minutes to complete it so that we have a good overview of the situation in cities across Europe. Of course we'll share the results here in the group as well as at the CIVITAS Forum in September. The survey is here. If you could complete it before 8 September, that would be great!! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Many thanks!!

Bonnie
(b.fenton@rupprecht-consult.eu)

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Pasquale Cancellara'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 http://www.sunrise-communities.eu/.

Stay tuned and follow @CIVITAS_SUNRISE on Twitter! 

Kind regards,

Pasquale Cancellara

On behalf of the SUNRISE project consortium

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 07/08/2017

Hello car-independent people,

The FLOW, TRACE and EMPOWER projects are teaming up to look at the role of data for non-motorised modes of transport at the CiViTAS Forum in September. In preparation for it, we'd like to know which of the below questions would be of the most interest to you. If you have other data-related questions about walking and/or cycling, we'd be happy to hear those too.

  • What sources of data do cities have available to them on non-motorised modes?
  • How do you know if your data is good?
  • How does/could non-motorised travel data change bicycle/pedestrian transport planning?
  • To what extent does the data gap implicitly set the agenda in mobility planning?
  • How can data be used for decision making? What about data protection?
  • What else is needed to unlock the potential of non-motorised travel data (i.e. baseline data)
  • How important is user-based data for planning?
  • Can digitalisation resolve the conflict between robust appraisal and expensive data collection?
  • Can digitally collected data address current problems, or is it a sexy ‘solution looking for a problem’?
  • How do behaviour change campaigns and data for planning fit together?
  • How can you ensure that data is collected with a reliable method and gives an accurate picture of the real situation?

Feel free to share your thoughts by responding to this post.

And a reminder, we'd be pleased if you could fill out our questionnaire on the types of data you have in your city on walking and cycling. It should just take about 5 minutes and is available here.

Many thanks!

Bonnie

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Bonnie Fenton's picture
Submitted by Bonnie Fenton on 07/08/2017

There is much talk about (car) congestion and the costs that has, but here's another perspective: the pedestrian pain index estimates that the annual value of time lost waiting to walk totals $25 billion annually in the United States. Of course the numbers would vary from country to country but the basic premise applies universally:

 

Every day, tens of millions of Americans waste tens of thousands of hours stuck waiting on the side of streets for car traffic to get out of their way. We estimate that the annual value of time lost waiting to walk totals $25 billion annually.

Today, City Observatory announces the launch of our latest data product: the Pedestrian Pain Index (PPI). Following the techniques developed over the past thirty years by the highway-oriented Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), PPI uses similar methods and assumptions —to calculate the amount of time pedestrians lose each year having to wait their turn to cross streets to allow cars to proceed.

Read the rest of the article here.

photo: Billie Grace Ward, Flickr

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These are either in the form of a study visit or work placements. Host cities enjoy a wide variety of benefits, including the opportunity to:

Author: Richard Adams
18/09/2019 - 16:39
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The award, which is open for submissions until 16 December, rewards outstanding and innovative achievements by local authorities in the area of road safety and encourages the exchange of good practice across Europe.

In light of the fact that 38 percent of road fatalities and more than 50...

Author: Robert Morrow
16/09/2019 - 12:41
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Park4SUMP aims to help cities integrate innovative parking management solutions into Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) for a better mobility and quality of life.

Starting in Umea in the week of last year’s CIVITAS Forum, PARK4SUMP has managed...

Author: Richard Adams
09/09/2019 - 11:56
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The European Commission is launching its Social Biking challenge across Europe this year from 16 September (the start of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK) for three weeks. The Social Biking challenge aims to encourage cycling as a social ha...

Author: Richard Adams
02/08/2019 - 17:53
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The Awards provide a unique platform for towns and cities to demonstrate their pioneering sustainable urban mobility activities. Winning towns and cities enjoy Europe-wide exposure of their work and become role models that inspire others to go for greener mobility.

The Awards are open to a...

Author: CIVITAS Support
22/07/2019 - 14:19
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11/11/2019 to 13/11/2019
CIVITAS is organising a study visit in the city of Tel Aviv (Israel). This will take place from 11-13 November 2019. Tel Aviv is currently seeking responses to its changing mobility habits, moving from relying on cars as the main mobility mode to other sustainable modes, such as public transport and...
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17/09/2019
Join a CIVITAS ECCENTRIC and CE INTERREG LOW-CARB webinar Suburban/peripheral areas today receive less attention than urban areas when it comes to sustainable mobility solutions and policies. Suburban areas show a high demand for mobility, e.g. from daily commuters travelling into city centers on a...
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17/06/2019 to 18/06/2019
The 6th edition of the European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans will be held on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June 2019 in Groningen, The Netherlands. The focus of the conference is on providing support to sustainable and active cities within the SUMP context, i.e. how to make cities more...
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07/06/2019
Access to key activity hubs has deteriorated and private vehicle reliance has grown, largely due to expanding urban sprawl where distances between functional destinations (workplaces/shops etc.) have increased. Widespread congestion has become the norm in many cities, reducing people’s quality of li...
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05/06/2019
Mobility practitioners in Spain are invited to join a workshop being organised in Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain) on Wednesday 5 June 2019. The workshop facilitates discussion and exchange of experiences on different challenges and solutions within the field of sustainable urban mobility planning. Wh...
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27/05/2019 to 29/05/2019
The 12th edition of the Austrian Cycling Summit is going to take place in Graz from May 27th to 29th 2019 under the general motto „cycling.connects”. The Styrian cycling capital Graz invites you to participate and exchange know-how and experience with national and international experts during these...
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CIVITAS QUOTES: Public involvement in the European Cycling Challenge

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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.

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CIVITAS QUOTES: Share to be less car-dependent

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CIVITAS QUOTES: How to rebalance modal share by 2030

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CIVITAS QUOTES: Bike Sharing in numbers worldwide

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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

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CIVITAS QUOTES: CIVITAS & Transport - Car sharing

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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