Back to Top

Mobility Measure

Policy planning and cooperation

Bologna has made great efforts to raise awareness of and increase cooperation with citizens and stakeholders on sustainable urban mobility policy planning. Bologna wants to make this cooperation more effective.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Bologna is aware that tackling traffic problems, pollution and other urban mobility issues will only be successful if citizens are well informed and engaged. The city will try innovative ways to involve citizens and stakeholders. It will not limit itself to the dissemination of information but wants to see citizens as active participants in the development of urban mobility planning.

The main objectives of the measure are to:

  • Involve citizens and stakeholder in municipal initiatives on environmental issues;
  • Provide comprehensive information and raise citizens’ awareness;
  • Influence citizens’ behaviour in favour of more sustainable mobility choices; and
  • Foster a new perception of mobility that revolves around sustainable means of transport.

Before CIVITAS MIMOSA, Bologna had already made efforts to involve citizens. In June 2006, the city introduced an initiative called “Bologna, a changing city”. Citizens and stakeholders were invited to discuss and improve the initiatives foreseen in the plan. Citizens, representatives from stakeholders such as trade unions and NGOs, and technical experts had the opportunity to share ideas, make proposals and debate with municipal technicians about new regulations and traffic restrictions. Based on these inputs, the Urban Traffic Master Plan was approved in 2007.

Encouraged by these good experiences, Bologna wanted to advance its collaboration with citizens and stakeholders on urban mobility planning through new modalities. The city planned a campaign to raise awareness on the impacts of traffic on health, energy efficiency and safety with the goal to change citizens’ travel choices. The campaign was based on research into new communication forms and channels. An editorial project worked on a new approach to tackle urban mobility challenges. Key elements of the campaign are the promotion of urban cycling, public transport, car sharing and car pooling. While the campaign aimed to reach all citizens, pupils and university students will specifically be targeted. Dissemination material included leaflets, brochures, CDs and DVDs. Bologna aimed to create a community to promote sustainable transport choices.  A website was planned to foster participation, exchange of experiences and information on existing cycling routes and make suggestions for improvements.

How did the measure progress?

Implementing the measure, Bologna organised and managed a set of public events to involve citizens and stakeholders in the strategy for a better mobility in the city.

From 18 December, 2009 to 24 January, 2010 Bologna organised the exhibition “We all are pedestrians” . The exhibition aimed at raising awareness of the health benefits of walking and of the need to increase road safety through infrastructure and respect for road rules. About 5,000 flyers were distributed in libraries and public service sites. The city organised the first National Bike Day on 9 May, 2010 in cooperation with the Ministry of the environment. The initiative consists of several local events to encourage cycling. In August 2010, a new website dedicated to mobility activities went online, clustering the measures and solutions that the municipality developed to facilitate exchange with citizens. Together with the local public transport operator ATC and the Emilia Romagna Region, other public transport companies and private stakeholders, Bologna organised the seminar “The future of e-ticketing through technological applications: Communicating traveller information, intermodality and near-field communication (NFC)”. The seminar was held in Bologna on 20 May, 2010 and in Ravenna on 21 May, 2010. In July 2010 the Car Share Aware Meeting was organised by the local public transport operator, ATC, in collaboration with SRM (the Province of Bologna’s Mobility agency). European Mobility Week events were the main opportunities for the Municipality to meet residents and assess their opinions about sustainable mobility. On these occasions, which took place in September each year the measure was in force, actions were organized supporting marketing/communication for other MIMOSA measures in the city. From 16 to 22 September 2010, the Municipality participated in the European Mobility Week with a series of initiatives and events all over the city. The biggest initiative was a two-day event to promote a sustainable lifestyle that 3,000 people participated in. A safe cycling course has been organised by the municipal police department for schools that was attended by 400 children. Approximately 1,600 questionnaires were completed. The event generated a lot of citizen participation. For example, more than 200 people joined cycling tours and 500 attended a bicycle auction during which 70 bikes were given away at a symbolic price. Cycling gadgets including 400 fluorescent jackets, 1,350 fluorescent straps and 800 mobile cycling lights were distributed. Close to 200 bikes were equipped with anti-theft marks and 300 were repaired free of charge. The communication plan for a campaign on new traffic restriction measures was developed in September and October 2010. Implementation started in November 2010 with the distribution of leaflets and maps to inform citizens about the new regulations and a quick response (QR) code solution. Smart phone owners can scan the code to access the new regulations directly on their mobile phone. In November 2010 the Municipality presented the CIVITAS MIMOSA project at an official session of the Province of Bologna Transport Commission. In April 2011 the Municipality was invited by the Bologna University’s Sociology Faculty to describe mobility trends and the actual scenario in the city and the impact the CIVITAS MIMOSA project might have on them. Moreover, technicians at Bologna Municipality met delegations from all over the world to discuss urban mobility at several meetings, where the  MIMOSA project and  CIVITAS initiatives were also described. Delegations came from India, Bhutan and Nepal (Feb. 2011), Chongqing-China (Sept. 2011), Portland and Denver, USA (May and Oct. 2011). In Spring 2011 new bicycle signs were installed around Bologna. In May 2011 the municipality supported the organisation of the second “National Bike Day” in Bologna with a focus on cycling outside the city centre. During the 2011 European Mobility Week (EMW), the Municiplaity of Bologna organised a workshop on cycling in historic areas which dealt with bottom-up planning open to single cyclists and their associations. A course on road safety for cyclists and a laboratory on cycle repairing was also organised at secondary schools in cooperation with an association of the field. Under the framework of the EMW 2011, many actions and conferences fostering sustainable mobility, dissemination initiatives cultural and sport events took place in Bologna. They related to cycling and electric mobility promotion, measures in favor of traffic free streets and citizens’ awareness raising on the need to strongly limit personal car use. On 17-18 September the three main streets at the heart of Bologna’s historic centre – that is Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi and Indipendenza streets, the so-called T-crossroad - were closed to motorised traffic (included TPL and taxies)  and opened only to pedestrians and cyclists. All in all, 5 tonnes of CO2 emission were saved. More than 60,000 people are estimated by local media to have enjoyed this traffic ban together with several cultural and sports events organized during a traffic-free weekend, officially named T-days. Thirty-two streets and eight squares (corresponding to 26 square-kilometers) were exclusively open for walking and cycling. The day was celebrated with public events, such as nine sports initiatives and five jazz street concerts, which recalled the well-known and beloved musical tradition of Bologna's past. Eight extraordinary open-air markets were held, among which a 0-km market in the internal courtyard of the middle-aged Town-hall building palace named Palazzo Comunale. Fourteen events and various actions were organized to raise awareness on sustainable mobility issues. An info-point was open all day to provide information on sustainable mobility and energy saving. It was also possible to get a bike check-up for free. The municipal police held courses on safe cycling addressed to children and their families. A small rickshaw fleet carried passengers across the traffic-free area throughout the T-days. Hundreds of maps titled “Less traffic, more city” and “The whole city belongs to me” were distributed to citizens. Around 400 citizens answered  anonymously a questionnaire  on their urban travel behaviors. Questions dealt with the transport means regularly used on the home-work, home-school and home-city centre routes, the distance covered and the time taken for these trips. An informative campaign on new incentives for electric vehicles was launched by the Municipality of Bologna, in order to inform citizens of the new incentives to purchase electric bicycles and motorcycles.  An utmost visited exhibition on electric vehicles was organized in Piazza Maggiore. All in all, during EMW 2011, 7,000 copies of the EMW programme leaflet, 10,000 copies of  “Less traffic, more city” maps,  22,000 copies of Cycle Lanes maps and 6,000 copies of Informative  brochures on the incentives for the purchase of electric bicycles and motorcycles were distributed. Among the cultural events organized during European Mobility Week were the following: - The cartoons and drawings exhibition “Moving among balloons and smiles” on urban traffic with cartoons shown in shop windows and open-air; - The animated so-called CO2 low emission public reading “The walk of an absent-minded man” by Gianni Rodari; and - The exhibition “Europe by bike. Travelling on a pedal-beach-chair”.   Other actions were organized by the Municipality of Bologna in co-operation with associations, such as the bike tours “Ice-creams and cycle-paths” (on Friday and Wednesday), “Bologna city of music and silk production” (on Saturday), “Pedaling for the environment” (on Saturday), “Bologna’s cycle paths-Bike meeting FIAB” (on Sunday/FIAB is the national umbrella association  of local cyclist association), “Stop you all, please! Lady bicycle is passing by” (on Sunday), a Children’s bike tour (Sunday). These rallies (in some cases guided) were the pleasant occasion for  discovering cycle paths and for enjoying Bologna’s historical corners seen from the bike saddle. Promotion and information on the ‘T-Days’ event was made through 3 different social networks: Twitter http://www.twitter.com/tdays_bo, Facebook ‘T Days 17-18 September 2011’, Flickr (T Days Bologna) managed outside MIMOSA. During  2011 ‘T-Days’ weekend, people were asked to give  their  views on the event using the ‘T Days’ tag.

On 3 and 4 December 2011 the Municipality of Bologna organized a second experimental edition of the T-Days in the city  historical centre. The second “extraordinary opening” of Bologna’s T-crossing to cyclists and pedestrians took place in coincidence with the start of the participatory process on the municipal pedestrianization plan, aimed at collecting proposals and opinions from all stakeholders. Despite the lower temperature compared to the previous action realized in September, also during the second T-days event citizens, families with their children on bikes and tourists cheerfully invaded Bologna’s historical centre enjoying the freedom to walk and cycle in safety in traffic-free streets. Maps titled “Less traffic, more city” (which outline the measures undertaken by the Municipality to reduce private motorized traffic) and “The whole city belongs to me” (dedicated to urban cycling) were distributed together with materials elaborated by the citizens who had participated to the contest launched during the first T-days event. Given the success of the first two editions, since 12th of May 2012 T-Days have become a permanent provision. During European Mobility Week 2012, from Sunday 16 September to Saturday 22 sport, institutional and cultural events and initiatives were organized in cooperation with associations. They included bike tours, the inauguration of a bike path, bottom-up participatory planning laboratories, conferences, readings on cycling and the bicycle in poetry and literature, free courses on bike repairing and safe cycling, play games on recycling reserved to children. The French film “The boy and the Bicycle” was  projected within a video non-stop show dedicated to the bike. Furthermore, new services and activities linked up to MIMOSA project were presented to citizens. On Friday 21 September an experience-exchange meeting among citizens, elected people and officers, at the presence of Bologna vice Mayor for mobility Andrea Colombo, focused on sustainable access modes to Bologna’s historical center. On 22 September, Andrea Colombo introduced the new call for tender to promote electro-mobility and electro-vehicles. On the same day the traditional “bike auction”, was held to fight bicycle thefts. During the whole week, from 9 a.m to 18 p.m., an Info-point on sustainable urban mobility was activated by the Municipality of Bologna in cooperation with the Emilia-Romagna Region and Public Transport companies SRM and TPER. Several private companies organized an exhibition of public and private electro-vehicles and a presentation of projects on electro-mobility. Research activity, performed through surveys and meetings, has also been carried out, aiming to finetune the communication strategy to better inform and involve citizens and stakeholders. For this purpose activities were implemented to share both good practices with other CIVITAS cities and MIMOSA partners, and the experiences and suggestions by INTERACTIONS and ICLEI/VANGUARD. Furthermore, a specific training Course on ITS, organized by ICLEI-VANGUARD, was hosted by the Municipality of Bologna on the 14th and the 15th of December 2011. News, newsletters and reports on the above mentioned communication activities were realized to disseminate, on European and local level, the events carried out and the progressing measures’ state-of-the-art.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

In measure designing, Bologna expected to bring an increased level of involvement of citizens in urban mobility planning and a change in people’s lifestyle towards more sustainable mobility habits. As a result of its engagement, Bologna won the European Mobility Week Award 2011. The EMW prize is awarded by an independent panel of transport experts to the Local Authority which is judged to have done the most to raise public awareness of sustainable mobility issues and implement measures to achieve a shift towards sustainable urban transport. A survey carried out in 2011 revealed that all MIMOSA measures have received the public’s approval in Bologna. The Measures that most affected mobility habits and residents’ lifestyles, namely measure 3.1, which introduced road pricing policies and the automatic monitoring of the Limited Traffic Zone, measure 3.3, which introduced  restrictions to pedestrian areas, and Measures 8.5 and 8.2, which introduced automatic enforcements for traffic infringements, received the highest level of  disapproval.

The key results of the measure impact evaluation are as follows: - an increase in interactions with residents through all different means of contact, - up to 3,000 participants in each European Mobility week, - a dramatic increase in people’s awareness of CIVITAS MIMOSA initiatives aimed at improving sustainable mobility issues. The increased involvement and active participation of residents cannot be fully shown by the indicator results. It might be argued that residents’ participation increased, considering the number of contacts received by the Municipality and the active participation in events (e.g. European Mobility Week). However, from the impact evaluation it is difficult to demonstrate the level of their direct involvement and whether they contributed to municipality policies. This can only be deduced from the web page for cycling events, where the active contribution of cycling associations can be seen.