Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Sustainable multi-modal inter-urban transport, regional mobility and spatial planning.

Topic identifier: LC-MG-1-2-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
2nd stage Deadline:
31 January 2018 17:00:00
19 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

A metropolitan area, "agglomeration" or "commuter belt" (with important cross-docking activities), is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, that is sharing industry, infrastructure and housing. An efficient multimodal transport network at different spatial levels is fundamental to allow a smooth functioning both in such areas and with their connected surrounding regions thus encouraging mobility and enhancing/preserving social inclusion. However, the transport infrastructure needed could cause important negative externalities and even induce unbridled suburbanization.

The introduction of new forms of people mobility and freight distribution, such as innovative soft mobility schemes, drive-sharing, ride-sharing, crowd shipping, crowd delivery, connected and automated vehicles, innovative flying vehicles, Mobility as a Service, could revolutionise transport demand with major consequences for the spatial organisation of cities and their local neighbourhoods. Mitigating the negative impacts of transport and substantially contribute to the achievement of the COP 22 goals must be pursued.

To address these challenges and in line with the guidelines to implement SUMP, a multi-dimensional approach is needed assessing new forms of mobility in all transport modes, their infrastructures, travel flux evolvement, spatial-economic development, environmental and quality-of-life issues, governance issues across spatial and institutional levels and user behavioural aspects. Development of vertical spatial planning can be included. Models should be proposed to support decision-makers in assessing evolution and potential rebound effects of their plans.

GNSS can contribute to boosting new forms of mobility and allow for a more efficient use of transport infrastructure. A large potential stemming from the combination and integration of GNSS with communication technology and telematics platforms remains so far untapped.


Proposals should address one or several of the following:

  • Address environmental, socio-cultural and spatial impacts of planning in large metropolitan regions, whilst also enhancing connectivity; governance and institutional issues should be included.
  • Identification of new forms of mobility (including trips not covered by metropolitan radial transport infrastructure) with the potential to have the greatest impact on spatial redesign of urban and low-density areas - improving the balance between city and rural development -, on urban space sharing (including pedestrians), on new public and private service allocation patterns, on investments in infrastructure, and new solutions for collective transport and transport planning. Identify ways to promote their implementation of the new forms of mobility both in passenger and freight transport.
  • Use of geolocalization data, including Galileo and EGNOS for cooperative mobility in combination with other communication and telematic data to foster a more efficient use of infrastructure and reduction of air pollution.
  • Suggest appropriate measures to ensure the lowest carbon and air pollutant level of transport with particular consideration for the interdependencies between different spatial patterns of production/consumption (i.e. localization of production sites and relevant schemes of distribution to final consumers) and the energy and carbon intensity of the related transport systems. Collection and analysis of comprehensive data to provide a sound basis for future planning.
  • Comprehensive planning for the entire functional area (defined as an area of intensive commuter movements and/or freight distribution), adapting, further developing and extending the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP)[1] concept, considering specific needs of metropolitan regions, new operating models in collective public and private transport, overcoming social segregation and inequalities, including gender inequalities, in access to education, jobs, health and leisure. Innovative planning concepts (e.g multi-state planning, performance-based planning, scenario techniques and community planning) should also be considered with the aim to ensuring accessibility, social justice and equity in the mobility of all citizens groups. Coordinated infrastructure development: balancing long-term environmental goals with other development aims (e.g. effective land use and preservation of natural zones), developing environmental high-performance infrastructure (e.g. light rail), upgrading/ repurposing existing infrastructure, improving connectivity to the TEN-T and overall resilience of the region.
  • Coordinated development of sustainable policies with proven environmental impact, e.g. air-quality and noise-sensitive traffic management, including "nowcasting" as well as long-term strategy, region-wide freight and logistics concepts, shared mobility and innovative collective mobility promotion and incentives/disincentives for access to urban centres.

Involvement of local authorities, transport operators in research is essential to ensure the appropriate implementation, in line with SUMP guidelines, as well as modelling and recording reactions of users to changes in infrastructure and mobility options (rebound effects) to support future decision-making and ensuring citizens' engagement. Users' involvement is encouraged, as it is important to reach effective changes in behaviour.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular, proposals should foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by US DOT to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies.[2]

Expected Impact:

Research will provide cities, regional and national authorities and spatial planners with evidence of long term impacts of innovative transport technologies and business models. It will aid decision makers to better anticipate and plan necessary investments, adaptation and spatial re-design strategies in view of taking full advantage of the new forms of mobility for improving competitiveness, sustainability, social cohesion, equity, and citizen well-being. Research will also contribute to devising transport planning strategies that contribute to a balanced development between urban and rural areas.

The innovation processes and final impacts should be systematically evaluated in terms of their contribution to environmental health, to enhanced accessibility to the centre of the metropolitan region as well as to the TEN-T corridors, to regional economic performance, social cohesion and overall regional development potential.

To meet the challenge of reducing the environmental impact of commuting and inter-urban transport proposals must demonstrate their contribution towards the following objectives:

• Reduced congestion, energy, emissions of air pollutants, carbon footprint, noise and land-use within the identified metropolitan regions.

• Increased coordination between multimodal infrastructure mobility and spatial-economic development, including reduction of inequalities.

• Increased inter-modality and higher resilience of the transport system between the metropolitan region and the neighbouring cities and rural areas.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation
Clean Energy

[1]The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan concept [see Annex I to COM(2013)913] considers the functional urban area and proposes that action on urban mobility is embedded into a wider urban and territorial strategy. Therefore, these Plans should be developed in cooperation across different policy areas and sectors (transport, land-use and spatial planning, environment, economic development, social policy, health, road safety, etc.); across different levels of government and administration; as well as with authorities in neighbouring areas – both urban and rural. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans are about fostering a balanced development and a better integration of the different urban mobility modes


Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. 


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:    

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20       
11. Smart, green and integrated transport WP 2018-20      
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


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