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DEMOCRITOS
DEveloping the MObility CRedits Integrated platform enabling travellers to improve urban TranspOrt Sustainability

State of the Art - Background

In transportation, pollution has taken centre stage from the early concern with sulphur emissions to concentrate today on NOx and particulate matter. The greenhouse gas (GHG) issue for mobility has been confined for the moment to the car manufacturers' level which set thresholds on the fleet average CO2 g/km produced by new cars. At the system level, an indirect contribution to the issue has been given by the congestion charging schemes applied in some cities, since congestion has a direct effect on increasing the GHG production due to engines not working at their optimal conditions.

Recent studies on transport emission reduction strategies agree that the foreseeable improvement in car technology is inadequate to meet GHG reduction targets and emphasise the need for approaches that combine technological, economic and social aspects. There is a general agreement that individual policies will not significantly contribute to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality, and that only combined polices including soft measures designed to raise awareness and acceptability can. The important aspect is that the combination of push-and-pull policies are able to simultaneously improve different dimensions of the transport emissions problems, as the synergies of combining different measures are such that the effect of their combination is better then the sum of single policies effects.

Objectives

The project introduces the Mobility Credits model as a transport specific platform that will enable travellers, mobility and technology providers, and transport planners to understand the implications of climate policy and increasing prices for GHG, and to identify new opportunities in urban (and extra-urban) mobility. The Mobility Credit model will actually work at optimal conditions when implemented over a wide area: province, region and country.

The project goal is to establish an exhaustive framework of the platform aiming at:

- further enhancing the theoretical framework addressing medium and long-term effects (relocation of industrial, commercial and residential activities, price inflation on goods and services, local competitiveness, etc.);

- exploring different ways to implement the model pillars (theoretical schemes, sustainable mobility loads, mechanisms of credits distribution, etc.);

- exploring how the model could spur innovation in individual transport means through a positive selective pressure to induce the use of low-polluting, low consumption and small vehicles;

- assessing the implications of different technology scenarios;

- assessing the social awareness and concerns in applying such a model.

Description of Work

- Develop a comprehensive theoretical framework in order to provide a solid background addressing all the implementation issues and effects of the integrated platform.

- Define the technology architecture to support the Mobility Credits Platform (MCP) based on the requirements defined by the theoretical study.

- Specify the framework needed to assess the long-term effect of the MCP. The analysis of some long-term effects could provide feedback on the theoretical development.

- Design local developments, taking into account all the alternatives and evaluating their cost/benefit impacts at the strategic level. It must be acknowledged that in the complex contexts addressed in this project, the theoretical developments have intrinsic limits in providing quantitative answers. The simulations of specific cases (to be done in Genoa - IT, Stuttgart - DE, Lisbon - PT and Craiova - RO) will provide the necessary insight in order to verify MCP effectiveness and efficiency, the potential reduction of GHG due to adoption of the MCP in the different application contexts and the possibility of answers to specific issues concerning social acceptance.

- Define real-scale demonstrators, targeted to give all the 'instructions' to implement such a mobility policy.

- Compare results obtained for finalising the MCP scheme for the participating cities and for European municipalities and regions.

Expected Results

- Municipalities and regional authorities of the consortium will have a sound basis on which to decide upon the adoption of the MCP as a means to influence the travellers' choices in order to reduce GHG. In this respect, Mobility Credits shall be part of a broader mobility management scheme, where responsibilities and tasks are allocated between public and private sector and between levels of government (local, regional, national and European).

- Consultancies will have a clear understanding of the concept and of the associated technologies to assist public administrators, municipalities, enterprises, interest groups, communities and citizens in and outside Europe to implement the platform.

- Other European administrations at differing levels (cities, regions, countries) will have been involved in the diffusion actions in order to make them aware of the benefits in adopting the Mobility Credits Platform.

- Organisations at the European level, with particular reference to the transport and automotive associations, will have been involved in the diffusion actions in order to make them understand how the MCP could influence their strategic agendas and their actions for future innovations.

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