During this webinar, that took place on November 11th, 2020 in the framework of the Urban Transports Community Webinar Series, pioneer cities presented their experiences and lessons learnt in relation to mobility solutions in Mediterranean tourist destinations.
Planning for mobility in tourist destinations, requires significant focus on cooperation and governance, when attempting to balance challenges in the two sectors of Mobility & Tourism, particularly in order to achieve sustainable development, improved quality of life for residents and increased customer experience of tourists. Cycling can provide the answer to these challenges, and can play a key role in creating the right balance between the welfare of tourists and local population, the needs and uses of the natural and cultural environment and the development and competitiveness of destinations and their businesses.
The session dedicated to mobility in tourist destinations was introduced by Antoine Clemot, Project officer at CODATU. His presentation is available here.
The thematic keynote speech was delivered by Morten Kabell, former mobility and environment mayor of Copenhagen and Co-CEO of the European Cyclist Federation. He shared some of the best benefits of cycling and began by stating that "every time a citizen cycles 1 km, society saves a little more than 1 euro. With over 2.2 billion cycle tourism trips every year in Europe, the estimated economic impact is around 44 billion euro." According to him and several studies, cycling reduces sickness absence by 5 billion euro, saves 16 million tons of Co2 emissions, eases congestion for a benefit of 7 billion euro, allows cyclists to live longer and healthier lives approximating to 73 billion euro savings and benefits local communities and creates jobs for a benefit of 44 billion euro. His presentation is available here.
Silvio Nocera, Professor of Transport Engineering and Planning in the Department of Architecture and Arts at the Università Iuav di Venezia, then delivered the focus speech by providing some insights, perspectives and conclusions from the project MOBILITAS. According to him, mobility in tourist destinations is a common feature but has many differences. It is highly beneficial for local communities due to positive economic impacts but is also highly impacting due to the generation of seasonal external costs. The difficulty lies in the heterogeneity of the panel (different features of a Mediterranean touristic city) and in the legislative and institutional difficulties impeding the consolidation of a unique solution. He explained that MOBILITAS addresses the issue of tourist flows and their environmental consequences in 10 sample regions, typically affected by the arrival of large masses of tourists, who double or even triple the number of the usual residents. The seasonal attitude of this phenomenon makes it hard to find effective solutions. 9 sustainable mobility plans have been achieved and IT Tools electrical and sharing mobility solutions have been tested. The results are all available in the Handbook on Sustainable Mobility in the MED Area.
Pioneer cities then shared their experiences in relation to mobility in tourist destinations such as Zadar, Ravenna and Rethymno.
Paulo Sarić, Senior associate expert at Zadra Nova Development Agency presented the concept of cycle-tourism improved by an App implemented in the Zadar County. He shared the study of cycling traffic and infrastructure in the City of Zadar which allowed to define measures for improving the cycling traffic in Zadar consistently with the master traffic plans. This in turn, allowed to define improvements to infrastructure, services, and communication as well as to increase the capacity of the infrastructure for greater use of the bicycle. Following this study, they have upgraded the existing mobile APP for iOS and Android platforms with traffic information in the framework of the MOBILITAS project. The Zadar Bike Magic App defines 86 standardized cycling trails around 3000 km of cycling routes in Zadar County. It is an all-around guide for both tourists and local citizens promoting bike use. The numbers show that the growth of unique users is several times higher than the growth of population and tourist visitors in the Zadar area, indicating the positive correlation of the project activity to the overall project goal - reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in transport, improving the environment in areas of high traffic density, optimizing the impact of human activities on the sea, land, air and human health, moving towards sustainable modes of transport, and reducing high pressure on coastal roads that cannot absorb higher traffic. All the information about this are available here. His presentation is available here.
Nicola Scanferla, Mobility Manager at Ravenna Municipality the presented the good practice in Ravenna with its Low Carbon Transport Plan. He stated that "Low Carbon Transport Plan (LCTP) strategies improve tourist accessibility to points of interest in the proximity of the terminal and improve both the urban mobility and the environmental quality of connections between the cruise terminal and the center of Ravenna". This was made possible, as part of the LOCATIONS project, by a context analysis with a general framework of the planning system and then by a participatory process including representative stakeholders, opinion leaders and citizens. The implementation plan featured the improvement of accessibility to points of interest near the cruise terminal, cycle and pedestrian wayfinding system, activation of a new service of e-bike rent, preparation of a feasibility study for an intermodal platform, limitation of circulation to polluting vehicles, connections by sea, increased low-carbon travels by bike to the centre of Ravenna, installation of infrastructure for charging e-bike bycicles at the cruise terminal, improved accessibility for people with reduced mobility and regulation of bus transit in the city centre. All the information about this are available here. His presentation is available here.
Vasilis Myriokefalitakis and Natalia Kiriakopoulou from the Rethymno Municipality then presented the electric mobility solutions for tourists and residents that were implemented in Rethymno Municipality, Crete, Greece. Their vision was for Rethymno to be a Greek Sustainable Municipality model and also a remarkable tourist destination. They explained that in 2007, Rethymno was among the first Greek municipalities which conducted Sustainable Mobility Plan, updated to Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) in 2020 to cover the needs for both citizens and tourists covering the whole Municipality area and aligned with the new legislation. Since 2018, e-cars, e-buses, e-bikes and e-scooters sharing systems with photovoltaic shelters to charge the batteries, have been created in this city which hosts approximately 1.5 million visitors on day tours and cruises. These electric mobility solutions were meant as energy saving and environmental friendly, and were introduced through awareness-raising activities such as test drives, public events and social media posts. All the information these measures are available here. Their presentation is available here.
You can watch the video recording here.