Insights into the Urban Transports Community Mentoring Programme

The mentoring programme is a peer-learning and mentorship opportunity that took place in 2021. It gathered replicating cities and pioneer cities in an effort to assist Mediterranean cities and territories engaged in the development of sustainable urban mobility solutions in their territories.

The mentoring programme is a knowledge exchange process which brings together the Pioneer Cities (cities, broader territories and institutions), which have developed good mobility practices in the framework of INTERREG-MED funded projects with the Replicator Cities which aspire to adapt these good practices. The mentors, provided by the Urban Transports Community, facilitated the peer-to-peer exchanges. Thanks to this initiave, the Urban Transports Community offered a unique opportunity to access the tools, resources and competences made available by the Community to replicate identified good practices by pioneer cities. The experience focused on specific topics such as data for smart traffic management, soft mobility, shared mobility, mobility in tourist destinations and new planning approaches.

To select the replicators, a public call was launched on the project’s website and candidates were selected against the following criteria: motivation and interests, number of inhabitants of the city/region involved in the replicating activities, SUMP (existing/under development/missing), former participation to previous EU funded projects and supporting letters from the respective local/regional authorities. An overview of the mentoring cases and their outcomes are provided hereafter.

On the topic of soft mobility, the replicator algoWatt SpA in Genoa benefited from the experiences of the pioneer cities of Split and Barcelona. The mentorship programme focused on an effective and reliable bike-sharing system that should provide both electric and traditional bicycles, ensure maintenance, familiarize users through gamification, promote the synergy between its own extension and the extension of the bike lane network, and understand its users.

In parallel, the replicator Cyprus Energy Agency benefited from the experience of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. The outcomes of the mentorship were focused on ensuring a good connection of existing paths in the city center, the creation of stops at universities/schools, the installation of road signs for priorities in the city center, the creation of parking spaces, a proper data collection with sensors and a database, and the development of shared bike docks on the coastal front.

Menwhile, in Pallini, the municipality benefited from the experience of the pioneer cities of Barcelona and Treviso. The programme allowed for the identification of potential improvements such as exclusive cycling paths, the limitation of the co-existence of private cars and bikes, the development of mobility hubs with parking and e-mobility facilities, the involvement of users in the implementation of the bicycle network and the smart counting of users and vehicles.

On the topic of e-mobility, the replicator Narni Municipality benefited from the experiences of the pioneer cities of Rethymno and Treviso. The mentorship programme focused on the improvement of the livability of the hamlet of Testaccio in Narni. For that matter, the partners tested a bike sharing service, combined with an IT platform to connect small local bike and e-bike rental operators and local accommodation facilities offering this service and created infrastructure (e.g. 8 PV stalls and a surface area of about 100 square meters) for the production of electricity from renewable sources for tourism services (Solar Carport). Overall, they focused on developing sustainable mobility and active modes from/to the historical center of Narni.

On the topic of big data, the replicating city of Larissa benefited from the experience of the pioneer city of Rimini. Together, they identified measures to build on the possibilities offered by the access monitoring system of the central pedestrianized area. It includes an assessment of the pilot, before/after study, a leverage of the use of the existing system, the creation of linkages among tools and data, a mechanism for systematic data collection and the establishment of a strategic partnership with the Telecommunication Company.

In parallel, the replicator Planifica.org (Castellón de la Plana, Spain) benefited from the experience of the  Parma City Council on the same topic.

On the topic of mobility planning, the replicator Greater Irbid Municipality benefited from the experience of the pioneer city of Thessaloniki for the redesign of one of the principal roads of the city, which faces congestion issues. To that end, some measures were envisaged such as the development of a dedicated data collection and field work campaign to understand and measure the flows of vehicles at different times of the day, an assessment to calculate emissions, and the promotion of local stakeholders’ engagement through seminars, workshops and surveys to increase acceptance of the low carbon measures.

Meanwhile, the replicator Municipality of Sfax benefited from the experience of the pioneer city of Misano.