In Europe today road transport is responsible for 40% of carbon dioxide, while urban traffic is responsible for 70% of other pollutants in our environment. In recent years many visionaries and even policymakers have dreamt of creating societies where transport is green, safe and sustainable, but more often than not these dreams have remained on pen and paper. CIVITAS however has brought a breath of fresh air in this respect, introducing change to over 200 European cities towards greener transport under one dynamic and very active network.
The word CIVITAS was coined by joining three key components of a modern European society, namely City, Vitality and Sustainability. The initiative was launched in 2002 to redefine transport measures and policies in order to create cleaner, better transport in cities.
More specifically, CIVITAS has helped introduce numerous innovations and measures that have already made transport more eco-friendly in over 60 European metropolitan areas dubbed ‚demonstration cities‘. Thanks to an EU-funded investment of well over EUR 200 million, the project has guided cities to introduce improvements in four phases of the project, each building on previous successes. Examples include a public transport ticketing system in Tallinn, Estonia, a 100% clean bus fleet in Toulouse, France, waterborne goods transport in Bremen, Germany and a new traffic control system in Bologna, Italy.
Indeed, over the last ten years CIVITAS has managed to test over 800 measures and urban transport solutions, supported by the intensive exchange of good practices in the field. The project empowered citizens to convince politicians on adopting these innovations, upgrading the quality and sustainability of urban transport for numerous European cities.
This exciting project runs until 2016, opening a myriad of opportunities for other cities to follow suit. If you would like to contribute to this ambitious vision, you can get your city to join CIVITAS and build its own greener future with our support. As European citizens, the power to bring about positive change in the urban transport sector is in our hands. Let’s build a better Europe together!