Back to the Future – CIVITAS Forum 2019 in Graz

This year´s CIVITAS Forum returned after 16 years to the place where it started- to Graz, Austria. From October 2nd -4th a record number of 650 participants from Europe and beyond gathered for three days, filled with sessions, presentations, study visits, networking and discussions around sustainable mobility.

The topic “back to the future” stood for stock-taking on how CIVITAS as an initiative has developed, what role it is playing today and how to continue it in the future, as well as looking back on all the successes and steps towards sustainable (urban)mobility that have been taken in the past years.

The key note speakers stressed the importance for cities to not only rely on technical innovation and jumping on new developments, but to also consider past activities and experiences, carefully evaluate them and learn and cherish them for future activities.

One of the key takeaways of the conference was also the release of the widely anticipated “Guidelines for Developing and Implementing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan”, or SUMP, to support cities even more in their efforts to create the plans. This was the first update of the Guidelines, initially published in 2013.

UBC SCC is a regular participant at the event to network with cities and other cooperation partners, but also to represent the mobility projects we are working with currently:

The cities.multimodal project teamed up with fellow INTERREG Baltic Sea region projects SUMBA and BSR electric to host a common stand and represent the Baltic Sea region cities and experiences.  Our workshop “Multimodal mobility points in the Baltic Sea region - experiences from the cities.multimodal project" gathered almost 50 participants to learn and discuss about the development and implementation of mobility points in Vilnius and Rostock.

As the Dissemination partner for the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project, UBC SCC hosted a stand to exhibit the project’s latest results and news, amongst them the 50 Fact Sheets presenting the project’s innovative mobility measures and work being carried out

ECCENTRIC was represented by different partners in a total of 7 conference sessions with themes varying from MaaS to changing people’s behavior and developing better policies for walking and cycling. One example of the popular workshops was a gamificated session Ready to change – MaaS readiness in practice, where participants acted as game tokens to learn about the different sides of developing MaaS in local contexts. The game was based on the MaaS readiness level indicators for local authorities created by the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC city Turku. Several examples of working with MaaS were shared and discussed as the participants became familiar with how the indicators could be applied in their home cities.

CIVITAS ECCENTRIC city Stockholm also received acknowledgement by winning the CIVITAS Legacy award for developing an electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure master plan, which outlines its past, present and future proposals, and forms part of its clean mobility package. Our warmest congratulations to Stockholm!

Read more about the CIVITAS Forum

Text: Nuppu Ervasti & Esther Kreutz