Polis Newsletter
May 2019

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Dear colleagues,

We are in the middle of the fifth UN Global Road Safety Week.

Cities and regions have a leading role to play in making their streets safe for all road users: pedestrians and cyclists, children and older people, women and men, those inside a bus, outside a truck or in a wheelchair on the sidewalk.

I am happy to see how many cities, regions and other stakeholders have come to Brussels this week to discuss how to improve walking, cycling and the safe use of new shared mobility services (read more below).

It is clear that a modal shift towards more walking and cycling plays a major role not just in improving sustainability but also in road safety!

I wish you a nice read and safe week!

Karen Vancluysen 
Secretary General


2019 Polis Conference: Call for speakers is open

Submit your abstract by 19 May! Read more.

Polis Network News

New knowledge to boost walking and cycling revealed

Today's conference “Modal choice in a multimodal transport system” (in Brussels) reveals new insights on the impact transport interventions have and how people choose their mode of transport. The event concludes the CEDR funded ISAAC and STTRIDE projects. Webstream is available from 9.30-17.15h online.

One hundred professionals from across Europe gather in Brussels today on 9 May to discuss user needs in multimodal transport systems. The event is organised by the CEDR Programme Executive Board and Polis.

Download the conference programme here.

New tools will improve decision-making

At the conference, the ‘PedBikePlanner’ will be launched, a tool that has been developed within the ISAAC project and that provides planners with evidence-based information about the impact of transport interventions on modal shift and road safety. “Before ‘PedBikePlanner’, transport planners needed to search through vast amounts of fragmented information, which was very time-consuming and biased. This tool will save them lots of time and improve the decisions that are made”, says Tim de Ceunynck, researcher at VIAS institute.

A framework to evaluate the impact of new technologies and a toolkit of investment options for authorities were developed within the STTRIDE project. Conference delegates will receive training to use the ‘PedBikePlanner’ (www.pedbikeplanner.eu) and the STTRIDE tools (https://sttride.trl.co.uk/).

Walking and cycling must not be lumped together

Results of a new extensive user survey, also undertaken within the ISAAC project, are presented for the first time. It has been found, for example, that people’s reasons not to walk more frequently for short trips differ strongly from not cycling more often. For cycling, road safety is the main barrier, while for walking, travel time is perceived too long. While lowering any barrier will have benefits for both, the study makes it clear that a powerful strategy aimed at boosting cycling will be different from a strategy for walking.

The representative survey was conducted in nine European cities, i.e. Ghent, Liège, Tilburg, Groningen, Trondheim, Bergen, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Berlin.

What is the role of e-scooters and other new mobility services?

With the rise of new mobility services such as bike- and e-scooter sharing, conference delegates will also discuss how micromobility services impact the transport system, and which regulation is best suited to help achieve policy goals.

Promotion is not enough

These events are held during the UN Global Road Safety Week (6-12 May) to demonstrate that modal shift towards more walking and cycling plays a major role in improving road safety. Fewer vehicle kilometres reduce the likelihood of trauma from road crashes, especially for unprotected road users. “Promoting walking and cycling is important but not enough. Authorities on local, regional and national level must also invest in making city streets safer”, says Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General at Polis.


The STTRIDE and ISAAC projects were funded through the CEDR Transnational Research Programme Call 2015 “User Needs in a Multimodal Context”. The programme was funded by the CEDR members from Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Sweden. The final conference of the programme has been organised by Polis on behalf of the CEDR Programme Executive Board.

The conference will be webstreamed from 9 May, 9.30h via www.polisnetwork.eu/webstream

Hashtag of the conference on twitter: #CEDR_multimodal

Polis cities exchange experience on active travel and road safety

Sixteen cities and regions met on Wednesday 8 May in Brussels to exchange about their experience and problems with active travel modes as well as new shared mobility services. The Polis Working Group meeting was held during this week's UN Global Road Safety Week.

The meeting brought together two Polis Working Groups, on active travel and on road safety. Among others, walkability and the use of a walkability index by cities was be discussed, and which insights the index reveals. The cities also exchange about their approaches to new shared mobility services and discussed their experience to exploit the benefits of bikesharing and e-scooters.

Kkey questions of the day were:

  • Will the benefits of physical activity of modal shift be lost with new mobility services?
  • Micromobility & MaaS versus road safety & public space
  • Are e-scooters and other new mobility services a safety concern?
  • DiscussionModal shift and road safety: two sides of the same coin
  • How can the EU help to improve urban road safety?

Polis Working Group meetings are only open to Polis members and invited experts.

The meeting was conclude with an social evening event: In the presence of Brussels' Mobility Minister Pascal Smet and the European Coordinator for Road Safety, Matthew Baldwin of the European Commission, a documentary on cycling was screened at a local cinema. The evening event explored why people choose to get around by bike.

“Cities such as Brussels should drastically redistribute public space: from a city for cars towards a city for people and cycling. Therefore, urban cycling should be made easy and sexy”, said Pascal Smet, Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Brussels Capital Region.


Dagmar Köhler (dkoehler@polisnetwork.eu) and Florinda Boschetti (fboschetti@polisnetwork.eu)

2019 ITS Europe Congress for cities and regions

Polis is delighted to be supporting this year's European ITS Congress, hosted by Polis members the cities of Eindhoven and Helmond, taking place from 3-6 June under the banner 'Fulfilling ITS promises'.

There are many formal congress events and side events that Polis members and Polis staff will be taking part in during the week. See below a snapshot of these events:

3 June:

  • Seminar on new mobility services in a smart city context, organised by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities. Further information here.

4 June:

  • SIS23: Safer Cities: vision zero - a multidisciplinary challenge, involving TfL, Gothenburg, Helmond, Ertico & others to be confirmed
  • SIS10: Possible actions for Public Authorities to facilitate Automated Driving, involving Polis staff
  • Panel discussion: Sustainable mobility (Smart Cities Stream), involving the CEO of EIT Urban Mobility (new KIC programme involving many Polis members)
  • EU EIP and POLIS side-event “Where motorways and cities meet and greet” to discuss the urban-interurban interface with input from the EC and including an exhibition tour on Dutch Street. From 12-13.00 starting at the EC stand.

5 June:

  • Mayors and Industry Leaders Summit
  • Plenary session: Automated mobility – How far are we?, involving Barcelona

6 June:

  • SIS46Making bike- and scooter shares work for the cities, moderated by Polis staff
  • MAVEN project final event on urban traffic management and automation. More information here.

Polis members can enjoy a discounted registration fee. To request this, please contact Suzanne Hoadley.

We look forward to seeing you at the congress.


Olli Fleet Challenge: an opportunity to test autonomous shuttles in your city

The Olli Fleet Challenge is open to cities, developers, businesses and other public private organisations that want the opportunity to test a fleet of Olli – a 3D-printed, autonomous shuttle – for their desired use-case.

What would you do with a fleet of autonomous shuttles? This is the question asked by Local Motors in the recently launched Olli Fleet Challenge. The winner of the challenge will receive a three-month deployment of Olli sized to their proposed use-case and location.

Applications will be assessed by a panel of judges featuring leading personalities from the transport field, including Polis Secretary General Karen Vancluysen, MIT’s Carlo Ratti and former Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg. Judges will rely on their industry knowledge to determine the best use-case scenario for the Olli pod.

Karen Vancluysen said: “Given the potential impact of self-driving cars in urban areas, for example in terms of congestion, environment, road safety, user behaviour and infrastructure management, local and regional authorities and public transport providers need to play a prominent role in the development of policy around AVs. Understanding what their impact may be and how best to prepare for and influence this as a city or regional transport authority is important to ensure informed decisions are taken. The Olli Fleet Challenge can help to identify interesting use cases for automated transport in cities and regions, in line with sustainable mobility objectives.”

The challenge is open to local authorities and organisations in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Spain. Valid entries will focus on five major areas that have been identified as requirements for a successful deployment:

  • People: Who in your community will interact with Olli, as a rider or otherwise?
  • Place: What roads will Olli drive on, and what does the surrounding environment look like?
  • Policy: How will your deployment also discover and develop the future of mobility policy?
  • Partnership: Who, and how, are you going to leverage partners to think about the future of mobility?
  • Product (Olli): How does your organization imagine Olli transforming mobility, placemaking and culture

For more information and to apply, please visit the Olli Fleet Challenge website.

The winning entry will be announced in June.

Three reasons to attend the SUMP Conference in Groningen this year

With the 6th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans a little more than one month away, we explore the main reasons why you should attend.

1. Planning for sustainable and active cities

The SUMP Conference is Europe’s leading events for urban mobility experts, decision-makers and stakeholders that are committed to make urban mobility more sustainable by putting the SUMP concept into practice. More than 500 participants will debate key issues, exchange ideas on urban mobility planning and network in this year’s edition, Planning for sustainable and active cities.

2. The revised SUMP Guidelines

One of the most awaited elements of this year’s edition is the debate on the revision of the SUMP guidelines, which will provide local authorities with a clear framework for the development and implementation of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. The two central streams of sessions will allow experts and stakeholders to engage in an open dialogue on the updated SUMP guidelines and the new topic guides.

3. Groningen!

Beautiful canals, a mix of breath-taking modern architecture and medieval buildings and, of course, a lot of bicycles. The host city of the 2019 SUMP conference, Groningen, is the vibrant heart of northern Netherlands and a living lab for innovation in sustainable urban mobility. Attending the 2019 SUMP Conference also means discovering a city that thrives to make its transport system safer, more sustainable and inclusive.

More reasons?

Should the reasons above not be enough, there are some more interesting events happening around the SUMP Conference that are definitely worth a visit.

The International Cargo Bike Festival 2019 takes place on 14-16 June, right before the conference. It is the go-to place for professionals with an interest in logistics, cargo bikes and light electric freight vehicles.

Those interested in making transport more accessible and inclusive for all will appreciate the INCLUSION event on 18 June, held in conjunction with the SUMP Conference. In the event, participants will have the opportunity to discover innovative solutions being tested in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK. Registration is available here.

A workshop on 18 June will explore the topics of financing and procurement for sustainable urban mobility. At the workshop, organised by the SUMPs-Up project, politicians, city representatives and experts will discuss the role of procurement in contributing to sustainable urban mobility goals and the local revenue streams for financing SUMP measures.

For more information

The 2019 SUMP conference will take place on 17 and 18 June. If you have not registered yet, you can do so here. For more information about the conference, please visit the event page.

European and Latin American cities exchange experience how to make urban mobility safe and sustainable

Budapest, Lisbon, London and Madrid met with Latin American cities to share experience on "Safe and low-carbon urban mobility". A workshop was organised by UEMI and Polis on 9 April in Buenos Aires with the support of FUTURE-RADAR that allowed the cities to exchanging of knowledge beyond Europe.

The workshop "Safe and low-carbon urban mobility in action” took place on 9 April 2019 in Buenos Aires as a side event of the 5th Meeting of the Safer City Streets Network. The event investigated Synergies and co-benefits between low-carbon and safety measures and Safety aspects of sustainable e-mobility solutions.

Following an insight in the International Transport Forum's work on low carbon urban mobility, micromobility and safety delivered by Stephen Perkins, five cities shared their experiences:

  • Planning and integration of e-mobility solutions in Madrid by Sergio Fernández Balaguer, Municipal Transport Enterprise of Madrid (EMT)
  • Relationship between decarbonisation and safer streets in Budapest’s SUMP, by László Sándor Kerényi, Head of Mobility Strategy BKK Centre for BudapestTransport
  • London buses air quality programme, by Jane Lupson, Senior Bus Safety Development Manager, Transport for London
  • Results of Lisbon’s involvement in the FLOW project by Pedro Homem de Gouveia, Head of the Pedestrian Accessibility Department of theMunicipality of Lisbon
  • The clean vehicle strategy of Buenos Aires, by Constanza Movsichoff, Lead of the Sustainable and Electric Mobility Project, Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) supports cities in the implementation of low-carbon mobility measures and provided a space in which European and Latin American cities can exchange their views and experience on how to integrate road safety measures in low-carbon mobility planning.

Contact and more information: Dagmar Köhler, dkoehler@polisnetwork.eu

Guidelines published on procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services in cities

The Handbook "Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services", produced by the EU-funded BuyZET project, will help local authorities reduce the carbon footprint of their procurement activities.

For many European cities today, addressing traffic congestion and reducing transport-related CO2 emissions, noise and harmful local pollutants, is a key priority.

The European Commission has established the target of achieving ‘essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 20303’. The public sector has a key role to play in terms of regulations and legislation in support of this goal. However, its role as a customer has received little focus.

A significant proportion of motorised vehicle trips occurring in urban areas are commercial trips,  involving professionals carrying out services or delivering products. The public sector is one of the main customers for these products and services.

This guide is designed to assist city administrations to use their public procurement activities strategically to help reduce traffic in urban areas and promote the use of zero emission vehicles in urban logistics.

The document draws on the experience of the BuyZET project, in which three leading European cities (Copenhagen, Rotterdam and Oslo) have tested new smart procurement approaches to influence the transportation footprint of purchased services, goods and vehicles.

The tools and the recommendations developed by BuyZET will be presented at the project’s final event in Brussels on 14 May 2019. The event will also look at the new rules for the public procurement of clean vehicles in the revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive.

To access the BuyZET Handbook "Procuring zero emission delivery of goods and services", click here.


Amsterdam to ban petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030

Amsterdam has announced plans to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2030, in line with the city’s Clean Air Action Plan. The Dutch capital is only the latest of a series of cities announcing bold measures to tackle air pollution. Last year, Madrid began restricting access to petrol vehicles made prior to 2000 and diesel vehicles made prior to 2006. Rome has pledged to ban diesel vehicles from the city centre by 2024. In London, drivers of older more polluting vehicles are being charged to enter the congestion zone area under the recently introduced Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme.

Read more.


Click here to view a list of all recent events.

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