Five European cities and regions honoured with the OSMOSE Awards for their transport innovations

Embargo: Thursday, 7 April, 5.30pm

London – Five European cities and regions are awarded for their innovative approach in the field of sustainable urban transport. The OSMOSE Awards honour local and regional authorities that have shown the courage to introduce innovative and daring measures in order to meet today’s challenges in urban transport in a sustainable and effective way. The awards particularly look at the most promising new initiatives, which today still occupy a ‘niche’ position but clearly have the potential to become a ‘mainstream’ urban transport policy application in the future. “The awarded cities are all innovative forerunners in their field”, says Patrick Mercier‐Handisyde from the European Commission, DG Research.

The 2nd edition of the OSMOSE Awards are presented in five categories:

  • Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility: Essex (UK)
  • Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges: Madrid (ES)
  • Traffic Management Centres: Aalborg (DK)
  • Automated and Space‐efficient Transport: San Sebastian (ES)
  • Integrated approach on urban transport innovation: Barcelona (ES)

The winners are presented with the awards on 7 April in London at the final conference of the NICHES+ project, which is organised in cooperation with the London European Partnership for Transport (LEPT). NICHES+ is an EU funded project within the framework of which the OSMOSE Awards were launched. NICHES+ aims to stimulate debate on innovative urban transport solutions. The first OSMOSE Awards were presented in 2007 to Barcelona, Bremen, Freiburg, Graz, Emilia Romagna and Stockholm.

Embargo: Thursday, 7 April, 5.30pm

Press is invited to the award ceremony in London. [Download the agenda].

Contact and registration:

Ivo Cré Project Coordinator NICHES+
Phone: +32 (0)2 500 56 76
Mobile: +32 (0)476 32 77 26



The international OSMOSE Awards jury paid particular attention to the applications’ innovation degree, their complementarity and integration with other (transport) measures or within an overall transport strategy, their policy relevance, the size of the target group, their mainstream potential and (expected) impacts.

Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility: Essex (UK)

Urban transport systems need to offer the possibility of independent mobility for everyone. Low‐floor trains and buses as measures to improve physical accessibility have already become common practice in many places. Other areas which urgently need to be addressed to improve accessibility in urban areas include “soft measures”, information services, accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to “easy to reach”, also the “easy to use” aspect should be addressed. This is what the county Essex is awarded for: in 2006 Essex Travel Training was established which assists people with additional needs to access public transport. The team prepares people with limited mobility, learning difficulties, hearing impairment and blindness of all age for their daily journeys by training them on road safety, personal safety, money handling, route planning, timing and problem solutions.

Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges: Madrid (ES)

Progress in the use of infrastructure can be made with functional new infrastructures but also by using available infrastructures in a more efficient way (e.g. dedicating existing road space to innovative bus services). The big challenge is to design interchanges that do not only meet high functional standards for internal passenger flows, but also offer high quality facilities for sustainable feeder trips. Madrid is presented with the OSMOSE award in this category for its Transport Interchanges Plan – a very ambitious strategy not seen in any other city in the world. Each of the seven important access routes, that link the region with the city, are to be connected with interchange stations which link metropolitan and urban bus lines, the underground network, as well as long distance and commuter train lines. While many cities have built an interchange station, Madrid’s effort to implement a whole network of interchanges that can transport more than a million users per day and cover the entire flow of passengers accessing the city from all its entry points, is unique.

Traffic Management Centres: Aalborg (DK)

Many traffic management solutions involve the application of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) which operate efficiently and carry potential for expansion. High quality information and the means to use this information optimally are essential to provide better services to the travelling public, and ultimately to influence traveller decisions. The awarded municipality of Aalborg, managed to establish an advanced ITS network which is outstanding for a medium‐sized municipality with less than 200.000 inhabitants. As ITS are complex and expensive to develop, Aalborg established strong partnerships and close cooperation through a number of EU projects and ITS applications such as traffic emission monitoring and traffic forecasting based on the situation during preceding weeks. A queue warning system has been installed at the motorway crossing the Limfjord, while a tunnel management system controls the Limfjord tunnel. Aalborg combines its various ITS services in the Strategic Traffic Management (STM) System. Mobile traveler information systems provide real time PT information for travelers on the go.

Automated and Space‐efficient Transport Systems: San Sebastian (ES)

Advanced City Vehicles as an intermediate form of automated vehicles are situated between assistance functionalities and full automation and are becoming mature solutions to enhance public transport systems across Europe. Niche applications of automated transport systems already show the potential contribution of shuttle services to parking solutions and to the upgrade of the public transport system with enhanced feeder transport. Donostia San Sebastián, located between a picturesque coastline and hilly surroundings, is working to adapt and upgrade its public transport services to local conditions. 50 % of the population lives in hilly areas and the city now operates additional minibus lines and shuttle taxis to provide access to public transport to everybody. Additionally, two high quality public transport corridors following the UNE‐EN 13816 standards have been set up as well as a bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Buses running on the corridors are equipped with smart tools such as GPRS positioning and 100% safety camera monitoring.

Integrated approach on urban transport innovation: Barcelona (ES)

In this category, local authorities are awarded that have developed and implemented an integrated approach on urban transport innovation. Thematic areas of the other OSMOSE categories may be covered as well as innovative measures in other fields such as intermodality, city logistics, clean and energyefficient vehicles and demand‐management. As one of Europe’s most dense urban centres, Barcelona applied an integrated transport network management approach to reduce the use of private cars for which it is presented the OSMOSE award in this category. In the RetBus Project a new network of high speed buses with fewer stops and improved line transfers was developed. In order to increase energy efficiency, the municipality supported the retrofitting and conversion of diesel and CNG buses to hybrid and electric. Furthermore, signal‐controlled junctions are being upgraded with low‐maintenance, energysaving LED technology.


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