The POLIS Capitals Working Group supports POLIS member cities and regions which are national capitals, offering a dedicated platform for peer-to-peer exchange on transport-related challenges and solutions inherent to capitals.


The POLIS Capitals working group was established in early 2024 upon the initiative of the city of Rome, who expressed the need and interest for such a group to be formed.

Capital cities and regions face specific transport challenges inherent to the role they play, which often require specific solutions. Being the seat of the national government and, often, also hosting international administrations, they attract disproportionate volumes of traffic. They are the stage for major events (from the Olympic Games to national strikes, demonstrations, and security threats) which have a disruptive impact on mobility. Capitals also receive large numbers of tourists, host businesses, innovation and education centres which also generate traffic and require adequate mobility offers. All this places significant pressure on transport infrastructures, services, and network management, in terms of demand, funding, security, etc., and makes the goals of decongestion, decarbonization, improved air quality and road safety even harder to reach.

On the other hand, capital cities and regions also have a special potential to advance urban mobility innovation, because of their scale, their resources, and their visibility at the national and international scales. The WG will work towards shared solutions at the political and technical levels.

The POLIS Capitals WG offers an exchange opportunity for both capitals’ technical experts and political leaders. These two types of representatives convene in different occasions and feed each other:

  1. Practitioners’ meetings feed the political meetings with information on local initiatives that can be promoted.
  2. Discussions at the practitioners’ meetings can lead to proposals to be submitted for decision at the political level, such as the publication of a common position.
  3. Meetings of the elected representatives determine priorities for the practitioners’ meetings.

Considering the 2024 European election context in which the Capitals WG is being set up, the driving objective for the first year of existence of the working group is to prepare a message from capitals to hand over to the upcoming new European leaders, to bring about political support adapted to the specific responsibilities and capacities of its members.


Topic priorities for 2024

Our current topic priorities for 2024 are the following:

  1. Governance models and funding opportunities specific to capitals
  2. Challenges linked with the local implantation of (inter-)national administrations and governments
  3. International accessibility and high speed trains
  4. Protests, major strikes, and system disruptions
  5. Large events organisation and tourism
  6. Urban geographical inequalities and social issues
  7. Cultural heritage and aesthetic requirements
  8. Governance conflicts between (often more progressive) policies and more urgent mobility needs of capital cities vs. the more car-oriented approaches of the rest of the country or the suburbs of the capital
Capital cities like Madrid can help set the pace for urban mobility innovation in Europe, thanks to their size, resources, and international visibility.
(c) Unsplash/Jack Gisel

More information

For further information, please contact Manon Coyne.