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HORIZON 2020 to provide a welcome boost to CIVITAS

Author: Eric Chataigné
Practitioner
Posted on: Monday, November 25, 2013 - 15:55

The EU's upcoming framework programme Horizon 2020 promises to bring important support to the next phase of the CIVITAS initiative – CIVITAS 2020 – through the area of Smart, Green and Integrated Transport. Better mobility solutions, greener cities and new calls for dynamic EU-funded projects in urban sustainability are set to emerge from this new endeavour. 

A set of exciting new challenges and solutions related to sustainable urban mobility lies ahead for the CIVITAS initiative. The EU's upcoming framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, is focusing on pivotal issues in the next decade such as climate change and sustainable transport. The programme's launch will also mark the beginning of CIVITAS 2020: innovation in resource-efficient and competitive urban mobility and transport.

This ambitious initiative aims to improve the efficiency of urban transport in Europe and beyond, while reducing the negative impacts of the transport sector and combatting harmful emissions. It will consider technological, socio-economic and urban development trends, improving the standard of living for Europeans in a variety of ways.

To illustrate, two key challenges of CIVITAS 2020 include advancing carbon-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030 and phasing out the conventionally-fuelled cars in cities by 2050. The initiative will drive innovative policies and technologies required for achieving cleaner and better urban transport based on a user-oriented approach.

HORIZON 2020 will offer unparalleled support to the CIVITAS 2020 initiative through the area of Smart, Green and Integrated Transport (see Draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015 in the area of Transport). This part of the HORIZON 2020 work programme will redefine the use of vehicles in urban areas and reduce the impacts and costs of freight and service trips in urban areas, in addition to tackling urban road congestion. The endeavour also involves strengthening the knowledge and capabilities of local authorities, as well as demonstrating and testing innovative solution for cleaner and better urban transport and mobility.

Other key topics under Horizon 2020 that will no doubt advance sustainable urban transport include Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy, as well as Future and Emerging Technologies. Against this backdrop CIVITAS 2020 will offer a framework for joint evaluation, dissemination and information exchange, supporting local partnerships in implementing and testing new urban mobility approaches in real-life conditions.

Cities under the CIVITAS umbrella, particularly those that introduce new solutions within the CIVITAS 2020 framework, will work together to raise sustainable urban transport and ensure the transferability of tested mobility and transport solutions. Calls for EU-funded projects under HORIZON 2020 – and of course CIVITAS 2020 – will cover the years 2014 and 2015, opening at the end of this year and the end of next year respectively. Through the upcoming framework programme, European sustainable urban transport mobility is set to leapfrog into the future and encourage the rest of the world to follow suit.

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