Monday, May 4, 2009

Heads-up: Collaborative international cities project

An interesting international collaborative cities project looking at exchange and interaction in the field of urban transport innovation that you may find it useful to know about.

Organized under the auspices of the European Commission: NICHES+ ("NICHES plus") is a FP7 coordination action aiming to network key actors actively engaged in developing innovative urban transport concepts and to facilitate the coordination of their activities across Europe.

NICHES+ mission: Comprehensive coordination on urban transport innovation

The NICHES+ consortium aims to continue and expand a comprehensive coordination platform for innovative urban transport solutions.

NICHES+ shares the same mission as its forerunner project NICHES: To stimulate a wide debate on innovative urban transport and mobility between relevant stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines across the EU and accession countries, in order to promote the most promising new concepts, initiatives and projects from their current "niche" position to a "mainstream" urban transport policy application.

Expected Results

• In depth analysis and promotion of 12 innovative concepts in four thematic areas with the support of expert working groups (WGs):
-WG1: Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility
-WG2: Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges
-WG3: Urban traffic management centres
-WG4: Automated space-efficient transport systems

• Effective networking by bringing together for personal exchange at least 500 stakeholders relevant for the uptake of innovative urban transport solutions. Working group meetings, conferences and national events will provide the main platform for networking.

• Establish the success factors and conditions for transferability of the new NICHES+ concepts, and issue concrete recommendations for integration into local policies.

• Preparing for the actual take-up of innovative concepts in European 7 NICHES+ Champion Cities (see map) through the promotion of at least ten on-site visits via a study tour catalogue and other targeted promotion activities. The cities will develop implementation scenarios for innovative transport concepts in co-operation with the NICHES+ partners and external experts.

• Expand the OSMOSE open source website for urban transport innovation as a comprehensive urban mobility innovation portal for local practitioners and decision makers.

• Recommendations for further research, demonstration and technical development within the EU's Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development.

• Develop twelve additional policy notes for local decision makers on the impact and problem solving capacity of the innovative urban transport concepts to meet key mobility challenges, also providing practical guidance on implementing the innovative transport concepts.

Project Duration 2007-2010

Funded under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, DG Research.

Project co-ordinator - POLIS - European Cities and Regions Networking for New Transport Solutions

Technical Coordinator: Rupprecht Consult is technical coordinator of the NICHES+ project and leads Working Group 1 on "Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility".

Organisation : The NICHES+ consortium is made up of 6 partners from 4 countries (Belgium, Germany, Hungary and UK). All the partners are known as experts on innovative urban mobility policies in their countries and at EU level.

The following types of organisations are represented in the consortium:
• City networks: Polis, EUROCITIES
• Private research and consultancy companies: Rupprecht Consult, Transman
• Universities: University of Newcastle, University of Southampton

Project Website

OSMOSE website on innovations in urban transport

Further information: Sebastian Bührmann Tel: +49-221-60 60 55 14

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