NEWS - 2023/01/24

Europe Moves Towards Smart Public Transport Initiatives for Climate-Neutral Cities With the Spine Project

The SPINE Project was inaugurated on the 1st of January 2023. The project is funded under the Horizon Europe Climate, Energy and Mobility Program and has been granted with 14.6M €. On the 23rd of January 2023, the SPINE Consortium met face to face for the first time for the Kick-off Meeting of the project in Brussels. The 39-partners consortium will be working together for the next 4 years to accelerate the progress towards climate neutrality by reinforcing public transport systems through their smart integration with new mobility services, sharing schemes, active transport modes, and micromobility.

SPINE adopts an equity-centred design thinking approach, leading the transition to a more efficient, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive Public Transport system. A network of collaborative living labs is developed to foster transferability, while an intersectional view of the transport system users is applied. Living labs will be established in the cities of Antwerp, Bologna, Tallin and Las Palmas, and a series of co-creation activities will take place where multiple stakeholders will be actively engaged in the development and demonstration of efficient, replicable, and socially acceptable innovative mobility solutions, advancing existing assets.

The SPINE approach involves the creation of innovative simulation and Digital Twinning tools, along with open data and behavioral models, that will allow the building of scenarios combining different mobility interventions (push and pull measures along with supporting policies) and the implementation of the most promising ones. Data-driven impact assessment models will foster the twinning, transferability and adaptation of the successful solutions of the four Livings Labs in seven Twinning Cities: Barreiro, Valladolid, Zilina, Sibenik, Hrakleion, Gdynia and Rouen.

SPINE sets a highly ambitious plan for the co-design and implementation of 55 smart greens inclusive mobility solutions. SPINE’s vision will be attained through these 6 challenging objectives:

– Analyze the urban/suburban/peri-urban form, physical and functional structure, natural environment, and public realm, within which PUBLIC TRANSPORT systems operate, to define innovative strategies and new approaches of significant impact, while developing a new integrated framework to facilitate the co-creation and comanagement of innovative mobility solutions that will be affordable, inclusive and resilient.

– Setup, prototype, test, demonstrate and evaluate innovative mobility solutions, complemented, and reinforced by appropriate policy measures, in four LLs, by engaging local ecosystem actors to formulate an open and collaborative community that will co-create the solutions. The demonstrations will be validated by documenting their setup, activities, innovations, outcomes, and user acceptance feedback, assessing the risks and trade-offs of the mobility solutions.

– Define and implement the digital tools that will enable the deployment of innovative mobility solutions, through the integration of PUBLIC TRANSPORT with new mobility services (e.g., Digital Twins (DT), simulations, AI, behavioral models, and data-driven decision-making systems).

– Deploy, demonstrate, and evaluate innovative mobility solutions and business models in six Twinning Cities, revealing the adaptability and replicability of solutions successfully demonstrated in the four LLs.

– Foster the dissemination, transferability, replication, and up-scaling of innovative solutions by encouraging cross-pollination activities across pilot and other European cities and streamlining the up-taking and rapid adaptation of evaluated solutions.

– Contribute to the changing canvas of the European transport policy framework, especially on the local and regional level by documenting the identified pathways and solutions and aligning the outcomes with the recent advancements in spatial and mobility planning, SUMPs, and SULPs (Sustainable Urban Mobility/Logistics Plans).

SPINE is expected to achieve an increase of Public Transport in the modal distribution of motorized transportation by 30% in the Living Lab cities within the course of the project compared to the baseline at the start of the project by setting an ambitious work. Within the project, CARNET is in charge of Mapping the maturity level of the initial basket of mobility solutions of the 4 lead cities living labs and the 7 twinning cities, and identifying further interventions or pathways that would be beneficial to the cities.

The SPINE Consortium partners are a multidisciplinary team from 16 countries is a unique mix of experienced transport engineers, public transport Operators, computer scientists, data analysts, transport modelers, social scientists, urban planners, policy analysts, software providers assuring a comprehensive approach to the challenges, scope, expected impact and the successful delivery of the Project.