Ivo Cré on the story behind Artois-Gohelle, Burgos, Cork, Daventry, Skopje, Trondheim and Worcestershire being selected as implementers and promoters of innovative and sustainable transport solutions
NICHES+ is an EU-funded project which aims to mainstream innovative urban transport solutions focusing on accessibility, infrastructure and interchanges, traffic management centers and automated and space efficient transport systems. Through the involvement of Champion Cities, NICHES+ wants to demonstrate how urban transport innovation can move from theory to practice. By hosting national take-up seminars, the cities will also play an important role in disseminating and promoting the project outcomes.
Twenty-five local and regional authorities responded to a call for candidate cities, which was launched in the second half of 2008. Taking into account quality of applications, mix of concepts, level of commitment, geographical spread and urban scale, the NICHES+ jury selected Artois-Gohelle (France) and Burgos (Spain) for innovative concepts to enhance accessibility, Worcestershire (UK) and Skopje (Macedonia) for efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges, Trondheim (Norway) and Cork (Ireland) for urban traffic management centres and Daventry (UK) for automated and space efficient transport systems.
After having contributed to the selection and transferability of innovative transport concepts, the identification of user needs and stakeholder analysis, the Champion Cities will now start developing implementation scenarios through a continuous dialogue with dedicated experts and practitioners, working group meetings, interviews and site-visits. By April 2011, each of the seven champion Cities will have integrated innovative urban transport solutions into their local transport policy.
Interested stakeholders are invited to visit www.niches-transport.org, where the results and outputs of the project can be consulted. The website is also linked to www.osmose-os.org, an open source for urban transport professionals providing information on innovative urban transport solutions.
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