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Seraing gets mobile raising the ranks of smart cities in Belgium
03 Feb 2016:

Last December 2, Agoria, the Belgian federation of technology & industry, organized the 4th edition of its smart cities forum. The day brought together a large audience of municipalities, public agencies and private actors to share the very best initiatives in the country and beyond.


The economic development agency of Seraing and project partner, AREBS spoke about REMOURBAN in a session dedicated to smart mobility. It was an opportunity to share the various initiatives underway: everything from Nottingham’s hi-tech transport revolution to Valladolid’s electric vehicle and bicycle sharing schemes. Not forgetting Seraing’s very own and significant steps to transform urban mobility.


Other cities have also shared best practices implemented, like the city of Liege with its RenoWatt project, the city of Gent’s strategy for smart mobility, a heating network in the city of Roeselare and further afield, the smart district of Kalasatama in Helsinki.


The event also marked the publication of Agoria’s classification of Belgian smart cities – where the city of Seraing classified 8th out of 20 cities analyzed. Mayor, Alain Mathot, was able to share the city’s evolving vision during the afternoon debate. Here he presented the smart master plan, its advances and achievements in renovation, urban regeneration and sustainable mobility. He also related Seraing’s development to its involvement in various European initiatives from the Covenant of Mayors to H2020 projects.


EU aviation emissions forecast to almost double by 2035
02 Feb 2016:

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from planes in Europe are expected to increase by 43% over the next 20 years, according to a new European Union study.

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) first aviation environmental report, published last week (January 29), claims that NOx emission from Europe’s aviation sector doubled between 1990 and 2014, and they are expected to grow by a further 43% between 2014 and 2035.

This growth in emissions from the sector is in part due to the 80% increase in the number of flights since 1990, which is also expected to continue increasing by another 45% by 2035.

Indeed, by 2035 the EEA estimates that in the absence of continuing efforts, 20 major EU airports could face “significant” and related environmental impacts due to air traffic growth.

It comes as the government carries out further assessment on the potential air quality and environmental impacts of expanding UK airport capacity at either Heathrow or Gatwick, with its final decision on the issue delayed until later this year (see story).


While the EEA report concedes that today’s aircraft are quieter and produce fewer emissions than their equivalents 30 years’ ago, it argues that plane fleets in Europe are “slowly ageing”, with the rate of technological improvement failing to keep pace with the historic growth in demand for air travel.

The limited success in developing alternative, lower-emission plane fuels is highlights as just one example of this.

Future growth in the European aviation sector is therefore “inextricably linked to its environmental sustainability”, according to the EEA, which believes that the environmental challenge for the aviation sector is set to increase further.


The EEA said it does expect technological improvements, further work on alternative fuels and additional stricter standards aimed at curbing aviation emissions of particulate matter and CO2 emissions in the near future.

Nevertheless, the report – which also looks at the impact of the aviation sector on CO2 and climate change – calls for a “comprehensive and effective” package of measures to address the environmental challenge based on reliable, accessible information.

EEA executive director, Hans Bruyninckx, said: “It is clear that Europe’s aviation sector has an increasing impact on our health and environment. While aviation plays an important economic and social role, its increasing popularity will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and noise. These are key challenges Europe’s aviation experts and policy makers need to address to create a more sustainable sector.”

The report is the result of a close collaboration between the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) the European Environment Agency (EEA) and Eurocontrol. It is intended that the document will become a regular overview of the aviation sector in order to plan suitable policy making measures.

Intelligent Transport: sector issues guidance on how the EU can make the most of connected cars
26 Jan 2016:

Following an invitation of the Commission, industry representatives and public authorities have today agreed on a shared vision for the coordinated deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) in Europe. This is an important step towards connected cars as C-ITS enable vehicles to communicate with each other and with the infrastructure. This can notably improve road safety and reduce congestion.


Today's report  [3 MB] will also ensure that through C-ITS road transport can reap all the benefits from digitisation and contribute to President Juncker's ambition of creating a Digital Single Market .


EU Commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc said: <em"Digitisation of transport is a priority of my mandate as it has the potential to create new growth and smarter mobility. I want to see connected cars on European roads by 2019 and today's report is an important milestone towards that objective. It is nevertheless only a first step, more deliverables will come throughout 2016."


The report concludes that C-ITS could yield up to 3 Euros in societal benefits for every Euro invested and gives concrete recommendations to address issues such as digital security and data privacy.

TRIP newsletter January 2016
19 Jan 2016:

Our January newsletter is now out and includes information on the TRIP's new CORDIS link and highlights some of the projects that the link has added to TRIP. As usual, it also features upcoming events and transport research and innovation news.

Read it here:

19 Jan 2016:

Mobility in Finland may look slightly different this time next year following the 2016 launch of the world’s first Mobility as a Service (MaaS) company, MaaS Finland.

The concept of Mobility as a Service itself, providing integrated mobility packages based on customer needs, is nothing new. Mobility as a Service is an initiative that is already up and running in Hannover (Hannovermobil 2.0), Vienna (Smile), and across Germany via Deutsche Bahn’s Qixxit, for example.

Freedom of choice for traffic users

What’s new in Finland is that the Nordic country will see the creation of the first company dedicated to MaaS, with the objective being to roll out its service nationwide. The idea behind MaaS, which has the backing of transport giants such as Transdev, is to provide a viable alternative to owning a private car: the new service offers ‘freedom of choice for traffic users’, combining public transport, ‘demand-based traffic’ (Uber is a project partner) as well as private mobility services.

Users are offered various door-to-door options for their journeys based on a monthly subscription model for all their mobility needs, offering customers the best value for their specific requirements and project partners better visibility for their services: a win-win.

Maas Finland is headed up by Sampo Hietanen, who has big plans for the project: “What we want to prove in 2016 is that, from one subscription you have access to all and we’re going to prove that it’s doable right across Finland in cities as well as in rural areas – and beyond Finland in two other interesting areas,” said Hietanen.

“Combined mobility, meaning offering integrated mobility services with public transport as a backbone complemented by other modes such as car-sharing, bike-sharing, taxis, cycling and on-demand services is the only mobility solution able to compete with the private car in terms of flexibility, convenience and cost-structure,” added Caroline Cerfontaine, UITP Combined Mobility expert.

For more information, please see:

Germany to launch €2bn electric car initiative
19 Jan 2016:

Germany is looking to introduce a €2 billion funding package to subsidise electric vehicle purchases.

The initiative is being led by German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and includes a plan to add more EV charging stations across the country.

The initiative also includes a plan to scale up the number of electric vehicles for federal offices.

The German government is aiming for a total of one million EVs to be on the roads by 2020.

Germany has been a leader in Europe in terms of reducing the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power as well as boosting the share of renewables in its energy mix.

The €2 billion investment is designed to reduce air pollution and smog, cut greenhouse gas emissions and assist with national climate targets, and support the German auto-manufacturing industry.

Contactless transport moves a step closer
14 Jan 2016:

Every rail passenger in the UK could be able to pay for their travel using contactless cards and devices, under a new framework.

Enabling all transport operators across the country to implement contactless payments on local pay-as-you-go journeys, the framework promises to provide a consistent experience for travellers.

It was announced today at a parliamentary reception hosted by The UK Cards Association and comes in a week that saw the reach of London’s contactless card, Oyster, extended to Gatwick Airport.

A further round of funding has now been provided by rail operators for a joint project between the card and rail industry. The aim is to explore how contactless cards and devices could be linked with long-distance train tickets or season tickets, removing the use for printed tickets.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: ‘The smart ticketing revolution is helping to build a modern, affordable transport network that provides better journeys for everyone. By working together, industry, city regions and government have been able to ensure more and more people can use smart ticketing to get around.’

Melanie Johnson, chair of The UK Cards Association, which represents the card payments industry, said its  she believed its work will contribute to making public transport more convenient for millions of passengers.

‘This framework sets out how contactless payments can be used to support any journey, whether a single bus ride or a cross-country trip.’