Advancing Sustainable Urban Transport in an Enlarged Europe through CIVITAS (CIVITAS VANGUARD)

Topic Area:Environmental Information
Donors: European Commission Directorate General Energy and Transport

  • Description
  • Activities
  • Achievements


The CIVITAS Initiative &mdash City-Vitality -Sustainability &mdash promotes cleaner and better transport in cities. Through the initiative, the European Commission aims to generate a decisive breakthrough by supporting and evaluating the implementation of ambitious integrated sustainable urban transport strategies that should make a real difference for the welfare of European citizens.

CIVITAS I started in early 2002 (within the 5th Framework Research Programme).
CIVITAS II started in early 2005 (within the 6th Framework Research Programme).
CIVITAS PLUS started in late 2008 (within the 7th Framework Research Programme)

CIVITAS I (2002-2006) involved 19 cities clustered in four demonstration projects; CIVITAS II (2005-2009) involved 17 cities in four demonstration projects; while 25 cities are participating in five demonstration projects in CIVITAS PLUS (2008-2012). Activities in the demonstration cities throughout Europe are funded by the European Commission.

Activities within the initiative are undertaken to:

  • promote and implement sustainable, clean and energy-efficient urban transport measures;
  • implement integrated packages of technology and policy measures in the field of energy and transport; and
  • build up a critical mass and markets for innovation.

Horizontal projects support the CIVITAS demonstration projects and cities by:

  • cross-site evaluations and Europe-wide dissemination in cooperation with the demonstration projects;
  • organising the annual meetings of the CIVITAS Forum;
  • providing secretariat services for the Political Advisory Committee (PAC); and
  • developing policy recommendations for the long-term multiplier effect of the CIVITAS Initiative.

Key elements of the initiative include the following lessons learnt:

  • CIVITAS is coordinated by cities: it is a programme "of cities for cities".
  • Cities are at the heart of local public-private partnerships.
  • Political commitment is a basic requirement.
  • Cities are living "laboratories" for learning and evaluating.

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