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The SMOOTH Project
 is co-financed
by the European Union

   

Description  

The overall objective of SMOOTH is to reduce car use in four territories representative of the enlarged Europe by enabling a real choice of multimodal transport options, including safe walking, cycling and on-demand transport.

The project, proposing a response to the EU Green Paper on sustainable urban mobility, will also cover initiatives to promote car-pooling. The proposal is submitted by Cahors Community in cooperation with the Cahors Municipality, the Vallons de Vilaine County in France, the Kaunas Municipality in Lithuania, and the Ministry of Communications and Works of the Cyprus government, as well as French agencies promoting energy efficiency and environmental protection.

The wide consultation and the Report on Urban Transport in Europe underlying the EU Green Paper "Towards a New Culture for urban Mobility" showed that integration of modes and safety measures are just as crucial as informing and providing travellers with the necessary infrastructure to satisfy their mobility needs. The preferred choice of travel mode for most people, in an economic context dictated by speed and multiplicity of journeys (taking children to school, commuting to work, shopping, etc), is still the car, unless the public transport option is proved to be fast, reliable, frequent, flexible and comfortable.

Journeys originating in suburban and interurban areas are actually the main contributors to city congestion, bringing each day thousands of commuter cars, while not offering them a satisfying response to their mobility needs. It is noticed that the energy consumption per inhabitant is multiplied by 4 when passing from a high density (over 100 inhabitants per hectare) to a low one (under 25 inhabitants per hectare) and the cost of transport more than doubles ("Urban sprawl in Europe", the ignored challenge, EEA, page 30: adopted from Newman, P. and Kenworthy, J., 1999).

SMOOTH aims at testing and assessing pilot measures for completing the public collective transport offer towards an optimal mobility in different geographical contexts (at the entrance of cities, within cities and in territories surrounding the cities),  through:
- safety and accompanying measures for enabling a real shift to soft modes
- demand-responsive services (on-demand transport, car-sharing and car-pooling, flexible bus routes)
- accompanying awareness, training and incentive actions

SMOOTH aims also at spreading the results of these local strategies which will take place in urban, sub-urban and inter-urban contexts, with the objective of demonstrating that safety measures and demand-responsive strategies, together with policy instruments for medium and long-term land-use planning integrating transport policy and stakeholder consultation, can contribute to major changes in terms of congestion and pollution in all kinds of territories, while also improving the accessibility and security of transport for all travellers.

SMOOTH is an ambitious project. It brings together a number of different initiatives aiming at improving the attractiveness of soft transport modes and their interconnection with public transport.  A key output of this project will be a "project handbook", allowing a high replication of the SMOOTH project actions throughout Europe.

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