Interview of Anna Huttunen
Anna Huttunen is manager of the CitiCAP project (Citizens’ cap-and-trade co-created), a project funded by the EU Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) 2nd Call, Urban Mobility theme (2018-2020), implemented in the city of Lahti (Finland).
What key measures is the CitiCAP project experimenting with to promote sustainable, and active, mobility in Lahti ?
CitiCAP allows the city to experiment innovative and useful measures to promote active and sustainable mobility, such as the Lahti’s first sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP). The SUMP is integrated into the master planning process of the city and updated every 4 years which makes it an inventive approach to combine transport and land use planning. The project also develops a model for personal carbon trading on mobility and an application for the citizens that enables real-time tracking and visualization of one’s mobility carbon footprint and rewards the user for more sustainable travel choices. The mobility data gathered in a will be used for research and future transport planning purposes of the city. Furthermore, CitiCAP develops a model for designing the bicycle route network, by building a 2,5 km long smart, safe and convenient bicycle highway that highlights by example the importance of well-planned cycling infrastructure.
The city’s cycling network plan aims for 20% of journeys to be made by cycling, by 2030 (9% in 2016), especially by improving its bicycle infrastructure. How does the CitiCAP project contribute to this goal?
Cycling promotion is essential to reach our aim of more than 50% of all trips are made using sustainable transport modes by 2030. The bicycle highway that is being constructed within the project is one of the main cycling routes of the network plan 2030. Research shows that the most important factor for increased share of cycling is good cycling infrastructure. The route that is now being built should serve as model for the future as well.
The Citicap project also concentrates on active mobility in general, with the SUMP having several measures that concentrate on improving cycling and walking conditions of the city – improving the safety of cross-sections, removing interrupting curbs, constructing separated main cycling routes, improving winter maintenance etc.
The project is currently testing a free mobile CitiCAP app which tracks the means of transport used by citizens and calculates personal mobility carbon footprint. What is further expected from the app? Do you think this tool could be useful to promote active modes of transportation within the city?
The CITICAP-app makes one’s mobility choices visible and rewards for sustainable travel choices. The users receive a weekly, personal carbon budget for their mobility and based on their choices they use or save their budget – by traveling sustainably the user will earn virtual euros that can be exchanged on discounts, on services and products or on bus- or swimming tickets and so on. It is the first city wide pilot on personal carbon trading.
The educative value of the app is important. Furthermore, we gather very valuable data on the travel behaviour of our citizens. One of our reasearch questions is whether using the app has an impact on one’s travel behaviour. Also, we conduct research on the motives to use the app. I definitely think these kind of tools are useful for other cities as well! Several cities have shown interest in our pilot and we are happy to share our learnings and results to our fellow cities.