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Congestion Reduction in Europe: Advancing Transport Efficiency, CREATE, H2020

create, CIVITAS, European Union
General presentation

CREATE is a 36-months research project (2015-2018) funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020. This project addresses the task Tackling Urban Road Congestion, taking a long-term view of how this can be achieved, especially in cities experiencing rapid growth in car ownership and use. It deals with most of the issues set out in the Commission’s Urban Mobility Package (2013).

CREATE’s main objective is to reduce road congestion in European cities, by encouraging a switch from cars to more sustainable transport modes. In order to achieve this, CREATE critically addresses the “Transport Policy Evolution Cycle” approach by exploring historical patterns of urban road traffic and car use, as well as long-term policy developments across five Western Europe capital cities (Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Vienna). It identifies success factors in all these cities, encouraging modal shift and lessons learnt in five Eastern and EuroMed city partners (Adana, Amman, Bucharest, Skopje, Tallinn), and assisting them in developing sustainable mobility strategies. CREATE also aims at anticipating future pressures on city transport systems (congestion and overcrowding), to investigate how transport technologies might increase transport efficiency, and how non-transport technologies and changes in business and social practices could reduce those pressures.

Visit the CREATE project’s website: www.create-mobility.eu  

Download the CREATE project’s leaflet

Role of the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics in the CREATE project

As a part of the CREATE project, the CEE team, coordinated by Charlotte Halpern, is in charge of Work Package 4 (WP4) "Comparative analysis of transport policy processes". In combination with members of the CREATE consortium and the work achieved as part of other WPs, its primary goal is to develop a qualitative analysis of long-term transport policy development across five European capital cities, i.e. London, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen and Paris Ile-de-France, that is large cities characterized by advanced sustainable mobility policies and a significant reduction in car use (peak car phenomenon).

Drawing on the literature on policy studies and urban governance, WP4 questions the straightforward nature of transport policy change in these five Western European cities in two different ways. First, the role and behaviour of key policy actors are regularly rearranged, as are approaches to policy dilemmas and the instruments to address them. By contrast, and similarly to other urban policies, transport policy developments are characterized by continued back and forth and they are unevenly distributed socially and spatially. Second, in a number of European cities, urban elites have played a growing role in shaping forms of urban governance and framing urban policy issues. The changes observed across these five capital cities suggest that in those cities often reputed ungovernable, original forms of governance have emerged, which combine new and innovative solutions with more traditional technocentric and demand-led approach.

WP4 Objectives

The work achieved under WP4 offers a unique opportunity to systematically explore the relationship between the reduction of car use across these five cities and long-term policy developments in transport. It seeks to produce a precise empirical assessment of how the shift from car-oriented policies to liveable city policies was achieved: what do cities do as part of their urban sustainable mobility policy agenda? Why and how did they favour a given strategy? What were the main factors of change over time, and how was it introduced, e.g., gradually or overnight? This constitutes the bulk of the work achieved as part of WP4.

Learnt lessons

Everywhere in Europe, many urban authorities have gained more responsibilities and resources. They seek to maximise their effectiveness by fostering new forms of cooperation among a large variety of actors and interests, in order to address urban problems and set their own policy priorities. To know more, download the CREATE infographics on Strong Urban Governance

Ongoing activities and events

  • 18-19 april 2018, Study visit in the Paris IDF Region "From the city to the metropolis: planning city for life beyond the core urban centre ", convened by Sciences Po CEE : During 2 days, delegates from the CREATE Stage 3 cities and the Stakeholders' Engagement Group explored the way through which cities transform into metropolises and how transport and mobility planning adapts accordingly. During meetings and site visits hosted by various organizations in the IDF region, they examined capacity investments in public transport infrastructures, urban developments in the context of the 2024 Olympic games and mobility futures.
  • 8 September 2016: Conference "Tema: Lecciones de Politicas Urbanas desde Europa y Asia", with Charlotte Halpern "El final del reino del automovil ? Lecciones de políticas urbanas de movilidad sostenible desde las grandes ciudades europeas y el proyecto CREATE" and Alvaro Artigas, Sciences Po, CERI "La eficiencia energética sin control publico? La diseminación de los estándares verdes de la construccion en Asia del Sureste y el caso de MetroManila" at cAMPUS PUCP

Publications and other resources


Former members of the team:

  • Ann-Kathrin Bersch, Research Assistant in the CREATE project (contribution to the database and case-study writer for the Berlin report)
  • Alessandra Carollo, Research Assistant in the CREATE project (contribution to the database and case-study writer for the Copenhagen report)
  • Angela Jimenez,  Research Assistant in the CREATE project (contribution to the database)
    Gabriela Neves de Lima, Intern in the CREATE project (working on new forms of mobility in the five Stage 3 cities
  • Simon Persico, Postdoctoral Researcher in the CREATE project (in charge of developing the quali-quantitative database)
  • Melissa Vergara Botero, Research Assistant in the CREATE project (analysis of transport and mobilityn in political debate in London and Paris) 


Contact us

Address: 1 place Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, 75007 Paris

Ph.: +33 (0)1 45 49 83 52

Email: contact.cee@sciencespo.fr

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