Funding programme: Horizon 2020
Budget: Total 17 974 993 €
City of Turku and local consortium: 3 237 000 €
Time table: 2016–2020
Regional Council of Southwest Finland (Valonia and Lounaistieto)
Turku University of Applied Sciences
Western Systems Ltd
Turku City Traffic Ltd
Union of Baltic Cities, Sustainable Cities Commission
Turku is a trendsetter in Smart Mobility
As the first CIVITAS city in Finland, Turku has become an internationally noticed flagship city of sustainable solutions. The aim of Turku is to become carbon neutral by 2029 and Smart Mobility plays an important role in this process. Mobility in 2029 will consist primarily of walking, cycling, electric public transport and sharing of vehicles. Mobility has also become a service. All these themes were further developed in a four-year CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. All the actions carried out in the project also supported the City’s strategic objectives of an attractive Turku. The project’s Living Laboratory area, where different measures were tested in practice, was the Kupittaa district.
In addition to Turku, four other cities were involved in CIVITAS ECCENTRIC: Munich, Stockholm, Madrid and Ruse. 29 other parties were also featured. The city of Turku’s local partners were the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, the Turku University of Applied Sciences, Western Systems Ltd, Turku Urban Traffic Ltd and Gasum Oy. The communication of the consortium was supported by the Union of the Baltic Cities’ Sustainable Cities Commission which is hosted by the City of Turku. The financial share of Turku and its local partners was significant: approximately 3,2 M € for 2016-2020.
Mobility as a Service
The role of the city of Turku in CIVITAS ECCENTRIC was substantial as it led the European-wide development of Mobility as a Service concept, MaaS. The co-operation was close-knit especially with the city of Stockholm. The Finnish know-how was strengthened by collaborating with national companies and public authorities.
The Mobility as a Service concept in Turku enhances the public transport services for example by developing digital information and payments systems and by enabling local services to integrate to the servicescape. Read more about MaaS from the Guidelines on how to implement MaaS in local contexts publication (ENG).
Clean public transport
To reach the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality Turku invests heavily in clean transport e.g. by electrifying its public transport and increasing the use of biofuels in traffic. Within the project Turku’s local partner Gasum Biovakka Oy tested biogas trucks and helped the progress of using biogas more in logistics.
The use of clean vehicles in Turku improved considerably during the project. The first electrically operated bus line from the harbor to the airport (line 1) and the first public biogas station were both launched in 2016. Currently there are six e-buses operating on line 1. Based on encouraging experiences the Turku Regional Transport Föli decided to acquire 47 new e-buses which will start operating in the Summer of 2021. The biogas station network has also grown to altogether three stations.
The most visible accomplishment of the project was the Föli-fillarit (Föli Bikes), a bicycle-sharing system which is the first year-round city bike system in Finland. The bike system was integrated into the public transport service. The aim of launching the city bike system is to advance a car-free lifestyle by bringing a new mode of transport to ease especially the short distance journeys in the center. Shared bikes are hoped to make cycling more compelling to the citizens. A city bike can be rented from any station and likewise can be returned to any station. The systems consist of 300 bikes and there are 41 stations in Turku.
The Föli-fillarit bike-sharing system was established in a modern way which enables different ticket integrations e.g. the possibility to rent a bike with a Föli season ticket. The bikes have increased the visibility of year-round cycling in the City and due to this Föli-fillarit was awarded as one of the best Cycling Actions in Finland in 2018. Read more about the city bikes in Turku (FI).
What started as a pilot during the project has since become an established service for cyclists in Turku: the 12 kilometers long winter cycling route is planned to be expanded to cover a route as long as 80 kilometers in 2025. The route is maintained by sweep salting, in which any snow on the road is removed by sweeping and the slipperiness of the road is reduced with a sprayable brine. Read more about winter cycling in Turku (FI). Two cycling barometers were also conducted during the project to find out about the citizens’ thoughts of the cycling conditions in Turku. Barometers can be found here (FI).
Promoting piloting and participatory methods in planning
Agile pilots and participatory methods were essential themes throughout the project. As an example of this, when the new transport system of the region was being planned citizens were asked to give their input. A pilot was carried out in which the staff of the City was able to test 10 different leased electric vehicles to serve their mobility needs at work and at home. A shared-use car was available also for the citizens to rent in the evenings and weekends. Read more about E-vehicle pilot (FI).
Different kinds of traffic control pilots were also conducted in the project. Passage through was blocked in parts of Kupittaanpuisto park. This increased the safety of the area considerably, as motor traffic ceased in front of the Kupittaa Sports Hall and discussions are going on whether the arrangement will be established permanently. Read more about the Kupittaanpuisto park traffic pilot here.
The charm of Turku is greater than ever
CIVITAS ECCENTRIC was strictly entwined in the three main strategic projects of the City: Turku Science Park, development of the city center and Smart and Wise Turku.
CIVITAS ECCENTRIC paved the way for new kind of co-operation between universities, businesses and other stakeholders who can help create a smart and clean, a world-class mobility system in the city of Turku.
You can learn more from the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC Final report – New mobility for all beyond the urban centres.