Mobility and transport, the view of the citizens in 8 Countries

Data  and recommendations  presented in the following documents  are the result of the project "Mobility, a paradigm of European citizenship” which focuses on  mobility  as  a  way  of  living  in  Europe,  namely as  a  tool  to  reduce barriers,  promote  identity  and  belonging  to  the  same  continent,  uniform standards  of  service  delivery  and  harmonize  Community  legislations. Mobility has been regarded as a real paradigm of European citizenship.

The project, developed from January to December 2013, allowed to know the views of citizens about the many challenges of mobility in the future of Europe:  transport  accessibility,  environmental  sustainability, citizens/passengers rights.
The  project involved  citizens  from  8  countries:  Bulgaria,  Italy,  Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.
Methodology
Consultation  involved  citizens  who,  with  the  help  of  experts  and facilitators,  have  learned  to  analyze  the  issues  and  difficulties  related  to mobility,  identify  possible  solutions,  transform  them  into recommendations and gather civic information.
The  tool  developed  for  a  wider  involvement  was  based  on  interviews addressing the main issues and possible recommendations to solve them.
It  was  developed  in  a  participatory  way  among  the  partners, acknowledging  and  asking  advice  from  institutions,  experts,  associations and  operators,  organizing,  in  the  various  countries  involved,  in  depth debates.
The interviews were developed respecting the balance among the three main European challenges on mobility:

  • social  sustainability:  accessibility  to  transport,  in  terms  of presence/absence  of  alternatives  to private  individual  mobility, architectural  barriers,  etc.  and  liveability,  such  as  traffic  congestion noise pollution, safety, etc.;
  • environmental  sustainability:  issues  relating  to  the  environmental impact of transport and the promotion of non -polluting vehicles such as  bicycles  or  vehicles  powered  by  alternative  fuels,  as well  as  the promotion of new way of driving;
  • economic  sustainability:  transport  accessibility  accessed  from  an economic  point  of  view,  therefore  addressed  as  an  expense  for  the city  (the  importance  deregulating  the  sector,  the  need  to  introduce incentives, etc.);
  • the rights and obligations of passengers/travellers, in terms of nondiscrimination,  accuracy,  timeliness,  accessibility  to  information, solving  inefficiencies  and  most  importantly   knowing  one’s  rights  as passenger/traveller.

Each  of these issues has been investigated using tools which have allowed us to highlight both the most critical points and the main civic proposals.
The  interviews  were  addressed  to  passengers/travellers  and  commuters using  public  transport,  railway  stations  and  bus  stops  by  trained  citizens and  is  available  also  online  on  the  websites  of  partner  organizations, dedicated articles in newsletters and on social networks of associations.

Civic information approach
Data  contained  within  National Reports have  no  statistical  value  but  provide  a picture  in  the  field  of  mobility  and  transport  through  data  collected  by citizens  and  civic  organizations.  The  methodology  was  inspired  by  the method of civic information, defined as the capacity for organized citizens to  produce  and  use  information  to  promote  their  own  policies  and participate  in  public  policymaking,  in  the  phase  of  definition  and implementation  as  well  as  that  of  evaluation.  According  to  this  method, when  citizens,  despite  their  presumed  lack  of  competence  in  the  public sphere,  organize  themselves  and  take  action  together  regarding  public policies,  they  are  able  to  produce  and  use  information  deriving  from experts and other sources, as well as from their own direct experience with the issue being addressed. In this project, such method was implemented by  involving  civic  organizations  in  the  collection  of  information  through interviews  with  citizens,  passengers  and  commuters,  which  gives  the possibility to put into practice the right to participate in the evaluation  of services and policies. This could be an innovative side of this work, despite difficulties  and  obstacles  which  may  be  encountered,  such  as:  possible criticism  towards  the  output  since  it  will  not  be  a  statistically representative  research;  an  official  dialogue  with  institutions  and professionals is not always easy.

 

 

The project is realized with the support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union.

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