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CIVITAS AWARDS 2016: Awards for Europe`s outstanding cities in Sustainable Urban Transport

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Admirable congratulations go out to the record number of winning cities recognised at the CIVITAS FORUM 2016 Awards Ceremony, held in Gdynia, Poland. This year’s hosting city was indeed a very befitting one the country that has earned the most CIVITAS Awards this year. The ceremony unveiled the most outstanding solutions, technologies and innovations in sustainable urban development under four different categories: Technical Innovation, Public Participation, CIVITAS City of the Year, and last but not least CIVITAS Transformations, a new category created this year to highlight exceptional city transformation in sustainable urban development.

Gdańsk sets the stage: winner of the European Cycling Challenge
Before announcing the four winners, this year’s ceremony highlighted the latest win for Gdansk, another notable achievement belonging to the Gdynia-Sopot-Gdansk tri-city region after Gdynia hosted the CIVITAS Forum 2016. This was the second time in a row that Gdansk won the European Cycling Challenge, having successfully applied an entertaining gamification approach to cycling to work or school, thanks to a free dedicated smartphone application.

Rzeszów, another Polish success story in Technical Innovation
After setting the stage with the Gdansk win, the ceremony unveiled in the first main category of Technical Innovation yet another Polish winner, the city of Rzeszów, considered the largest city in south-eastern Poland. Rzeszów successfully launched two new prototype heated bus shelters for its citizens, complete with energy saving technology and a modern design, impressing judges with the idea of going beyond vehicle technology to address the waiting area for citizens as well. More such shelters are now planned for the city and beyond!

Bravo to Bologna together with the ECC’s Cities, leaders in Public Participation
In the second category of Public Participation, the winning streak went south to Bologna, Italy, to award the city for its novel use of online applications in order to assess user needs. This innovative solution involved as many as 46,000 cyclists in May 2016. It also completely did away with lengthy interview processes to track public feedback and metrics, thanks to developing and spreading the gamification biking app mentioned above in the Gdansk case. Each of the 52 cities from 17 different countries found a way to benefit from the large amount of data collected.

Magnificent Malaga, CIVITAS City of the Year
Having conducted an intensive analysis of sustainable transport requirements and user needs, Malaga has proudly implemented brave public transport measures throughout the year to improve the public bicycle system, electric car infrastructure, city centre access, logistics, metro, regulated parking, safer routes to schools and much more. An active member of CIVITAS 2MOVE2 among other enterprising transport projects and organiser of CIVITAS summer courses, the city recently committed itself to implementing UN Climate Change Summit recommendations, reduce emissions and monitor air quality. Its dedication, innovations and successes have very deservingly earned it the title of CIVITAS City of the Year.

CIVITAS Transformations, a first time Award that goes out to Krakow
Attractive new pedestrian streets, fabulous new biking lanes, great new public transport routes, and an overall transformation around the city’s UNESCO-designated old town: these are just some of the impressive changes characterising the CIVITAS Transformations award, launched this year for the first time, and proudly received by Poland’s historic second-largest city, Krakow. With one of the longest car-free street networks in the world and large scale reallocation of road space, along with significant improvements in limiting greenhouse emissions, Krakow has shined this year above the other contestants in this category.

This year’s multiple awards are a happy reminder of how European cities are marching forward in implementing sustainable urban transport. They also highlight Poland’s incredible and valiant progress in the field. The CIVITAS initiative is particularly proud to be involved in these achievements.

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Crete: Proposal for the introduction of electrified railway, under consideration

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For the very first time in the modern history of Crete, the discussion for the development of a railway that will reinforce transports in the island, linking its main cities, begins in the form of studies.

During a meeting of the Environmental Committee of the Region of Crete, held yesterday, the proposal for the introduction of a railway axis on the island was examined. The proposal was made by the Deputy Regional Chief for the Environment, Mr. Nikos Kalogeris, who noted that he intends to start a relevant survey (apparently icluding viability and cost efficiency studies) for a fixed-track, electrified means of transport, running along Crete  island.

The construction of a railway in Crete has been a long-standing issue, as the relevant conversation has begun since 1880, without ever being able to proceed. From time to time proposals have been presented, that always ended up in the drawers of ministries and local authorities.

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PM office and Investments’ Ministry, activated for Hellinikon project

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The general coordination for the boost of Hellinikon project will be undertaken by the Growth and Investments’ Ministry, as it has been agreed at a political level yesterday, between the Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the newly appointed Investments’ Minister, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, along with the deputy Ministers, Yannis Tsakiris, Nikos Papathanassis and Christos Dimas, setting the priorities for the next six months.

«On the instructions of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Growth and Investments, undertakes the general coordination of the investment in Hellinikon, at a political level, in cooperation with the Prime Ministerial Office», Mr. Georgiadis stressed at the end of the meeting.

The Minister reiterated the political will to run the project immediately, acknowledging that it is a «complex project», adding that first, the tender  for the casino must be launched and pending decisions must be reached by the Council of State .

He, however, appeared optimistic, risking the prediction that by the end of the year, bulldozers should enter construction site of Hellinikon. «We are trying too hard for this and we will succeed,» said Mr. Georgiadis.

It is reminded that earlier today, Mr. Georgiadis was informed about problems related to the investment by the President of the investment entity and Mayor of Hellinikon municipality, while yesterday he saw the CEO of Lamda Development.

Direct priorities of the Gov’t for the unbloking of the investment are: the preparation and issuing of the 3 core JMDs, the transfer of all activities remaining in the site and the completion of the casino tender.

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Hydrogen fuel cell train on test in Bavaria

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One of Alstom’s two prototype Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell multiple units was tested in normal operating conditions in northeast Bavaria on July 8.

The test run between Bayreuth and Coburg was organised jointly by train operator Agilis, the state’s Ministry of Housing, Construction and Transport and the Bavarian Railway Company (BEG).

Bavaria is looking to switch to alternative forms of traction on diesel-operated lines in the medium to long-term. Under the Bavarian Rail Electromobility Strategy (Bess), which has been approved by the state government, pilot projects will be implemented using different types of alternative traction including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

“We want to use more environmentally-friendly traction on Bavarian passenger trains,” says state minister for housing, construction and transport Mr Hans Reichhart. “In addition to electrification, we are pushing ahead with the introduction of hydrogen technology in the railway sector like no other German state. We are investing more than €25m in state funds to support further research into this technology.”

Lower Saxony became the first German state to order hydrogen trains in November 2017, when Lower Saxony Transport Authority (LNVG) awarded Alstom a contract to supply 14 iLints for services around Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. The prototype trains entered commercial service in September 2018 and the production trains are due to arrivie in 2021.

In May Rhine-Main Transport Authority (RMV) announced an order for 27 iLint sets, which will replace diesel trains in the Taunus region north of Frankfurt from 2022 onward.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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