The aim of CARE-North+ is to build on the success of the previous CARE-North project and to continue to develop a comprehensive, strategic and practical approach to urban and regional transport/accessibility in the North Sea Region in the context of climate change and declining oil supplies. While the North Sea Region deals with the effects of climate change, the traditional understanding of transport is leading to a continued increase in CO2 emissions and is undermining other climate protection efforts. Concurrently, we are facing the impending limit of mineral oil supplies.
The combination of these two factors demand a re-thinking of the concept of “transport” (building more road transport infrastructure) to a broader notion of “accessibility” (citizens’ ability to meet their daily social, health, personal and economic needs safely, comfortably and conveniently) as we start to adjust to a post-fossil fuel mobility.
There is an urgent need for low-carbon accessibility strategies at the local and regional level and a comprehensive and strategic approach will reduce the economic and social vulnerability of regions when oil prices rise again. But the theme of transport is a politically and economically sensitive one and requires pioneers to lead the way toward low-carbon accessibility.
The NSR has a high degree of potential for innovative transport strategies which could improve the economic performance of its regions and cities in a post-fossil fuel economy (as stated in the Lisbon Agenda), but transnational collaboration is needed both in terms of building political support and momentum as well as in concrete terms of establishing uniform standards and infrastructure across the region. Using locally or regionally shared and adapted instruments and methods and the expertise of the various partners and other institutions, we are working on linking existing local or regional CO2 reduction strategies and jointly developing them into action plans.
After developing CO2 reduction strategies for transport in the CARE-North project (phase one), we began implementating short-term actions and calculated the potential of long-term actions as pilot actions. We continually compare these processes transnationally, with cities/regions sharing the hands-on knowledge and experience gained through their local projects to provide valuable input for framework setting at the European and national levels, thus, bridging the gap between policy, research and practical applications by and for end users.
Innovative actions were and will be implemented as lighthouse projects and assessed, particularly for CO2 emissions. We will disseminate the results and ideas widely throughout the duration of the project, exchanging knowledge and transnational learning not only among the CARE-North+ cities and partners but at a broader level. The project will make use of a wide range of communication channels to raise awareness about the theme of low-carbon transport/accessibility.
Involvement of citizens and the business community will be a part of the external communication process approach to develop low carbon accessibility strategies. Events that will be open to the public and scenario workshops such as the "5€ per Litre region" and a potential workshop on the effects of automated transport will be one of the means of disseminating information and generating new ideas in the changing parameters influencing mobility behaviour.