From 2016 to 2020
Civitas Portis’ ambition was to improve sustainability in European port cities specifically, and was conceived in recognition that port cities have twin centres, the city centre and the port, which can result in competing and sometimes conflicting demands on the transport network.
Over the course of the Civitas Portis project, 33 partners from five European port cities and 6 research partners, amongst which TML, worked together to implement 49  innovative, sustainable mobility measures to improve the accessibility and sustainability of their cities and ports.
Cities involved in the project were Aberdeen (Scotland), Antwerp (Belgium), Constanta (Romania), Klaipeda (Lithuania) and Trieste (Italy), and additionally also Ningbo (China) as an observing city.

Port cities have twin centres, the city centre and the port, which can result in competing and sometimes conflicting demands on the transport network. The key question within Civitas PORTIS is how to develop and implement a vision of sustainable mobility that can increase functional and social cohesion between city centres and ports, whilst driving economic growth and improving the attractiveness of urban environments?

In particular, the following challenges were addressed in the Civitas PORTIS project:
  • Cities and ports having their own priorities, knowledge, budget, decision levels and planning tools making an integrated sustainable mobility and growth difficult.
  • Cities and their public and private stakeholders produce and collect an enormous set of data that can be used in a wide range of applications. How can we overcome technological, institutional/legal, business, and policy-related challenges?
  • How can we work on a real feasible shift towards sustainable modes?
  • How can we optimise the multi-modal traffic and transport system guarantying the envisaged quality of accessibility for all modes?
  • How do we innovate freight movements in relation to the port, the TEN-T networks and city distribution needs ?

To address the above-mentioned challenges, the five EU port cities who acted as living labs/demonstration cities implemented sustainable and innovative mobility measures, supporting their multifunctional role of cities, ports and gateways to inland areas. The project showed that sustainable mobility can increase functional and social cohesion between city centres and ports, while pushing the economy forward and boosting the allure of modern urban environments.
More concretely, 49 mobility measures have been implemented in the following working areas:
  • Integrated governance & SUMPS for city & port
  • Smart data platforms for Urban transport & freight
  • New Mobility Lifestyles for Port cities
  • Efficient & Cleaner Mobility for Port cities
  • Seamless & Efficient Freight Movements

A more detailed description of a set of measures selected for take-up by other cities has been mapped out in 15 transferability sheets, which are available for download in the ‘Downloads’ section of this webpage.
The project’s findings in general are described in the final brochure  CIVITAS PORTIS consolidated findings and key lessons.

Over the course of the project (2016-2020], 49 measures were implemented across the 5 PORTIS Cities, addressing themes of:
  •  Governance: Improving governance for an enhanced cooperation between cities and ports for the planning and implementation of innovative mobility solutions and integrated land-use structures [WP1)
  •  People: Creating more sustainable and healthier city­port environments [WP2)
  •  Transport Systems: Shaping more integrated trans­port infrastructure and mobility systems, which in turn attract residents and diversified economic activities [WP3]
  •   Freight: Improving the efficiency of urban freight transport, which is particularly relevant in our port cities, all TEN-T nodes, reducing the environmental and congestion footprint of freight movements within the City and between City and Port [WP4]
Through evaluation, innovation, dissemination, and take-up, the project worked to consolidate the findings amongst the project’s partners, and to demonstrate and transfer key lessons to other major EU (port) cities, and beyond.

TML was responsible for the transferability and take-up of the project’s key findings.  As such, we thoroughly assessed the potential of the mobility measures for transferability to other major EU cities, set up a webinar- and training programme in collaboration with our work package partner, organised a City-2-City cooperation programme, and produced 15  transferability sheets to showcase the barriers and levers for the implementation of the most successful measures, thus inspiring other EU (port)cities to implement similar measures. We also set up a collaboration with ports worldwide through the AIVP (Worldwide Association of Ports), and supported our project partner to set up tailored workshops with non-EU cities.  Finally, we drafted a Take-up scenario of CIVITAS PORTIS measures , showing the impact of a successful take-up of the CIVITAS PORTIS measures in the EU Port cities.
Besides our specific responsibilities in take-up and transferability, TML also supported the city of Antwerp in the management of the locally implemented measures and the project coordination.  
In order to successfully achieve the project’s goals, TML used insights and experience acquired through other EU projects, such as, for instance, Civitas Satellite.

Civitas PORTIS’ strong integrated approach and overarching strategies such as integrated governance, behavioural change, and the involvement of stakeholders from the start, created a framework within the PORTIS cities that will outgrow the Civitas PORTIS project.   The exploitation plans that were drafted in the last year of the project showed that 80% of the implemented measures or sub-measures will be continued after the project, and that 17 measures will be upscaled geographically. Resulting from the project’s efforts in terms of dissemination, take-up and transferability, it is hoped that EU cities will continue to take up and implement mobility measures and strategies based on the PORTIS model and grow towards a more sustainable city and port environment with better liveability for its citizens and visitors. The PORTIS project’s insights will also be used to build upon in other CIVITAS 2020  projects, such as the SUMPs-Up project.



From 2016 to 2020


European Commission, CIVITAS 2020



Our team

Bregtje Proost, Eef Delhaye, Hanne De Naegel, Evelyn De Wachter, Dirk Engels, Gitte Van Den Bergh
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