Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation Strategies

New EC booklet: European Urban Mobility – Policy Context

This publication has been prepared by the European Commission, principally for the benefit of cities and stakeholders in third countries. It provides an overview of EU urban mobility policy and expertise, with links to specific policy areas such as energy, environment, climate change as well as   employment and growth. It is available in English with translations into Mandarin, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest from third countries to learn from European experience in the area of sustainable urban mobility. In response to this, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport ‘“ with the support of an external consultant ‘“ has published this booklet in English with translations into Mandarin, French, Portuguese and Spanish.


  • Trends, problems and challenges in urban mobility
  • EU policies from the Green Paper “Towards a new culture for urban mobility”, 2007 to the Paris agreement 2015
  • Urban mobility and related policies
  • Supportive EU actions for sustainable urban mobility
  • EU funding and possibilities for cooperation
  • Sources for further information


In 2010, 73% of European citizens lived in urban areas. It is expected that this percentage will increase to over 80% by 2050. However, due to the extensive economic activity in urban areas, many European cities face several problems related to or caused by transport and traffic. Economic and social transformation has rapidly increased the levels of mobility. The growth of private car use has been
accompanied by increased urban sprawl and commuting, whereas the expansion of public transport networks in many cases has not been developed at the same rate.

Urban population in Europe. Source: Current booklet.

At the same time transport systems can generate negative external effects. Congestion, air and noise pollution, and road safety are examples of commonly shared problems in European cities. Besides this direct impact, urban transport also affects social development, social inclusion and accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

On all these issues the EU and other stakeholders have formulated active policies over the past years and for the near future. In 2016 the European Commission presented its strategy on lowemission mobility20, setting the course for the development of EU-wide measures on low- and zero-emission vehicles and alternative low-emissions fuels.

The main elements of the strategy include:

  • increasing the efficiency of the transport system by making the most of digital technologies, smart pricing and further encouraging the shift to lower emission transport modes;
  • speeding up the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport, such as advanced biofuels, renewable electricity and renewable synthetic fuels and removing obstacles to the electrification of transport;
  • moving towards zero-emission vehicles. While further improvements to the internal combustion engine will be needed, Europe needs to accelerate the transition towards low- and zero-emission vehicles.

Among several funding schemes for which non-EU stakeholders are eligible, the Horizon 2020 programme is described.

  • Download this booklet here.