Accelerating mobility solutions in European cities

As more European cities pledge to rapidly cut carbon emissions, sustainable transport plays a crucial role in the transition to a net-zero carbon society. 

For the second year running, EIT Climate-KIC and FedEx Express Europe have organised the Sustainable Cities Mobility Challenge (formerly called the Climate Impact Challenge) for European cities to identify impactful and innovative projects that accelerate the transition towards cleaner, sustainable and inclusive mobility.

The Challenge is funded through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) America, utilising a grant from FedEx. 

The impact of the Challenge
9 mobility projects supported
$640k total grant funding
6 countries involved

Meet the 2024 Winners

Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain - The "Climate Itineraries of Cornellà" project

During hot summer days, residents of Cornellà de Llobregat struggle to access critical community services due to thermal discomfort, impacting their mobility choices and leading to a reliance on private vehicles. With climate projections indicating an increase in extreme heat days, the municipality wants to ensure that the city’s services and facilities remain accessible under all weather conditions.

In collaboration with the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and Università di Napoli Frederico II, the project aims to develop a proof of concept for “climate itineraries,” to address the challenges posed by extreme heat in the district of Sant Ildelfons – one of the five most vulnerable districts in the entire Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. The project includes developing green sustainable mobility corridors, identifying areas most affected, conducting predictive modeling, landscape design, and implementing pilot interventions.

Emília Briones Matamales, Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the Presidency and Security, Cornellà de Llobregat City Council:  “Cornella de Llobregat is eagerly embracing the opportunity granted by the Mobility Challenge, empowering us to elevate our ‘climate itineraries’. With this funding, we stride toward fostering healthier local lifestyles, nurturing sustainability, and enriching our community.” 

Read the press release

Lisbon, Portugal – Enhancing the Walkability.App

Promoting walking in urban mobility offers multiple benefits, and this project aligns with Portugal’s National Strategy for Active Pedestrian Mobility 2030. However, successful implementation necessitates scalable data on pedestrian mobility and the walking environment. The Walkability.App designed by Walk21 Foundation addresses this need, enabling pedestrians to share experiences and inform interventions. With this grant, Lisbon plans to enhance the app to align with local needs, supporting its commitment to increase walking and halve emissions by 2030.

The first phase focuses on improving the functionality of the app, including GDPR compliance and enabling citizens to attach images. The second phase involves conducting participatory walking assessments to identify areas requiring improvement for pedestrians followed by evaluation, analysis of the lessons learned and an assessment of global replication potential.

Ângelo Pereira, Lisbon’s Deputy Mayor for Pedestrian Accessibility: “Data collection on the experience of walking is essential for our understanding of the citizen pedestrian needs, developing the best policies and evaluating measures. This  project will give us the opportunity to create better information and processes for transforming Lisbon into a city of excellence for walking.”

Liverpool, UK - The Greening Liverpool Project: Transforming Urban Spaces with Sustainable Solutions

Liverpool City Council faces urban challenges exacerbated by climate change, including poor air quality, low biodiversity, and surface water flooding. Despite efforts to promote active travel, only 2 per cent of journeys in the Liverpool City Region are made by bike or foot, contributing to carbon emissions and congestion. Recognising the urgency of these issues, the Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019.

Leveraging expertise gained from previous EU-funded projects, such as the URBAN GreenUP project, the Greening Liverpool Project aims to deliver innovative, nature-based solutions to improve the local environment and encourage walking, cycling and wheeling. The proposal includes installing trellis planters on Grafton Street, planting native hedges at Saint Brides Church, introducing permeable paving on Kent and Upper Pitt Streets, and upgrading paths, cycling lanes, and native planting in Dingle’s Hill Street.

Andy Mollon, Director of Transportation and Highways at Liverpool City Council: “Liverpool prides itself on innovation and we’re also looking at new ways to deliver greener methods in highways construction, so sustainability is rooted in everything we do from the materials in our roads to how people travel on them.” 

Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain - The Cycling Promotion Lab Project

In the metropolitan region of Barcelona, 93 per cent of all journeys cover less than 10 kilometres, making bicycles (and e-bikes) a sustainable alternative to cars. This community-driven initiative in the northeastern part of the city aims to increase cycling participation among residents, particularly women and children. By establishing a dedicated ‘Cycling Promotion Lab,’ the project will implement practical initiatives to improve access, skills, and confidence in cycling.

With a focus on engaging directly with 300 participants and reaching about 3,000 individuals, this project aims to make cycling more attractive, accessible and inclusive for all residents of Santa Coloma. Through hands-on initiatives and careful evaluation, the goal is to foster a culture where cycling is seen as a convenient and sustainable mode of transportation, contributing to a healthier and more environmentally conscious community.

Núria Parlón, Mayor of Santa Coloma de Gramenet: “Santa Coloma supports the Cycling Lab project with the aim of promoting and empowering more people, especially mothers and children, to use bicycles as a means of sustainable, environmentally friendly transport and improving the health, quality of life and autonomy of citizens. This exemplifies our strong commitment to creating a model city that is equal, sustainable and safe, and one that is firmly dedicated to addressing the effects of the climate crisis.”

Utrecht, Netherlands – Transforming Car Parking Spaces: A Pop-Up Public Space Project

The project proposes temporary pop-up elements in public spaces, with a particular focus on reimagining car parking spaces to advocate for sustainable urban design. By temporarily repurposing these spaces into green areas, bicycle parking zones, and gathering spots, the project sparks conversations about redefining public space and reducing car dominance in urban environments. 

Aligned with Utrecht’s Spatial Strategy 2040 and the city council’s initiatives like the Green Leap, the project aims to increase greenery and prioritise people and sustainable mobility over motor vehicles. Through these interventions, the project seeks to stimulate discussions on the future of urban design, encourage alternative transportation modes and community interaction, and demonstrate the potential for long-lasting changes in urban planning which reclaim space for people and nature. 

Councillor Linda Voortman of Utrecht: “By prioritising greenery and community spaces over car dominance, we’re reimagining the future of the city, fostering a healthier environment, and creating spaces that truly serve the needs of our residents and promote a sense of belonging.” 

Funded projects from 2023
26 SEP 2023 Espoo, Finland: Cycle participation with immigrant outreach

The City of Espoo’s proposal has two aims: to increase cycling in a way that addresses social inclusion and gender equality while boosting business for local bicycle repair shops. Espoo is currently expanding its bicycle infrastructure, providing a sound basis for the project.

Espoo, Finland: Cycle participation with immigrant outreach
10 OCT 2023 Karasu, Türkiye: Creating safe travel corridors for citizens

The municipality and the local Sakarya University of Applied Sciences are teaming up to create safe and effective active travel corridors for pedestrians, bicycles and scooters by reallocating street space. They seek to reduce the dominance of motor traffic, and to promote the wider transition to active travel and collective sustainable mobility.

Karasu, Türkiye: Creating safe travel corridors for citizens
14 NOV 2023 Hackney, UK: Expanding cargo bike use

By partnering with local business associations and e-cargo bike suppliers, the city aims to scale up proven Zero Emissions Network (ZEN) activities to build an active network of businesses committed to zero-emissions transport over the long term, as well as share knowledge and learning with other cities for potential replication.

Hackney, UK: Expanding cargo bike use
22 NOV 2023 Olot, Spain: Safe cycling storage to reduce anxiety and theft

City council representatives propose installing a network of these facilities in areas with high transport demand, such as the hospital, primary care centre, sports centres and bus stations, where bikes are left for hours at a time. Users will be able to register and operate secure shelters via a smartphone app.

Olot, Spain: Safe cycling storage to reduce anxiety and theft
Sustainable Cities Mobility Challenge: 2023 Report Check out the insights from the previous edition
Our Funding Partner
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FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business services. With annual revenue of $90 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively, and innovating digitally as one FedEx. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its 530,000 employees to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit