Norwegian cities discuss impact pathways to climate-neutrality by 2030

How can Europe’s 112 mission cities speed up the decarbonisation of their mobility and transport systems to reach climate neutrality by 2030?

On 8 May 2024, to support cities in this important transition, EIT Urban Mobility held a workshop titled “Decarbonising mobility and transport: Nordic pathways to climate-neutral cities by 2030” together with Nordic Edge and EIT Climate-KIC/NetZeroCities on the sidelines of Nordic Edge Expo in Stavanger, Norway.

Based on specific Norwegian city challenges, the workshop invited 36 city officials, mobility companies and experts from across Norway and elsewhere in Europe to discuss the impact pathways that cities can pursue to make systemic change and reduce transport emissions quickly and efficiently.

The mobility challenges and goals of Norwegian cities

In Norway, Stavanger and Trondheim are both part of the EU mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. While the mission highlights the crucial role of cities in Europe’s green transition, cities across the continent continue to struggle making the transformation of the mobility and transport sector a reality.

Each presenting their city’s mobility challenges at the workshop, Ellen Figved Thoresen from Stavanger municipality and Øyvind S. Tanum from Trondheim municipality both pointed to national legislation and behavioural change as some of the main barriers for systemic change.

While Stavanger aims to reduce the modal share of private car trips to less than 30% by 2030, with every third journey to be made by foot and every fifth by bicycle, mobility in the “oil capital of Norway” is still heavily dominated by the private car, more so than in any other Norwegian city, which explains the municipality’s significant investments in walking, cycling and public transport these years.

As the “tech capital of Norway,” with a strong R&D sector and innovation ecosystem, Trondheim is adopting a data-driven approach with rapid feedback loops and agile testing as a method to achieve lasting change, while focusing on transport justice and accessibility as a framework to balance the needs and challenges of different user groups.

workshop group working

Impact pathways towards climate-neutral cities

The workshop used NetZeroCities’ Impact Pathways concept to identify solutions for city challenges through seven steps, including the identification of potential levers of change, early and late outcomes, long-term impacts, systemic barriers and risks and suggested actions for change.

Facilitated by Anna Huttunen and Nikhil Chaudhary, Climate-Neutral City Advisors at EIT Climate-KIC/NetZeroCities, the workshop enabled participants to get to know each other, develop shared understandings of the challenges facing cities and explore new opportunities for collaboration, not least between city officials and private sector representatives.

Participants discussed topics such as how to reduce the attractiveness of the private car in urban environments, how to make public transport more convenient and user-friendly and how to focus on transforming public space to make city centres more liveable and attractive to the highly skilled labour force that many cities, not least in Norway, compete for.

presentation of impact pathways methodology