Launch of Call for Proposals focused on Creating Public Realm

Urban Mobility has gone through unexpected and momentous changes in 2020. COVID-19 ripped through our nations and cities bringing individual, community and societal upheaval and turmoil. Density and proximity, the very two things that make our cities the economic, cultural, intellectual, political, and innovative beating hearts of our society, were also the weakest points when faced with a new and deadly threat. 

Wise medical advice led to lockdowns that inevitably saved millions of lives while freezing personal mobility. Who we are today, how we relate to each other, and how we perceive and move around our cities has changed. Maybe forever.  EIT Urban Mobility was privileged to play a small role in Covid Response Initiatives. Inclusive logistics projects protecting the elderly and vulnerable were rolled out in Budapest touching thousands. New ruggedised rickshaws were designed for handicapped and reduced mobility passenger in the hilly cities of Bergamo and Bilbao. As road space was taken back for public space, citizens in 5 cities were able to design and manufacture their street furniture for their own public spaces.  New nanotech sprays covered the surfaces of our buses and metros, to ensure we got home safely.  

It has been an unforgettable year that has shaped our thinking on where EIT Urban Mobility needs to go. We learned we could move fast and innovate at pace. We learned that the right thinkers and doers are there – you just need to find them. We learned that innovation can be financially beneficial and contribute to sustainable growth. 

In 2021, we launch a call for the Innovation Programme 2022 focused on our City Challenge Areas. This year we will focus on four simple areas: Active Mobility, Sustainable City Logistics, Energy and Mobility and Future Mobility.  We expect great things from our own EIT Urban Mobility community and hubs. Moreover, having seen how our community responded to COVID with rapid, agile, and impactful projects – we expect more. Higher. Faster. Better. And as the saying goes “Don’t tell me how it cannot be done. Tell me how it can”. 

We look forward to receiving your applications for inclusion in the Business Plan 2022 – 2024. 

Main features of the call (aim and segments) 

As cities in Europe and worldwide are bouncing back stronger and more resilient after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing momentum to rethink our cities and promote more sustainable and healthy urban living by building beautiful, sustainable, inclusive places to live together after the pandemic. New research shows that the rediscovery of proximity provides a window to shift faster from a target of increasing mobility to one of enhancing accessibility by revisiting public space, urban design and planning. We are yet unsure about how the near post-pandemic future will look like, however, this crisis has undoubtedly changed our relationship with city streets, the public realm and local facilities.  

The transformation of our cities has started already in many ways. Some of the most forward-thinking cities, small and big, have set out ambitious strategies and plans to cater for the growing demand for housing and travel in urban areas, reduce the impact of transport on societies and the environment, and make cities more attractive places where to live and work. And there are also a growing number of examples of grassroots movements for shaping urban environments. The citizens and local communities in Europe and worldwide are reclaiming the streets and public infrastructure to create vibrant neighbourhoods by implementing placemaking and tactical urbanism projects that have a remarkable impact on public spaces.  

Cities that have successfully put people and the environment at the centre of planning have a vision for great public space. But space is a scarce resource especially in dense urban centres and there are many competing demands for the little public space available. City stakeholders need to navigate the competing demands to offer inhabitants liveable spaces, free of pollution, where nature can retake its place for environmental benefits and benefits of the city’s inhabitants while providing inclusive opportunities for social exchange. 

The goal of this call for projects is to generate social innovation by improving and transforming streets and public spaces with tactical urbanism and street experiments as part of a city-wide approach for liveable cities, and building on adopted mobility strategies and plans in cities. 

Projects will implement pilots for inclusive, safe and accessible public realm design in a city or town, and build momentum for long-term policy change in communities – especially in disconnected and less central neighbourhoods – to help improve liveability for all local residents.  

Partners 

For the 2022 Public Realm Call, any EIT Urban Mobility partner, including new potential project partners can be the Lead Applicant or participate in the call.   A minimum of two cities and at least one other type of partner from the private sector, academia and research can form a consortium. 

Call summary 

First Call for Proposals for Public Realm for BP 2022 – 2024: Main Features 

Dates  
Call opening: 19 March 2021 
Call closing: 18 May 2021 
Eligibility and admissibility check: End of May 2021 
Evaluation of proposals: June 2021 
Communication of results: Beginning of July 2021
 
Budget allocation 
Up to 800k EUR 

Link to submission portal 
PLAZA platform – OPEN NOW!

 
List of documents to be submitted 
Application form available on the PLAZA platform

List of documents to take into consideration 
Business Plan 2022 – 2024 first call for proposals for Creating Public Realm
EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Agenda 2021-2027 (link below) 
Call Guidelines for Applicants (link below) 
Appeal Procedure (link below)
Eligibility of expenditures (link below)
List of KPIs (link below)
Monitoring and reporting (link below)
Frequently Asked Questions – First Calls for BP2022-2024 (link below)
Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement

Short summary of the topics to be addressed 
Projects shall be complementary actions within a city-wide system of public spaces and add additional social value to existing ongoing local initiatives in implementing sustainable urban mobility measures (e.g., SUMP), masterplans, spatial development and urban transformation plans.  
Tactical urbanism activities should deliver healthy and accessible public spaces. They should contribute to increasing citizen participation by improving the quality of urban areas, especially the neighbourhoods, and making urban areas more attractive and thereby attract more resources.  
The projects should demonstrate that wider social and environmental benefits -such as more physical activity, less pollution and traffic, safer mobility – can be achieved by providing universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green and public spaces, or scaling approaches and solutions for wider citizen participation to reach new communities and neighbourhoods hence improving urban liveability and wellbeing.  

The activities should contribute to: 
Improving the quality of the existing public infrastructure for safe and healthy mobility (walking and cycling networks). 
Encouraging sustainable travel habits and a reduction of car dependency for short trips by improving local accessibility including to public transport. 
Boosting recreational and business purposes by respacing city streets, widening sidewalks and refurbishing the public realm. 
Embedding local improvements in urban design to make street spaces friendlier and enjoyable places (e.g., healthy and complete street approaches). 

Evaluation criteria 
For the Strategic Fit Evaluation
Contribution to the challenges and target defined in the EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Agenda and EIT Core KPIs 
Fitting with BP 2022 Call Area and Topic under which the project proposal has been submitted. 
Addressing the concept of Knowledge Triangle Integration 

For the Full proposal evaluation
Excellence, novelty and innovation 
Impact  
Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management 

Find all the information about this call below!

Supporting documents:

Contact details 

Type of contact Email 
General/technical  call2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 
Public Realm publicrealmcall2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 

Events-Webinars 

You can find the calendar on the main events here.