Lahti is a pioneering city, one of Europe’s first urban areas to commit towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. To meet such an ambitious target, the city needed to test new ways of lowering CO2 emissions. One possible area of intervention was urban mobility, as, on average, traffic emissions account for almost 25 % of total emissions in EU cities. With Lahti being a medium-sized Finnish city with a population around 120 000 inhabitants, it needed to carefully review its urban mobility policy in order to have a chance of meeting its carbon neutrality objective. Thus, Lahti decided to tackle the fragmented nature of decision-making process related to urban mobility and focus on developing the city’s first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). More than a strategic process, the SUMP developed under CitiCap would also test and integrate a new set of incentives for citizens to transition to sustainable mobility options. This meant a strong paradigm shift, from an infrastructure-centric mind-set, towards a behavioural change one. Such a novel
approach would be met with resistance, especially with no available data to inform an evidence-based process of decision-making. This is why, CitiCap focused on testing two innovative elements and see whether they were viable policy options for sustainable urban mobility.
The first one was a voluntary Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme. Under such a model, users aim to use only their assigned allowance. Exchanges between users with higher consumptions with ones with lower levels of consumptions are allowed, as long as overall the allowance level is followed. For the model to work, a series of incentives or disincentives may be used. With no prior PCT scheme tested for urban mobility in the last decade in Europe, CitiCap aimed at co-designing alongside residents, academics and technologists such a scheme and evaluating its impact for behavioural change.
The second element would be how to foster long-term behavioural changes observed under the PCT scheme through capital investments co-designed with residents and integrated in the new SUMP. This case study explores how the project CitiCap has been pursuing these objectives in the light of the key principles of Integrated Territorial Development.