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The EVIDENCE project: Origins, review findings and prospects for enhanced urban transport appraisal and evaluation in the future

Black, Colin; Parkhurst, Graham; Shergold, Ian


Colin Black


The EVIDENCE project1 sets out to provide objective, robust information to support local and European policy initiatives seeking a substantial change in the flow of funding towards sustainable urban transport investments. In particular it has focussed on EU funding for transport in cities delivered through the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) process – a European program crucial to helping newer member states deliver sustainable mobility in their cities. Whilst delivering more sustainable urban mobility is a policy objective of the EU, many of those involved in such endeavours report that they are in need of more information about the range of interventions and packages of interventions available to them. In particular they need to know more about the economic benefits of sustainable urban mobility choices, as local politicians and other stakeholders see an important role for mobility in supporting their local economies, and hitherto the ‘received wisdom’ has often asserted that it is primarily car and lorry-oriented transport investment that delivers the prosperity they seek.

In response to the need to address such perceptions, EVIDENCE has looked for and assessed existing evidence for economic benefits arising from sustainable mobility implementations arising from twenty-two different categories of measures typically found in SUMPs (see Table 1 below). Most of the twenty-two include multiple, related interventions and reflect the types of demonstration initiative delivered through Europe urban mobility programmes, such as CIVITAS. However, the sources drawn upon in collating the evidence are much wider than those arising from European projects. Literature searching by the research team drew upon academic journals and books, and reports from government and other agencies across the globe. For this reason, the potentially-relevant body of evidence would cover thousands of documents. Clearly, a single, small research team working for a year could not review every item in detail. However, a selection process (see Shergold & Parkhurst, 2016) sought to ensure that the sources which were both important in terms of their evidence and complied with internationally-accepted standards of robust evaluation methodology were included. In practice, this process resulted in a larger body of core sources in respect of some measures than others. Indeed, a sufficient quantity of relevant, high quality evidence was not found in every case.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2016
Journal World Transport Policy & Practice
Print ISSN 1352-7614
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1/2
Pages 6-11
APA6 Citation Black, C., Parkhurst, G., & Shergold, I. (2016). The EVIDENCE project: Origins, review findings and prospects for enhanced urban transport appraisal and evaluation in the future. World Transport Policy and Practice, 22(1/2), 6-11
Keywords sustainable urban mobility, appraisal, evaluation, evidence-led policy, sustainable urban mobility plans, sustainable urban mobility measures
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