On 19-20 November 2018, the workshop entitled “Building small-medium Local Authorities’ capacity to introduce Innovative Transport Schemes” took place in Birmingham, in the premises of the new SUITS partner ‘Transport for West Midlands’. The aim was to pilot one of the classroom courses that form an integral part of the SUITS Capacity Building program.

The participants included staff members of the ‘transport innovation’ and ‘policy & strategy’ departments of the organization, as well as delegates from the ‘Technical University of Ilmenau’ (Germany), closely working with the city of Dachau, and ‘Smart Continent’ (Lithuania) collaborating with the city of Palanga. The workshop was delivered by ‘Lever Consulting’ (Greece), the partner responsible for preparing the SUITS Capacity Building Program, the ‘Business and Occupational Psychology’ section of the ‘Coventry University’ (UK) and ARCADIS (UK).

That specific course, that will be available to all cities through the SUITS toolbox at the end of the project, serves the broad objective of building the capacity of small-medium cities’ Local Authorities to implement and monitor the application of SUMP measures. It is designed to build, or strengthen, the capacity of small-medium cities’ Local Authorities to facing current challenges when implementing innovative transport schemes. Indicatively, the topics on which the course focuses are: a) the value of these schemes for small-medium cities, b) the identification of actors and stakeholders involved, c) the financing sources & innovative procurement, d) the available tools and guidelines regarding these schemes etc.

It also provides an insight into different concerns and challenges that staff is facing when set up targets and facing changes. Through the workshop process local action learning sets were established with the aim to support the transport measures. Working with the three cities following the workshop, we identified cross-LA communities of practice learning sets that offer deep and rich shared learning across the project. Both local and cross-LA learning set provide mutual support, and data gathering to enable better testing and evaluation of ideas and identification of the most effective novel ideas.

The next pilots will take place in February of 2019 in Kalamaria (Greece) and Turin (Italy) piloting the modules “Building small-medium Local Authorities’ capacity to implement urban transport safety & security measures for all/vulnerable users” and “Building small-medium Local Authorities’ capacity to implement urban freight transport measures” respectively. Three SUITS cities are invited to participate in each pilot/workshop.

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