The CIVITAS Learning Centre is part of CIVITAS, the European Commission’s initiative for more sustainable urban mobility. The CIVITAS Learning Centre provides a comprehensive range of capacity-building activities for urban transport professionals. The e-courses, training courses, and placements are designed to result in lasting knowledge and skills.
Enhanced capacities will enable professionals to work more effectively and create a larger impact on their urban mobility projects. By taking part in the CIVITAS Learning Centre, cities demonstrate that they are committed to the development of their staff’s professional skills.
Creating larger impacts of local mobility projects
CIVITAS is a network of cities for cities dedicated to cleaner and better transport in Europe and beyond. Since it was launched by the European Commission in 2002, the CIVITAS Initiative has tested and implemented over 800 measures and urban transport solutions as part of demonstration projects in more than 80 Living Lab cities across Europe.
CIVITAS offers specialists opportunities to witness the development and deployment of innovative solutions and learn from peers and experts working in the field. CIVITAS nurtures political commitment, new marketable solutions, and offers funding and knowledge exchange with a view to creating growth and better connected, more sustainable modes of transportation.
Although many projects have been carried out under the auspices of CIVITAS, there was no structured approach to capacity building up to 2013. To address this issue, DTV Consultants developed, launched, and operated the CIVITAS Learning Centre in a bid to create better and more sustainable cities. Isabelle Maës, policy offer for the European Commission, has stated that such “… efforts will make European cities the most mobile and greenest cities in the world, driving prosperity and ensuring EU citizens a high quality of life”.
The CIVITAS Learning Centre responds to a major objective of EU-wide research and development directly linked to the Lisbon strategy. Consequently, local transport professionals will be able to work more effectively and create larger impacts with their local urban mobility projects.
Approach to professional learning
The CIVITAS Learning Centre is based on Kolb’s experiential learning cycle emphasising concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation. The Learning Centre is built around three different learning styles: e-courses, in-person training, and placements. This process is depicted in the pyramid below.
- E-courses can be taken individually, taking all the time that is needed to gain new knowledge, take note of other cities’ measures, and translate this to their own practice. E-courses end with an e-test.
- In-person training sessions give participants the opportunity to learn with others and to exchange knowledge and experience with other mobility experts. Attendees translate their knowledge into practice with dedicated assignments which are worked on during the training session.
- Placements are the ultimate opportunity to work on a concrete local challenge in a new environment; they allow participants to develop new skills and attain hands-on experience.
After one year of preparation, DTV Consultants launched the CIVITAS Learning Centre at http://civitas.eu/learning-centre in 2015. During this year, DTV Consultants developed and delivered a comprehensive programme consisting of 16 e-courses, 14 in-person training courses, 30+ professional placements, and 1 summer school.
The programme covered the following ten thematic areas related to sustainable transport mobility:
- Car-Independent Lifestyles
- Clean Fuels & Vehicles
- Collective Passenger Transport
- Demand Management Strategies
- Integrated Planning
- Mobility Management
- Public Involvement
- Safety & Security
- Transport Telematics
- Urban Freight Logistics.
During 2015 and 2016, more than 500 participants enrolled in CIVITAS’ e-courses. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive:
“The examples and cases provide practical information and insights.”
“Some of the examples used and the knowledge that can be taken from them to apply to other areas.”
A total of 184 professionals, consisting of representatives from different backgrounds across Europe, participated in the 14 programmes and were encouraged to share their own experiences and practices. One participant remarked that they found this experience “very informative” and “liked the multidisciplinary approach”.
In total, 37 persons from 18 countries (Turkey, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Spain, Lithuania, Malta, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Belgium, Serbia, Poland) went on a placement.
Long lasting learning impact
Overall, the Learning Centre set up by DTV Consultants has given the e-courses, training courses, and placements a solid foundation within CIVITAS, as all aspects have proven to be a success. The target number of attendees was exceeded, and participants favourably evaluated the programmes.
The CIVITAS Learning Centre has continued from 2016 onwards and is still available at http://civitas.eu/learning-centre