Cross-border cooperation and transport: Lille Metropole at the heart of a major European project
Lille Metropole and 8 other participants worked together to shape tomorrow’s Eurodelta region in terms of mobility and transport.
Lille Metropole and Brussels-Capital region were both stakeholders in the project called « Sustainable Transport Infrastructure in the Strategic urban region Eurodelta » (STISE) alongside with 7 other members. The STISE project was financially supported by the « European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion » (ESPON), a research programme on European territorial development. The ESPON programme is dedicated to researchers, national, regional or local administrations and urban planning agencies. It aims to create links between scientific research and the implementation of public policies in the field of territorial planning and development especially on cross-border territories such as the Eurodelta region.
Indeed, Eurodelta is a vast cross-border urban area located in the Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne triangle. It represents 50 million citizens, i.e. 10% of the European population in 2019. Eurodelta faces major challenges: energy transition, climate adaptation, accommodation of economic and demographic growth, ensuring connectivity and accessibility of urban networks, and sustainable land use. Decarbonising the transport sector plays a crucial role in tackling these challenges. In this context, the STISE project emerged and Lille Metropole has been a partner of the STISE project thanks to its cooperation agreement with Brussels capital region.
The STISE project focused on mobility and carbon neutrality. The main objective of the project was to conduct a study in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, to explore the action that is possible to take in the Eurodelta region to develop greener mobility and contribute to European sustainable development goals. To this end, 4 ways of improvement were identified.
First of all, a shift from air to rail for short and medium distances (< 500 km to 700 km) in, to and from Eurodelta. Second, the implementation of Zero Emission Zones (ZEZ) in all cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants for cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks, by 2035. Then, exploring the potential of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) with a focus on passenger transport and defining the role of public authorities. Finally, the improvement of cross-border regional public transport within the following 3 corridors: Lille-Brussels, Rhine-Scheldt and Rhine-Waal in order to encourage a modal shift from road to rail.
The study showed that cooperation (cross-border, inter-metropolitan, inter-regional, inter-governmental) massively contribute to achieving EU targets for sustainable growth for 2030 and 2050 in the field of transports. The study also concluded that the Eurodelta region has the potential to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the European Union. Also, given its location, its challenges and the willingness of stakeholders to move forward, the region could even become a pilot area where ambitious policies and concepts could be tested.