The Best Climate City in the World

Welcome to Uppsala!

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In 2018, Uppsala municipality was the global winner in WWF:s international One Planet City Challenge. The city was rewarded thanks to its cross-sector sustainability interventions and a strong focus on sustainable mobility solutions. According to the international jury, Uppsala stood out as a role model for other cities around the world.

Uppsala now wants to be in the forefront when it comes to mobility as a service. The vision is to create innovative areas with unique opportunities for test beds, where new solutions are tested in real environments.

By 2030, the ambition is to increase sustainable mobility to 75% and make Uppsala fossil fuel-free and powered by 100% renewable energy sources.

The site for accelerated market introduction

Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden located in one of Europe's most expansive growth areas, 67km north of Stockholm close to Arlanda Airport. It has about 225,000 inhabitants, around 21,000 companies and is a good basis for a thriving business community. The municipality is expected to grow with 130,000 inhabitants by 2050. This makes it one of Sweden's most expansive municipalities.

Uppsala’s business community receives a lot of strength from the two universities: Uppsala University and SLU (Swedish Agricultural University), and it is known for its innovative companies within life science, IT and cleantech, which are based both locally and internationally.

Uppsala municipality is building at least three mobility hubs in the near future. Two are placed in new construction areas (Rosendal and Ulleråker) close to the inner city and one is placed by the travel center in the heart of the city, where many different travel modes (cycles, buses, taxis, trains and cars) meet. Uppsala is part of a larger regional labor market where approximately 22,000 people commute from the municipality and 24,000 commutes to the municipality, by train, car or bus.

The mobility hub, which is focusing on bicycles, will be ready to use the fall of 2019. The precise allocation of the space inside of the hub, is not determined yet. It can be adjusted based on the proposals received in this challenge, but in total the building will fit more than 1,200 parking spaces for bicycles, where thirty are suitable for special bikes (such as cargo bikes). The municipality and the municipal parking company (Uppsala Parkerings AB) are in charge of the construction and maintainance, and are already having a dialogue with the local bus company to combine cycling with train and bus-travels.

The municipal parking company is also in charge of a car parking garage, which is placed about 200 meters from the mobility hub. This garage currently features a carsharing service, and has available places for mobility services that can be used to accelerate market introduction.

The investment budget for the mobility hub that is focusing on bicycles is 47,5 million SEK.

Potential for expansion
The site for accelerated market introduction has great potential of becoming a hub in a larger network of nodes for sustainable mobility services. As mentioned before, Uppsala is a growing city and there are many new construction areas being built and planned. Sustainability is high on the agenda and two of these areas are going to be forerunners when it comes to sustainable mobility. At least 80% of trips being made by the inhabitants will take place by foot, cycle or by public transport.

The areas will have mobility hubs managed by the municipality and municipal parking company, where developers rent parking facilities and mobility services. There will be a business area for bicycle-related activities on the ground floor. No other parking will be allowed. One of the hubs (Dansmästaren) will be ready in the fall of 2020 and the construction of the other (Brandmästaren) will begin in 2020. The construction of the hub in Ulleråker is planned a few years later.

All together the new areas are going to have about 12,000 new apartments (5,000 in Rosendal and 7,000 in Ulleråker).

Travel behavior
Uppsala municipality works intensively to make it easier for its inhabitants to choose sustainable mobility alternatives, like the bicycles, bus or train. The goal is to increase sustainable mobility to 75% in the municipality as a whole, by 2050.

Major investments are made to develop public transport and the network for walking and cycling. In 2018, Uppsala was declared the best cycling city in Sweden, because of its pervasive cycling paths, its mandate that cycling paths have first priority in snow removal, and its work to certify bicycle-friendly workplaces in the city.

The diagram below shows how the car usage has decreased over time while the amount of cycling has increased in Uppsala. Already in 2015, 36% of the daily trips in the central parts of Uppsala were made by bike, while the number of car trips had decreased to 34%. It is also possible to discern a certain trend where the bus share increases. The survey is executed every fifth year and the next survey will be completed in 2020.

A prioritized target group for mobility management projects are employees. The diagram below shows that in 2015, about 45% of the trips made by this group were made by car. The municipality, the local bus company and the members of the climate protocol are addressing this issue together. Focus groups have been a great forum within the climate protocol as well. The municipality and the local bus company oversee the work in the groups that are focusing on transports (people and cargo).

Uppsala has signed an agreement with the state and the region, in which the state will finance two more railway tracks between Uppsala and Stockholm, a new railway station in Bergsbrunna and contribute half of the costs of building a tramway in southern Uppsala. It is an investment package in the multi-billion class for transport infrastructure, business premises and housing and it will have great significance for the entire metropolitan area. 

By 2020, public transportation in the county will run only on biogas and other renewable fuels. Uppsala municipality promotes and invests in the expansion of solar power facilities and combines this renewable electricity with its electric car infrastructure.

By 2029, Uppsala will introduce a light rail that will connect different parts of the city. Uppsala invests in renewable fuels, takes measures that ensures cycling is the preferred mode of local transportation, and coordinates local delivery transports to reduce emissions.

By 2030, Uppsala will be fossil fuel-free and powered by 100% renewable energy sources.

The stakeholders and existing needs

In Uppsala the main partners interested in joining the market introduction phase are Uppsala municipality and the municipal parking company. Other possible partners/owners/buyers are the local bus company, owners of train companies, owners of taxi companies, and owners of existing car sharing companies.

Another partner that might be interested in joining the market introduction are employers, who are members of the Uppsala climate protocol or are certified by the municipality as bicycle-friendly workplaces. All members of the climate protocol have signed a "local Kyoto protocol" and they work actively to decrease their Carbone footprint. One of the areas of focus from 2018- 2023 is transportation, and the organization and their partners have committed to the following:  

To date, 60 of these employers have been asked to give their input through a survey identifying which services they would like to use in the mobility hub by the travel center to facilitate sustainable mobility for their employees, both when it comes to business trips and to the commute between the workplace and home. All together these employers have approximately 40,000 employees with potential interest in the services that will be offered by the mobility hub. The results of the survey have not been analyzed yet.

Read more about Uppsala climate protocol.

Read more about the certification program “bicycle-friendly workplaces”.

Uppsala has no specific requirement and aims to keep an open mind to find out what the market has to offer. That said, we prefer a seamless technical solution that combines different mobility services for different types of transportation modes and different needs. We are also interested in finding out what the market has to offer when it comes to alternative sustainable vehicles and service that can be used in a mobility fleet. 

Facts & Figures: Uppsala

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