By taking a people-focused approach, SMALL will explore how to make shared mobility accessible to children, families, the elderly and those with physical impairments.
Shared bikes, scooters and vehicles are already transforming the way some of us move around the city. But these flexible and low-emission services are far from suitable for everyone. Gaps in design and policy mean that a large majority of these solutions are used exclusively by young urban adults; with children and families, the elderly and the physically impaired left behind.
The new Interreg North Sea Region project Shared multimodal Mobility for ALL (SMALL) aims to change this dynamic to ensure these solutions can be shared by all. By taking a people-focused approach, SMALL will explore how to make shared mobility accessible to children, families, the elderly and physically impaired people – part of a wider group classified as people with reduced mobility.
Shared mobility solutions are not yet designed or deployed with inclusivity in mind. Despite the first large-scale shared mobility solutions being launched in the early 2000s, the focus of operations has failed to expand from efficiency to accessibility.
SMALL aims to support both public and private sectors in including users with reduced mobility into the planning of sharing services. The consortium will work collectively to address these challenges by:
• Better understanding and including the needs of the different users in shared mobility design by directly involving them in a co-creation process from the challenge definition to the evaluation of solutions.
• Deploying and testing different inclusive shared mobility solutions which build on market innovation (new vehicles), social innovation (solidarity and volunteering) and digital innovation (new mobile applications).
• Producing strategic guidelines building on the SUMP framework to help public authorities and mobility operators to plan and deploy inclusive shared mobility.
By carrying out eight user-centred pilots across the North Sea Region, sharing their lessons learnt with a wide audience and highlighting and analysing other good practice in accessible shared mobility, the project’s objective is to ensure public authorities are aware that shared mobility systems need to be designed for and with all future users. Informed policy makers will then be able to use SMALL resources including case studies and policy guidelines to initiate change.
Within SMALL, Rupprecht Consult is responsible for leading and developing the SMALL Observatory and related annual publication. Here, we will collect, analyse and highlight existing shared mobility projects and services designed for people with reduced mobility. Rupprecht Consult is also supporting the SMALL partners in updating their mobility strategies in the context of the SUMP topic guide on shared mobility for people with limited mobility and is in charge of the process evaluation to be carried out for each of the pilots within SMALL. In addition, Rupprecht is the work package leader for WP3, strategy and dissemination.