HiReach is a 3-years (2017-2020) Research and Innovation Action (RIA) funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
HiReach focuses on the development of new tools and business models to improve accessibility in prioritised areas. HiReach builds on the potential of bundling and mixing dispersed, special and non-coordinated/optimised trip requests and needs from different vulnerable user groups to favour inclusive and participated mobility.
Targeted HiReach vulnerable social groups:
- People with temporarily or permanent reduced mobility
- Children and young people
- Elderly people
- Migrants and ethnic minorities
- Low income and unemployed
- People living in rural and deprived areas
- Explore viable business models for small scale, modular and easily replicable mobility services at affordable prices and/or with minimum subsidies
- Foster social innovation processes through an in-depth (micro) analysis of capabilities/attitudes of different social groups and their direct involvement as co-users and co-owners of the proposed solutions
- Explore and test new solutions based on the creative work of start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs
- Provide open source tools, guidance and support to developers as well as testbeds for new inclusive mobility solutions”
In each local case study, the analysis phase will include a public consultation among local authorities, transport operators, representatives of interest groups (e.g. persons with disabilities, unemployed persons, children, elderly, migrants, other vulnerable to exclusion citizens); the installment of focus groups; and in-depth interviews with local professionals and stakeholders’ organizations.
Leveraging the case studies and their experience, and relying on the networks existing in those areas, HiReach will be able to implement a micro-perspective analysis, e.g. the understanding of very specific sub-groups.
HiReach in the North and South-East regions of Luxembourg
The country of Luxembourg has about 580.000 inhabitants. Its population is growing annually with about 2% (about 12,000 inhabitants). This is mainly through European citizens migrating to the country. The City of Luxembourg can be considered as the most active region in terms of economy. Most jobs are concentrated in and around the city, which is the seat of several European Union institutions. In 2016, the City of Luxembourg had almost 170.000 employees, 47% of the country's total employment. The high number of employees can also be explained by the cross-border commuters, who commute from the cross-border regions of France, Belgium and Germany to work in Luxembourg. Most of the residents live in the City of Luxembourg and the areas surrounding it. Followed by the south-west region of the country, which has a high population density. This region has been allocated another main economic urban zone, Belval which is located on the territory of the city of Esch-sur-Alzette, which is part of the former steel industry area.
The relatively deprived areas are located towards the south-west borders of the country, more commonly known as the three border region (France, Germany and Luxembourg).
The North of the country, which stretches over a third of the country, as well as the neighbouring cross-border areas can be considered as deprived rural areas. The population in the North of the country is more dispersed and accounts for about 80.000 inhabitants.
The public transport network is in both cases less dense than in the economic centres. In HiReach, the focus is particularly on these two areas. The topic of transport poverty in terms of spatial characteristics is specifically related to the price of housing and land. Due to the concentration of employment in the City of Luxembourg, the average advertised price differs highly between the economic centre and the HiReach focus areas. In 2015, the average advertised price for the purchase of an apartment in the territory of the City of Luxembourg amounted up to around 7.100 EUR / m² against 5.200 EUR / m² for the rest of the country and 5.500 EUR / m² for a house in the City of Luxembourg against 3.900 EUR / m² for the rest of the country (Conseil Economique et Social 2017). The same is true for the cost of constructible land. The median price of land located about 30 minutes from the city of Luxembourg is about 38% of the median value in the capital. At a driving distance of 60 minutes from the capital into the heart of the fieldwork sites, the median price is five times lower than the median price recorded in Luxembourg City.
A particularity of Luxembourg is its high level of multiculturalism. People of many different nationalities reside in the country. Only 55.5% of the population has the Luxembourgish nationality, of which a high proportion has parents of another nationality. Over 16.4% of the residents have the Portuguese nationality, 6.6% French, and 21.5% of the population has another nationality. The majority of cross-border commuters and families have the nationality of their place of residence (e.g. French in France). However, a starting trend can be observed of young families, even of Luxembourgish origin, due to the high prices of housing, to move to cross-border regions. There is a large difference in terms of risk of poverty per nationality and social group within Luxembourg. The poverty risk is 7.9% for the residents with the Luxembourgish nationality, yet rises up to 30% for Portuguese. This seems mainly related to the difference in access to the job market as well as the time of residing in the country.
The focus groups focused on migrants and people living in remote and deprived rural areas (one group with only women and one group with only men). They were invited to discuss about their mobility needs and related transport poverty issues. The focus groups were conducted in the months between August and October 2018.
In addition, expert interviews were conducted with:
- The Ministry of Transport
- 2 Transport operators
- LISER (Luxembourgish Institution of Socio-Economic Research)
- FPE (Forum pour l´emploi) – Forum for Employment
- Bummelbus (service of FPE)