On April 8, 2024, the kick-off meeting of research project ENHANCE took place at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. ENHANCE, short for ‘Enhancing Sustainable Travel in Small Cities and Outer Metropolitan Areas’, started in January 2024, and unites researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (lead), University College London, Birkbeck University of London, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa. In addition, societal partners are the City of Alkmaar, the Deltametropolis Association, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Prospective Labs, Transport for London, and the Municipality of Oeiras. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is represented by Spatial Economics’ researchers Eric Koomen, Erik Verhoef, and Tanhua Jin; and project manager Hadewijch van Delft.

About the project

The project takes a closer look at the 15-minute city concept that suggests residents should have their most important services locally accessible through short walking, cycling and public transport trips. This idea is aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing air pollution, and creating more healthy living environments. The ENHANCE project is designed to understand the barriers for the application of 15mC principles in outer metropolitan areas and small cities and provide evidence to improve local planning decision-making.


The project has 3 main objectives:

  • Creating multi-modal composite accessibility indicators that capture progress towards 15-minute city goals and that highlight the degree to which daily travel needs can potentially be fulfilled within local trips.
  • Analysing actual travel behaviour in relation to the 15-minute city objectives to describe the degree to which different societal groups fulfil their daily travel needs by local trips in practice and to understand current barriers to meeting sustainable travel objectives.
  • Develop a modelling environment that allows the development of future scenarios that enhance accessibility by the provision of transport infrastructure, adapting travel behaviour or (re)developing the city.

ENHANCE is funded though the new Driving Urban Transitions to a Sustainable Future (DUT)  programme of JPI Urban Europe. The project runs from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.

More information on ENHANCE >>>