Urban mobility challenges from use cases and how they can be addressed by Disruptive Technologies - Part 1/5 - Amsterdam
Today's cities are facing a revolutionary era in urban mobility; this is due to different factors, among the others their continuous growth and the concentration of human activities.
To prevent and solve problems related to mobility such as traffic congestion and pollution (e.g. air and noise) cities are in continuous search of adequate mobility solutions to satisfy the demand of the growing population, both living or moving into the cities every day. An example is the switching from the concept of owning to sharing a vehicle (e.g. car and bike-sharing services).
Our investigation focuses on four European cities: Amsterdam, Bilbao, Helsinki and Messina. Each city offers a different perspective on urban mobility, bearing in mind their characteristics, services and problems faced.
This journey starts from Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands; in recent years, Amsterdam has been growing rapidly in terms of inhabitants and visitors; this growth leads to increased mobility and traffic issues. The city has complex traffic stream with massive amounts of bicycles combined with cars and public transport; this drives the need for finding solutions that can conciliate the ever-growing use of bikes with the other means of transportations (from public transportation to private cars) resulting in more sustainable mobility for the whole city. Part of this view is a strategy tending to increase the appeal of bikes as the main mobility option. This strategy goes through the improvement of the city network of bike lanes and of the overall cycling experience within the city, encouraging virtuous behaviours (e.g. respect of traffic lights) to avoid potential discomfort.
What is Amsterdam aiming for?
To reach these objectives the city of Amsterdam would like to align the mobility policies to the real needs of bike mobility, realise a data-driven decision mechanism, strengthen the safety and comfort of cycling and encourage citizens to make sustainable mobility choices.
The role of Disruptive Technologies.
From a broader perspective, a unique point to access data coming from different sources can support the decision-makers in the identification of needed information, reducing the time sent to search it and speeding up the decision-making process. Since different departments of the municipality (and hence people) are involved in decision-making, the possibility to easily share information among them (such as data, results of analysis/simulations, map layers, charts, graphs, etc.) will improve collaboration and overcome inefficient communication and information silos, allowing the reduction of policy fragmentation and the subsequent uncertainties.
From a more specific perspective, data analysis will support decision-makers in understanding different aspect of bike mobility (through the analysis of bike-related data) and identifying dependencies among factors that could influence directly or not bike mobility and its adoption; in this sense tools and models to simulate how decisions and policies can potentially impact on traffic and mobility would offer predictions and the possibility to compare different scenarios. This will allow decision-makers to make choices with minimal negative impact and minimize costs. Finally, effective visualisation of information is essential; a dashboard offering map layers, charts and graphs that summarise the status of bike mobility in the city will allow decision-makers to have in a single view the overall and relevant information they need to gain new insights about bike mobility in Amsterdam (e.g. type of road infrastructure/ bike paths, road safety, traffic mix/sources, busy routes, clean routes in terms of air quality, green route, fastest route, air quality etc.).