The URBANITE initiative plans urban mobility and promotes a sustainable ecosystem

7 April 2021
La iniciativa URBANITE planifica la movilidad urbana y promueve un ecosistema sostenible

The new ecosystem balances the expectations and trust of officials, citizens and different actors involved in the value chain of emerging technologies.

Urban mobility faces greater uncertainty and complexity in the long term due to several factors: the demand for growth in urban environments, the pressure and urgency for a more sustainable model, a reduction in pollution levels, and better air quality and noise levels. Accelerated technological developments in transport modes and the underlying business models themselves -autonomous driving, micro-mobility, connected vehicles, electro-mobility, mobility as a service (MaaS) and new vehicle ownership models- pose specific challenges in their deployment.

These disruptive business models and trends are changing the landscape of urban planning and mobility management in cities. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has made us aware of the fragility and sensitivity of our models and plans to external events, identifying the need for agility in responding to new mobility restrictions where necessary.

These challenges require new mobility planning processes and methods to help public administrations and policy makers understand this new context better and support them in making decisions and predicting future scenarios. Disruptive technologies such as Big Data analytics can support the decision-making of policy-makers when formulating policies.

The EU Horizon 2020 project URBANITE is looking at the specific challenges involved in the uptake and actual use of technologies in data-driven decision making, using a participatory approach and a technical platform that provides the following principles: making the most of available data, making the data management process more efficient, identifying and learning from short, medium and long-term trends to improve urban mobility, identifying potentially problematic events and defining unintended consequences, analysing plausible future scenarios and potential actions, creating public policies and services “with” people and not only “for” them, promoting collaboration between departments through the creation of an urban ecosystem, driving and guiding an efficient and successful digital transformation.

After almost a year, the URBANITE initiative is beginning to take shape. The first results are available: they provide a better understanding of the use cases of the four participating cities: Amsterdam, Bilbao, Helsinki and Messina. In January and February, the URBANITE pilot cities carried out their participatory social policy lab sessions to map out the challenges, risks and possibilities of data-driven decision-making. The first version of the description of the URBANITE architecture was produced as a basis for the next development and integration stages, a specification of the semantic model and common data structures, based on analysing the data sources available and relevant to the use cases in the project, defining a strategy and algorithms for the modelling and viewing the data applicable to the URBANITE domain.

Further information

  • URBANITE’s partners: Alma Digit, Comune di Messina, Engineering Ingegneria, Forum Virium Helsinki, Fraunhofer Fokus, Jozef Stefan Institute, Stiching WAAG Society, Gemeente Amsterdam, Bilbao City Council, Basque Mobility and Logistics Cluster, with TECNALIA, coordinating.
  • This project has received funding from the Horizon 2020 EU research and innovation program, in accordance with Grant Agreement No. 870338.