This month, Eltis interviews Guy Hitchcock, the co-ordinator of the Urban Transport Roadmaps project.
Please sum up the Urban Transport Roadmaps project in a sentence
Urban Transport Roadmaps is primarily a free and easy to use online urban transport scenario building tool that supports the initial scoping of measures for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).
How have cities so far benefitted from the project’s work?
Since the launch of the tool in April 2016 at the 3rd European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in Bremen there have been some 1 800 unique users from over 25 EU countries using the tool to explore urban mobility policies in their cities. Although not all of these users will be city authorities using the tool in earnest to plan polices for the cities it shows the appetite for simple quantitative tools to help them build the evidence needed to develop and implement robust urban mobility plans.
Interest is also not limited to Europe, though this has been our target audience. Initial analysis of users of the online tool shows users in South America, the Middle East and Asia. This suggests the need for similar tools in more developing countries who are often facing more challenging urban mobility problems than we are in Europe.
What are the key project publications or resources (current or future) related to sustainable urban mobility, and how can cities use them?
The key output is the online tool. The home page provides a range of information about the project, including guides and webinars for using the tool, previous presentations, papers and a full report on developing urban policy roadmaps, including five examples. The site is in six languages to support ease of use across Europe.
The tool is free and needs no specific local software. So any city can just login and get using it. Also, a number of SUMP capacity-building projects will be providing some additional training for cities to use the tool. Our project will host a final conference later in 2017 to showcase the tool, cities that have worked with it and related SUMP experience.
What opportunities are there to become involved in the project?
Just login and use the tool! The tool and guidance is there to help you develop a SUMP for your city. If you need more help you can use the contact and help pages to contact us to provide you with additional support.
How can people keep up to date with project activity?
Keep an eye on the Eltis events calendar to find out when training, seminars and the final conference will take place. We also welcome user feedback on the tool. So if you have any feedback or views on the tool you can send them through to us on the site's contact pages.
Name one development/innovation that you think will affect urban mobility in Europe over the next five years
I think ICT is having and will continue have a major impact on urban mobility. It is changing the way we travel through retail and working patterns, improving the efficiency of urban transport networks and allowing the development of new shared urban mobility services as never before. Social media is also a growing tool for transport planners to communicate their ideas and carry out social engagement. The CIVTAS Policy Note on how cities are using social media on mobility projects is fascinating.
What is the most interesting mobility-related book/paper/research you have read recently?
I have to admit to being a bit a modelling and data geek! So one of the research areas I have found fascinating recently is the use of real-time mobile data to help us understand and model transport behaviour. Data from companies such as INRIX, TomTom and the Flow are being used in all sorts of interesting ways to visual travel behaviour, enhance models and get real time traffic and environmental predictions.
For more information about the Urban Transport Roadmaps project, visit urban-transport-roadmaps.eu