The Belgian city of Ghent has been recognised, alongside eight European towns and cities, for its innovative urban mobility strategy at the 2018 CITIVAS Awards ceremony in Umeå, Sweden.
Ghent received the CIVITAS Bold Measure Award for its Traffic Management as a Service (TMaaS) platform, based on “a daring and innovative approach that has yet to be widely implemented”.
The platform collects and displays mobility data from stakeholders and service providers via a single interface. The platform was developed through the efforts of local government, industry and universities to minimise hardware investments and allow operators to interpret the data and set their own alerts.
Frank Vanden Bulcke, Head of The Mobility Company in Ghent, told Cities Today that citizens will be able to register for free to the TMaaS dashboard by the end of 2019 and receive alerts when issues arise on their daily routes or in their area.
“On the online platform, they will also be able to zoom in real-time on a high number of interesting parameters relating to mobility in their city, congestion in their city, and the number of available electric car charging stations,” he said. “The platform will allow cities to monitor mobility, collect relevant mobility data and use this for implementing new mobility measures in their city.”
Runners-up included Aachen in Germany and Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Aachen’s new electric car fleet has been rolled out for use by city employees on business trips, while a local car-sharing provider allows residents to use the vehicles at weekends and off-peak hours. A ‘job ticket’, subsidised by the city for public transport, comes as part of an integrated ticketing system through which all such trips may be paid for using one card and one platform.
Meanwhile, Vinnytsia has upgraded its tram fleet by rejuvenating older cars into WinWay trams that include free WiFi and use 40 percent less electricity than the current model.
The CIVITAS Take-Up Award for the most successful transfer of knowledge to another town or city went to Reggio Emilia (Italy), which in October 2017 was visited by six cities from six different countries, resulting in the adoption of its model for creating safe and sustainable home-school journeys in both Kruševac (Serbia) and Leon (Spain).
Others awards included the CIVITAS Legacy Award (awarded to Szeged in Hungary), and the Transformations Award (received by Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina). The awards event included prizes for clean urban transport and two further prizes selected by a five-strong panel of mobility experts, public officials and media representatives, as well as the CIVITAS Political Advisory Committee.