Launch of Call for Proposals for Citizen Engagement

Urban Mobility has gone through unexpected and momentous changes in 2020. COVID-19 ripped through our nations and cities bringing individual, community and societal upheaval and turmoil. Density and proximity, the very two things that makes our cities the economic, cultural, intellectual, political, and innovative beating hearts of our society, were also the weakest points when faced with a new and deadly threat. 

Wise medical advice led to lockdowns that inevitably saved millions of lives while freezing personal mobility. Who we are today, how we relate to each other, and how we perceive and move around our cities has changed. Maybe forever.  EIT Urban Mobility was privileged to play a small role in EU’s collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, through the ‘EIT Crisis Response Initiative’ launched by EIT. Inclusive logistics projects protecting the elderly and vulnerable were rolled out in Budapest touching thousands. New ruggedised rickshaws were designed for handicapped and reduced mobility passenger in the hilly cities of Bergamo and Bilbao. As road space was taken back for public space, citizens in five cities were able to design and manufacture their street furniture for their own public spaces.  New nanotech sprays covered the surfaces our buses and metros, to ensure we got home safely.  

It has been an unforgettable year that has shaped our thinking on where EIT Urban Mobility needs to go. We learned we could move fast and innovate at pace and that solutions can be tested involving citizens and end-users. We learned that the right thinkers and doers are there – you just need to find them. We learned that innovation can be financial beneficial and contribute to sustainable growth and to more liveable, healthy and safe places to live for the citizens.  

In 2021, we launch a call for the Citizen Engagement programme 2022 focused on our City Challenge Areas. This year we will focus on five simple areas: Active Mobility, Sustainable Logistics, Energy and Mobility, Future Mobility, and Public Realm.  We expect great things of our own EIT Urban Mobility Community and Hubs. Moreover, having seen how our community responded to COVID-19 with rapid, agile, and impactful projects – we expect more. Higher. Faster. Better. And as the saying goes “Don’t tell me how it cannot be done. Tell me how it can”

We look forward to receiving your applications for inclusion in the Business Plan 2022 – 2024. 

Main features of the call (aim and segments) 

Citizen engagement projects, focusing on: 

  1. Testing or implementing innovative methodologies, tools, business models or processes through which citizens are involved or empowered in co-defining the mobility challenges and in co-creation processes.  
  1. Events to be implemented in at least two cities from different Innovation Hubs, targeting or involving citizens aiming to creating awareness about the role citizens and end-users can play in improving mobility for more liveable urban spaces. 

Please note that there will be a Call Info Session with a dedicated part focusing on the Citizen Engagement Call for Proposals, scheduled for 23 March at 14.00-16-00 CET. You can find more information in the agenda here.

Call summary 

First call for proposals for Citizen Engagement for BP 2022 – 2024: Main Features.

Dates  
Call opening: 19 March 2021 
Call closing: 18 May 2021 
Eligibility and admissibility check: End of May 2021 
Evaluation of proposals: June 2021 
Communication of results: Beginning of July 2021 

Budget allocation 
 Up to 800k EUR 

Link to submission portal 
PLAZA platform OPEN NOW!

List of documents to be submitted 
Application form available on the PLAZA platform

List of documents to take into consideration  
Business Plan 2022 – 2024 first call for proposals for Citizen Engagement
EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Agenda 2021-2027 (available from mid April 2021 on EIT Urban Mobility website) 
Call Guidelines for applicants (link below) 
Appeal Procedure (link below)
Eligibility of expenditures (link below)
List of KPIs (link below)
Monitoring and reporting (link below)
Frequently Asked Questions – First Calls for BP2022-2024 (link below)
Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement

Short summary of the topics to be addressed 
Citizen engagement projects, focusing on: 
Testing or implementing innovative methodologies, tools, business models or processes through which citizens are involved or empowered in co-defining the mobility challenges and in co-creation processes.  
Events to be implemented in at least two cities from different Innovation Hubs, targeting or involving citizens aiming to creating awareness about the role citizens and end-users can play in improving mobility for more liveable urban spaces.  

Evaluation criteria 
For the Strategic Fit Evaluation
Contribution to EIT Urban Mobility strategic objectives (EIT UM Strategic Agenda), to the Citizen Engagement approach (Pillars Connect, Exchange, Empower) and EIT Core and EIT Urban Mobility specific KPIs. 
Fitting with BP 2022 Call Area and EIT Urban Mobility challenges at which the project proposal has been submitted. 
Addressing the concept of Knowledge Triangle Integration

For the Full proposal evaluation
Excellence, novelty, and innovation. 
Impact and financial sustainability. 
Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management. 

Find all the information about this call below!

Supporting documents:

Contact details 

Type of contact Email 
General/technical call2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 
Citizen Engagement citizenengagementcall2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 

Events-Webinars 

You can find the calendar on the main events here.

What were the most successful Urban Mobility strategies during COVID-19?

In 2020 EIT Urban Mobility conducted a survey across 16 European cities to understand and analyse mobility strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This built the basis for a study on urban mobility strategies during COVID-19, written by our partners Bable, CARNET, CTAG, DTU, and UPC, with the support of Miljöstrategi AB.

The full report analyses the urban mobility strategies deployed by cities since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each chapter provides extensive insights on aspects such as sustainable urban mobility system requirements, the impact of the virus so far on urban mobility, the role of innovation in this context, and the economic impact on new mobility.

The short version of the report is part of EIT UM’s Urban Mobility Next series, that provides practitioners with exclusive content on cutting edge urban mobility issues. It focuses on the main outcomes of the study, based on the analysis of the survey results as well as on selected best practices.

EIT Urban Mobility organises a webinar on 23 March to present the results of this report and to give interested readers the opportunity to directly discuss findings with the authors. Click here to register!


CityFlows, our candidate to EIT Awards, launches City Analytics Startup

The CityFlows consortium is proud that Dorine Duives, Principal Investigator and Project Lead, has been nominated for the EIT Woman Leadership & Entrepreneurship Award.

Her candidacy recognises her outstanding contributions to the field of sustainable mobility.  We congratulate all the nominees and wish them luck. The awards ceremony will be live streamed on 9 December.  For more information and to vote for the EIT Awards, click here.

Let’s learn more about the project our candidate is leading!

CityFlows is an EIT Urban Mobility project bringing together a diverse consortium of partners to launch a state-of-the-art Crowd Management Decision-Support System (CM-DSS) to improve the safety and comfort of busy pedestrian spaces. 

The CityFlows project has already achieved impressive results.  Despite initial delays due to the Corona emergency, living lab projects in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan are well under way.  With the launch of the City Analytics startup, the CityFlows CM-DSS is ready to scale, thereby helping boost the quality of pedestrian spaces across Europe and internationally.  This is more urgent than ever, especially as cities are looking for tools which can help them keep Covid-19 under control in the upcoming months.

Since September, three CityFlows webinars have been hosted bringing together project partners and the broader crowd-management community.  Recaps and recordings of those webinars are available on the CityFlows website and a fourth webinar is planned for 1 December on the topic of 5G applications for crowd-management.  Project partners will continue to develop educational activities into 2021, showcasing the results and lessons learnt from the different living lab projects and other best practices for crowd-management.  Researchers and practitioners working on innovative crowd-management projects are invited to share their work with this growing community of crowd-management professionals.

What is new on CityFlows

The upcoming launch of City Analytics, a start-up licensing the CityFlows CM-DSS software to government authorities, represents a major project milestone.  City Analytics will boost the quality of pedestrian spaces, a timely development as cities look for reliable tools that can help them respond to the Corona crisis. 

Background

The safety and comfort of pedestrian spaces influences the quality of life in cities, but crowding can limit these gains.  In recent years, a few European universities and municipalities have developed techniques to actively monitor crowd movements and proactively manage crowded spaces using real-time decision support systems.  These pilot programs have shown that effective crowd management can substantially improve the liveability and sustainability of densely populated urban areas.  Yet, at the beginning of 2020, there was no state-of-the-art CM-DSS ready for large-scale deployment.  

This is the challenge that a diverse consortium of partners set out to address in the EIT Urban Mobility project, CityFlows. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) and its founding member, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), brought together researchers and practitioners in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan who have expertise in state-of-the-art sensor techniques, crowd management, governmental regulation, European privacy regulation, machine learning, data analytics and valorization of research output.  This consortium consists of AMS Institute, TU Delft, as well as the city of Amsterdam, ALTRAN, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), the city of Barcelona, ENEA, the city of Milan and AMAT.

Shortly after the project launched in January 2020, the partners experienced a massive set-back in the wake of Covid-19 emergency, with Milan being particularly hard hit.  The initial timelines and scope of the project were challenged as large events were cancelled and tourist crowds disappeared.  Despite these set-backs, the partners persevered, adapting to the new reality.  In this article, the partners share an update as the project reaches an important milestone.

Living Lab Projects

A key desired outcome of the CityFlows project is to boost the quality and accessibility of urban space through different living lab projects in the three partner cities of Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona.  Through these city-scale demonstrator projects, the CityFlows CM-DSS software developed by TU Delft and ALTRAN is being tested to illustrate the overall impact of the system and provide management strategies for various types of crowded spaces.  These “living lab” projects are also integral to testing design assumptions and validating the software in different real-life contexts. 

The first living lab project was planned at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena and was supposed to take place during the UEFA EURO 2020 football championship which has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic outbreak.  The aim of this living lab is to showcase and evaluate the use of the CityFlows CM-DSS software during large sporting events.  The software features a sensor system, including 2D sensors, that will be further built up using data from other sources. The system is fully operational and ready for testing once large sporting events can take place again.  Additionally, the CM-DSS has also been adjusted for Covid-19 management, providing insights for when social distancing can be complicated to be achieved.

Similarly, the Amsterdam Covid-19 living lab represents an alteration to the original project which was supposed to manage crowds during the large-scale SAIL event that was cancelled.  Instead, partners have adapted the operational crowd-monitoring system to monitor social distancing at several busy locations.  Real-time data is produced and analysed by city officials on a daily basis, helping to inform social-distancing measures and communications with the public through dashboards.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona living lab will produce simulations that predict the human behavior around Sagrada Familia.  Data regarding flow dynamics will be collected primarily through RFID technology, providing the input for simulations which will eventually be used to redesign the pedestrian space surrounding Sagrada Familia.  The pilot is currently in the final design stages and will be fully deployed in 2021.

The Milan Central Station living lab will be testing 5G technology through the set-up of a real-time crowd movement assessment system featuring highly sophisticated computer vision techniques.  The municipality, ENEA and ALTRAN have designed a pilot using historical and real-time data collected by fixed and mobile sensors to feed the analysis of the crowd evolution inside the station.  Moreover, the partners are developing an innovative 5G sensor system that analyses and classifies pedestrian movements in CCTV images.

Launching City Analytics

The CityFlows consortium will soon reach a key milestone with the launch of City Analytics. This startup is a vehicle for turning the CityFlows CM-DSS into a license-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) software package available to managers of pedestrian spaces (i.e. public spaces, train stations, event grounds, shopping malls, schools).  Compared to its main competitors, the City Analytics software package is hardware independent, cloud-based, highly scalable, GDPR-proof and highly customisable to the user’s needs. In the upcoming year, City Analytics will further develop the business case, and also connect other means of transport, including bicycle and car flows and public transport.  The software package will be ready to serve interested parties on 1 December.

Knowledge & Educational Activities

A key consideration in launching the CityFlows CM-DSS on a large scale is ensuring that system operators have access to the right knowledge and information to use it effectively.  For this reason, CityFlows partners are developing an impact assessment of the deployment of the CityFlows CM-DSS for various types of crowded places.

Additionally, an educational package considering innovative crowd-management decision-support systems is being developed. This package will be available open-access on the CityFlows website. 

Contact

To learn more about the CityFlows project visit www.cityflows-project.eu or contact:

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Mobility Talks episode 6: “Citizens as drivers of their own mobility”

Join us on 21 October at 16:00 CET to discuss about the role of citizens in decision-making processes regarding urban mobility issues, which is essential to understand and respond to their expectations and real needs.

Citizens and end-users have a say in urban mobility. Their participation in the decision-making process regarding urban mobility issues is essential to understand and respond to their expectations and real needs. By giving citizens the opportunity to influence public decisions on urban mobility, the quality of the policies being developed can be improved, making the provided solutions more relevant, effective and efficient.

Public engagement is a key requirement of sustainable urban mobility transformation. To involve citizens individually or in the form of civil society organisations ensures transparency and gives them the opportunity to become true agents of change.

Engaging citizens is especially important during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, as effectiveness of the response efforts became crucial.

As already stressed in the Citizen Engagement Call launched by EIT Urban Mobility in March 2020, developing solutions with and for citizens is the key to delivering real change. Successful stakeholder engagement will increase the ability to create, experiment, demonstrate, scale and deploy. Citizen engagement is therefore a priority for EIT Urban Mobility and this webinar will bring food for thought and contribute to the discussions on the topic.

We will get insights from four speakers coming from industry, education/research, a cities and from an association directly representing citizens.

OUR SPEAKERS

Frank Hansen
BMW Group Corporate Strategy – Sustainability, Mobility

Robert Braun Senior Researcher, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria

Dr. Burcu Özdemir Smart City Director, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Evelien Marlier
Project Manager, European Passengers’ Federation

Two of the speakers are involved in one of the projects selected under the last EIT Urban Mobility Citizen Engagement Call.

Presentations and recordings of Mobility Talks #6

Watch the session now!