The 2017 Annual Polis Conference took place in Brussels, last 6th and 7th of December. This is a yearly event organized by Polis, a network of European cities and regions working together to deploy innovative solutions for a more sustainable mobility. It’s focused on 4 main topics: environment and health in transport, mobility and traffic efficiency, transport safety and security and social and economic aspects of transport. These events provide an opportunity for cities and regions to share lessons learned and best practices on their transport strategies to a large audience.

 

Camila was chosen to participate in a Pecha Kucha session in the Travel Behavior panel. She gave the presentation called “Is time saving the real reason for car use? A time perception analysis in a suburban environment”, based on her previous research about travel time perception made for the GEMOTT research group in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. It’s about the importance that car drivers give to travel time when they want to justify their modal choice, compared with the real time they spend on their commuting trips. This is part of a study made in 2015 with a smartphone tracking app and data from the UAB mobility survey.

 

The rest of the panel shared campaigns and projects from their cities, and their evaluation. We heard stories from Bonn, Dresden, Bologne, Luxembourg, Enschede (the Netherlands), and a very thorough study from Barcelona citizens’ behavior presented by Martí Jofre from Creafutur.  From advertising campaigns from tippingpoints, to gamification strategies resulted from the Empower project in Bologne and Enschede (EU funded), including Multi-modality campaigns from the city administration in Dresden, every presentation had interesting insights to learn from when developing a travel behavior change strategy. It was clear that it’s the right time to take advantage of new technologies to involve users and foster modal shift, but it’s also evident that is not an easy task. Every collaboration and piece of information in order to do it better, matters. That’s why this session was so relevant, because it broadened our concept of behavior change towards urban mobility and it pushed us to explore and fusion learnings from different perspectives. These findings were key for Current Ecological’s work in 2018.

 

Besides Creafutur, Barcelona also was present through Nathalie Muller with IS Global, who presented their recently finished PASTA project about the health impacts of walking and cycling in cities. Along these lines, the FLOW project was also present showing their latest findings on how to include active means of transportation into city modelling. Other projects like TRACE, HEAT and programs like CIVITAS were there, along with members of cities administrations, private entities, NGOs and more. Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of Los Angeles Department of Transport, closed the event with a fascinating presentation on LA’s challenges and the ways to approach them in order to achieve a more human-level city, or as she put it, “a city where you see more grandmothers on skateboards and less cars”.

 

Glad and proud to having been part of this years’ event, where the topics were much up to date and relevant. Hoping to be there for next years’ edition!

Photos credit: Polis / Camila González