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Open data crucial to sustainable urban mobility

Charlotte S Charlotte Fernández UKIMEA Press Office,Leeds
18 June 2014

Sustainable urban mobility and future economic growth will require greater use of open data platforms, according to a new report by Arup, Schneider Electric and The Climate Group.

The new ‘Urban Mobility in the Smart City Age’ report considers the opportunities available for cities to improve the operational efficiency and traveller experience of their transport systems, while generating new economic value.

It is estimated that $720 to $920 billion could be generated across the globe every year by utilising open data to develop new digital transport applications – potentially giving a significant boost to the digital economy.

Cities are first and foremost made up of people. Any smart city's goal is to address the needs of its citizens with efficient, safe and sustainable mobility serving as a cornerstone of that transformation. Technology will serve as a key enabler for smart mobility to meet growing demands and improve service for those who live in, work in and visit a city.

- — Charbel Aoun, Senior Vice President Smart Cities, Schneider Electric

With the continually increasing number of people living in cities, city authorities are facing significant challenges with regards to ensuring future levels of mobility. Smart technologies can help address some of the challenges of rapid urbanisation as cities can use the data to transform city operations and urban mobility to enhance economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

- — Lean Doody, Smart Cities Lead, Arup

Globally we are facing a number of challenges; urban populations are growing at a rapid rate with 3.5 billion people currently living in cities and current projections forecasting that this will almost double in thirty years . We need to accommodate a growing population whilst also reducing global emissions. Low carbon smart technologies implemented across a city’s transport infrastructure meet the challenge of reducing emissions whilst also building a prosperous economy. Smart cities not only make environmental sense, they also make economic sense. Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group

As well as highlighting the role open data plays in intelligent mobility systems within the urban environment, the report also addresses the challenges cities face in securing innovative finance, policy support, and citizen engagement.

The Urban Mobility in the Smart City Age report is the first paper in a series on the ‘cornerstones’ of a smart city; a series which looks how we can make our cities smarter and more sustainable to meet current and evolving challenges.