Newsletter n°3: April 2015

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Please find here the downloadable version of the third issue of the OPTICITIES Newsletter : OPTICITIES newsletter n°3

OPTICITIES contributes its knowledge to the work of the Smart Cities Action Clusters (, particularly those focused on Sustainable Urban Mobility and Integrated Urban Infrastructure. At the Brussels meetings organised this February, our project presented its developments so far, exchanging with cities, businesses and European institutions on local mobility challenges and how ITS, open data and integrated smart infrastructure can provide solutions for urban congestion. We will continue our partnership with this EU initiative by further engaging mobility stakeholders at the EIP General Assembly, organised as part of the Metropolitan Solutions conference taking place in May in Berlin.

As we believe in peer-to-peer learning, we welcome the input of all urban stakeholders via our upcoming Stakeholder Forum. This virtual exchange platform’s first physical meeting will open the ITS World Congress
in Bordeaux on the 5th of October 2015. We hope many of you will join us there. Alternatively, you can opt to participate in one of the study visits we will be organising in some of our partner cities. Or join one of our online seminars starting in the autumn. In the meantime, we wis h you a pleasant read.


ITS and smart public transport can significantly improve city environments, especially with the help of smart citizens. While urban mobility apps are becoming ubiquitous, truly multimodal navigators are still a rarity in the EU, as the European Commission and other urban mobility stakeholders noted at the Sustainable Urban Mobility Workshops organised this end March. OPTICITIES partners are involving the local community in their work towards greener and free-flowing cities by opening up their mobility data and creating multimodal urban navigators.

For example, two companies will be demonstrating how the city’s open dataset can better serve the residents of Grand Lyon. They both aim to have more than just public transport on offer, introducing shared bikes, carpooling and even private cars into the users’ mobility mix! This has been made possible by the project’s extension of mobility standards to dynamic data and virtually all modes. Moreover, since OPTICITIES partner cities use the same data and portal architecture standards, any of these navigators could then be exported to say Madrid or Torino, thus improving the business case for developers, providing better services and lowering costs through competition.
Furthermore, the complete information that the users receive even en route can encourage them to switch to greener transport modes; for cities like Torino, where the 53% of the modal split is currently represented by cars, these sustainable mobility choices can make a big difference.

All of these developments will be real-life tested from the second half of this year and preliminary results will be highlighted at the first OPTICITIES tutorial session opening the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux. We hope to see many of you there!


What if congestion could be foreseen and measures taken in advance could make accidents and CO2 emissions avoidable? Within the OPTICITIES consortium, the Greater Birmingham Authority and Grand Lyon have been working on a tool that could do just that. Integrated into local ITS strategies, it uses historical trends and real time mobility data to simulate future road congestion levels and alert operators of possible traffic bottlenecks. The tool also allows for the generation of scenarios, demonstrating the effects of various mitigation measures. For example, traffic managers can visualise the ideal duration and distribution of red lights at peak hour with a congestion reduction potential of 20%. In the longer term, fully automated mitigation strategies could be implemented to reduce journey times and minimise environmental impact. Work on the tool has been advancing and a first test is to commence in October in Birmingham.


With 5 million daily passengers carried by more than 40 operators, the main mobility challenge faced by the city of Madrid is the complexity of its multi-modal transport system. The situation is further complicated by the split between modes managed by the local transport authority (public transport) and modes governed by the city council (cars and bicycles). In order to improve operator responsiveness and passenger services in case of accident or over-congestion, the two authorities have decided to integrate traffic information in a single tool.

OPTICITIES is going to support this integration through the implementation of a graphical incident management tool. Featuring an early-warning system and a decision support module, this tool will allow for faster emergency reactions by cross-checking information, coordinating response among the two public authorities and informing passengers of any route or schedule changes. The data on which the incident management tool relies is also collected in a standard format through an integrated system developed by OPTICITIES.



OPTICITIES partners have been sharing their knowledge and experience with urban mobility stakeholders across the EU by taking part in these events:

  • Planning tomorrow’s smart city: turning plans into reality, Brussels (22 January)
  • ATEC ITS, Paris (27-28 January)
  • EIP Action Cluster: Sustainable Urban Mobility, Brussels (13 February)
  • Sharing experiences with local open data, Birmingham (5 March)
  • 2015 Procurement week: Smart Cities day, Cardiff (18 March)
  • Sustainable Urban Mobility Workshops, Brussels (23-24 March)
  • EUROCITIES Mobility Forum, Sofia (13-15 April)
  • Transport Systems Telematics, Wroclaw (15-17 April)

If you have not had the opportunity to meet us yet, catch us at one
of these upcoming conferences:

  • Metropolitan Solutions, Berlin (21 May)
  • Smile in the city, Milan (8-10 June)
  • ITS World Congress, Bordeaux (5-9 October)

Starting in the autumn, we will also organise visits to our six partner cities, where we will be discussing local challenges and the OPTICITIES solutions. Moreover, our experts will be organising webinars on themes such as open ITS data, multimodal navigators and optimised urban freight for online learning enthusiasts taking part in our Stakeholder Forum.