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Smart Cities and the paradigm shift in urban mobility

Smart cities are at the center of a paradigm shift in urban mobility, which changes from a single mode of transport to multimodal options, aided by technological developments and improvements in infrastructure. Smart cities are ideal for adopting this new multimodal approach to urban transport.

Smart cities can provide the right platform for combining different modes of transport via the use of initiatives such as smart apps (such as Helsinki’ s MaaS Global, which combines public transport with options from participating private trips), which addresses the “last-mile problem’ of getting from home to the bus/rail/metro stop and back, a major issue in large cities.

Of course, in order for advances transport adds to succeed, support and commitment from the city itself is required, such as creating testbed areas to test and pilot the concepts, combining smart parking efforts and providing accurate real-time traffic information.

The new multimodal approach to urban transport can work both in the case of existing cities seeking to transform themselves into smart cities, as well as in the case of new smart cities build from scratch. As expected, however, it can be easier to implement in the latter case, as older cities tended to create transport hubs based on population centricity, which tends to neglect “last-mile’ journeys, instead of taking into account travel patterns, which result in more inclusive urban transport.

Either way, whether as smart cities evolve and develop, we can expect to see the integration of electric, connected, and automated transportation systems in public transport in the future.

The original article can be found in Intelligent Transport.