Mobility in the Future City

Published by:
Ewan Klein
May 18, 2016

SICSA Future Cities Workshop

Mobility in the Future City was a workshop within the SICSA Future Cities Challenge, organised on 4 May 2016 by Ewan Klein and Craig Macdonald.

Mobility in an urban context is no longer centred on cars. Both car use and ownership are decreasing, while walking, cycling, public transport and shared transport are coming to the forefront. At the same time, mobility services are increasingly bound up with ICT developments, such as real time information delivered via smartphones and mobility monitoring via IoT sensors. Reasons for travel are also changing, as the Internet impacts on both work and shopping. Despite these changes, congestion, accidents, air pollution and traffic-related carbon emissions remain significant problems. This workshop will focus on developing a holistic view of urban mobility that is both smart and sustainable.


SICSA Future Cities Challenge

Within the ‘Smart City’ agenda, development and investment are racing on at breakneck speed, leading to new infrastructures, applications and forms of management, industry and citizenship, but also creating problems of scale, choice, interoperability, openness, security and inclusivity. There is an ever-increasing set of databases, apps and infrastructures that people can choose from, use and extend – including the centralised systems of urban authorities and national government. The priority of SICSA Future Cities Challenge is to shift the focus away from a research view narrowly focused on academic computer science to one that is firmly embedded in a cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral perspective on emerging future cities.

Aim of the workshop

The aim of the workshop was to bring together different communities: researchers, policy makers, service providers and practitioners with relevant experience in mobility. We hoped that the workshop would help define a problem-centred research agenda that integrates the potential contribution of computer science to developing better mobility infrastructure in future cities.

Workshop Format

The workshop started with scene-setting presentations from experts that represent key aspects of urban mobility. This was followed by non-technical overviews of selected computer science approaches to the topic.

The rest of the workshop involved small groups of participants working together as multi-disciplinary teams to discover, define and develop ideas that can contribute to the research roadmap.


09:00-09:30 Registration and coffee

09:30-09:45 Welcome & Aims

09:45-10:30 Lightning Presentations:

  • George Lowder (Transport for Edinburgh): The Transport for Edinburgh Vision
  • Tom Rye (Napier University, Transport Research Institute): Organisational and governance challenges to improving urban mobility
  • Kenny Wiggins (driven2deliver): Mobility as a Service
  • Gordon McGregor (Spot Sensor Technologies): Clean Energy, Sustainable Transport and New Infrastructure – Helping Avoid Damaging Emissions in our Cities

10:30-10:45 Coffee

10:45-11:30 Lightning Presentations:

  • Simon Chapple (Datalytics Techology/UoE): IoT and LoRaWAN Infrastructure
  • Daniel Reijsbergen (School of Informatics, UoE): Probabilistic models for urban transportation systems
  • Michael Rovatsos (School of Informatics): No passenger left behind? Smart urban transportation between aggregation and personalisation.

11:30-12:15 Unconference-style idea generation and team formation

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-15:00 Idea hacking

15:00-15:30 Coffee

15:30-16:15 Team presentations

16:15-16:30 Wrap-up

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