SMART cycling to meet the Green Deal target

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Tue 13, October 2020
12:30 - 13:00 CET
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Worldwide, cycling is considered a game-changer for green transport and mobility. However, there has been an information gap with regard to active mobility such as cycling and walking compared to motorised and public transport because data collection is not regulated or monetised through ticket sales, fuel purchases or vehicle registrations. A new alignment of partners is working together via the Bicycles and Intelligent Transport Systems (BITS) Project and Cycling Industries Europe across multiple sources and platforms to provide a new basis for cycling data to use for all aspects of intelligent transport systems (ITS). A main goal is to increase bicycle use (+10%) and thereby reduce CO2 emissions (-9%). Furthermore, anonymous bicycle data will be analysed and exchanged  aiming to improve the attractiveness, safety, comfort and convenience of cycling through the use of ITS systems.

In this session we will have Irene McAleese, Co-founder & CSO of See.Sense as speaker from an important innovative company contributing with digital solutions and Syb Tjepkema, Senior Policy Advisor from the City of Zwolle (a top level cycling city/region in the Netherlands) showing the scale and scope for smart and connected cycling, and Victoire Champenois from the European Commission - Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) highlighting the EC's ambitions for digital services under the EU Green Deal. 
We will demonstrate how smart applications are stimulating cycling and helping to reduce emissions. The session will also have a Q&A session at the end.

Kevin Mayne, Chief Executive Officer, Cycling Industries Europe, Belgium.
Victoire Champenois, Unit B/4 - Sustainable and Intelligent Transport, Policy Officer, European Commission, Belgium.
Irene McAleese, Co-founder & CSO, See.Sense, United Kingdom.
Syb Tjepkema, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Zwolle, Netherlands.
EURegions talk
Cohesion and Cooperation
Cycling Industries Europe
English (EN)

Session summary

The discussion aimed to show how the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) could improve the attractiveness, safety, comfort and convenience of cycling.

Syb Tjepkema (City of Zwolle) provided an insight to the various bike policies since the 1970s in Zwolle. These policies contributed to build a large bike network which enabled a modality shift. On top of the several cycling-related innovations, the on-going BITS project is showing the importance of data to increase bike use.

Irene McAleese (See.Sense) gave a company-side perspective, arguing that innovative technologies gathering data allowed cities to better manage their bike networks. She noticed that the green tech sector started to take these innovations in cycling very seriously.

Victoire Champenois (DG MOVE) outlined the legal framework and the financial opportunities for the cycling sector. Out of the Recovery and Resiliency Facility of 672,5 billion euros, 37% of the funding should go to climate action and 20% to digital.

Take away message

During Covid-19 pandemic, we saw quick changes in streets and cities around Europe. Many decision-makers are realising that cycling can be the fast track solution for a sustainable recovery. Thanks to smart technologies, cycling is contributing to make our cities greener and reach the EU Green Deal goals. It is now up to the EU Member States to draw up their plans and decide upon the investments. The resources and the benefits are clear: we now need the political will.

Syb Tjepkema (City of Zwolle): “The BITS project aims at being the frontrunner for a long-term EU roadmap on cycling and ITS. By implementing pilots in the North Sea Region, we are pursuing the objective of making cycling safer and more attractive for citizens”.

Irene McAleese (See.Sense): “It’s wonderful to see this momentum on cycling also from a business point of view. The smart cycling agenda gives the opportunity for innovative start-ups and SMEs to create digital products that contribute to more and safer cycling”.

Victoire Champenois (DG MOVE): “The BITS project is perfectly in line with the EU Commission’s objective of modal shift towards a more sustainable transport through the use of digital tools. This has become more and ore relevant especially in the context of a green recovery”.

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