CIVITAS ECCENTRIC get-together at Urban Future Global Conference in Oslo

Urban Future Global Conference is an event for all the people who aim to make their city more sustainable. This year’s conference attracted 2500 city changers to Oslo to learn more about topics such as car-free city life, cutting carbon emissions and circular economy, among others. For CIVITAS ECCENTRIC the event proved to be an excellent opportunity to share the information on the new mobility solutions piloted in the cities of Turku, Madrid, Stockholm, Munich and Ruse. The conference was also packed with inspiring sessions on sustainable mobility, for example how they have been successfully electrifying mobility in Oslo.

Despite its slightly remote location from the main venue, there were dozens of visitors to ECCENTRIC stand located at so called Green Business Village. ECCENTRIC brochures have been an excellent support in communicating the project’s results to audience in previous events and this time was no different. Unfortunately, the team underestimated the interest towards ECCENTRIC and ran out of brochures on the opening day. Nevertheless, the search tool for Mobility Solutions in CIVITAS website was equally interesting and even offered more precise information on measures. Urban freight logistics seemed to particularly intriguing to the visitors, such as the pilot in Stockholm about night-time deliveries using clean and silent vehicles.

Our UBC team also got promotional support from our ECCENTRIC partner, when Sergio Fernández Balaguer from EMT Madrid paid a visit to the stand. Mr. Balaguer later had a presentation on application called MaaS Madrid in a session incorporating also Finnish Whim, Norwegian Ruter, and two German MaaS solutions from well-known car manufactures. UBC team also got a chance to pose a few questions to Sergio, who is one of the most active partners in ECCENTRIC project.

Picture: ECCENTRIC get-together – Juha Pulmuranta from UBC and Sergio Fernández Balaguer from EMT Madrid

Interview with Mr. Sergio Fernández Balaguer

1. Tell us briefly who you are and who do you work for?

My name is Sergio Fernández Balaguer. I work for the Madrid Public Transport Company and I am in charge of the Research and Innovation Projects Department.

2. Is this your first time at Urban Future Global Conference and how has it been so far?

Yes, it has been my first time and I must admit that I have been very positively surprised. It has been very interesting with very good topics, speakers, and moderators. Truly inspiring.

3. Which session or topic are you most looking forward to?

Everything related to urban sustainable mobility, no matter the mean of transport. Also, as it is directly linked, urban planning topics are very interesting to me.

4. UBC and you employer EMT are both part of the project called CIVITAS ECCENTRIC, which has created new mobility solutions for example to the cities of Madrid and Turku. What do you think is the biggest advantage in this kind of large international project compared to purely local and national efforts?

The main advantage is having the European support for carrying out initiatives that may be controversial at local level. This additional support helps overcoming local barriers and provides some sort of warranty seal that makes people more receptive. The second big advantage is the exchange of knowledge among partners from many different locations and contexts, which helps also to open up mind-sets, and to learn from others, putting challenges in common and bringing solutions together.

 

Written by: Juha Pulmuranta