Citython Lublin Re-imagines Sustainable Urban Mobility
After three successful editions, Citython 2021 brought the fourth and final edition of its annual event to Lublin (Poland) on 22-28 October. A virtual mobility hackathon focused on creating a recreational and natural network to increase access to green areas, designing a green bypass to connect pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and a transport multimodal interchange point, which gathered participants with expertise in urban planning, engineering, data science and business creation from all around Europe split into teams that competed against each other to drive innovation to address the key challenges facing the City of Lublin.
Funded by the EIT Urban Mobility, a European initiative to improve mobility to make cities more liveable places supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and fully organized online due to the pandemic by CARNET (coordinated by CIT UPC) in partnership with the City of Lublin, Citython Lublin was launched on 14 October in a public ceremony to introduce the agenda, challenges, and welcome participants.
“The reason why we are here is the European cities and citizens are facing many challenges, and in the near future we will have to reinvent how to move in our cities“, said Traian Urban, Director of Innovation at Hub East EIT Urban Mobility. “Based on our experience, we can say that the current model of urban mobility is not anymore sustainable and requires some changes. And of course, technology and innovation will help us to find new ways.“
During the announcement of the challenges, Mariusz Sagan, Ph. D., Director of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department at the Lublin Municipality, said: “We are trying to keep the balance between the economic development and the environment, and we see that mobility is affecting every aspect of the city life. Lublin is presented as a green city. We won the title of the greenest city in Poland, and we want to find new solutions to still beyond this sustainable path of growth.”
Elisa Sayrol, Associate Professor, UPC-Academic Director for EIT Urban Mobility, also attended the kick-off event, and the webinar finalized with two inspirational techpill talks by Marcin Skrzypek, Urban activist and member of the cultural space council in the City of Lublin, and Dr. Eva Vidal, Social Innovation Specialist. Strategy and Smart City Office, City of Lublin.
The hackathon days started on 20 October and covered four days of hard work, with participants working on their best solutions in a virtual environment. Throughout the event, expert mentors such as Dr. Jan Kaminski, Department of Landscape Planning and Design, KUL, Honorata Grzesikowska, Urban designer and architect, Director Guallart Architects, Joan Moreno Sanz, Tenure-eligible lecturer of the Serra Húnter Programme at the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning, DUOT-UPC, and Marcin Skrzypek, Urban activist and member of the cultural space council in the City of Lublin, were available to support and challenge the teams on their ideas (22 and 26 October).
Participating teams developed their proposals until 27 October, and submitted their ideas the day after. A panel of judges composed of Bence Huba, RIS Manager at EIT Urban Mobility, Dr. Jan Kaminski, Department of Landscape Planning and Design, KUL, Ewelina Frelas-Tyczynska, Social Innovation Specialist. Strategy and Smart City Office, City of Lublin, Elisa Sayrol, and Dr. Laia Pagés, Executive and Scientific Manager at CARNET, evaluated the quality and feasibility of the submissions and decided the winners of the hackathon.
The winning teams for the proposed challenges are:
Winning team 1 – Challenge 1 | Team Lovin’Lublun (Mariia Kotova, Deeksha Singh Vijay Singh, Qasem Saif, Richard Dean Morales, Jen Kim)
Solution: Lovin’ Lublin is a solution is a comprehensive proposal including design and policy changes intended to ensure material comfort and safety of pedestrians and bikers while also increasing the appeal of the space for increased use by improving the accessibility and connectivity of the Green Connection.
Innovation: Introducing new parking strategies, aiming not only at physical comfort – but changing habits of citizens. Innovative interactive wayfinding displays & wifi points. Smart city display that is backed up by solar power and is more attractive than the typical map post.
Winning team – Challenge 2 | Team Northlichter (Ervis Gjiknori, Andreas Kiziridis and Vincent Wilm)
Solution: On the solution we propose, we utilized telematics probe big data from moving vehicles across the city of Lublin and road characteristics data from OpenStreetMap in order to build a green road network that will connect 10 major amenities (attractions/universities/parks) to the city center based on the level of the CO² emissions and the hazardous events on the different road segments.
Innovation: The main innovation is the combination of real-world telematics and open data that were used for the training of machine learning algorithms in order to build a new greener infrastructure. The fact that we had access to big probe data from moving vehicles around which in general have a significant cost to acquire and we managed to identify patterns based on the model we trained is something that the city could take advantage of.
Winning team – Challenge 3 | 15Lublin (Henry Acosta, Mounzer Awad, Katarzyna Sowinska)
Solution: This team had the idea of building a mobile application that will target that audience and make commutes for this group of people much more convenient and comfortable. The app collects data from various open sources (ex. Open Source Map, Airly). The app conducts a survey to the users collecting as much information as possible for their profile so that it can cater to their needs, offering the users the most comfortable and convenient route to their desired location.
Innovation: This is an all-in-one app that considers every aspect when it comes to a user’s routing (buses, trolleys, bikes, scooters). The main innovation of the solution we are proposing is the way the app caters to routes for its users based on the data it collects by the users. Secondly, our app gathers key data on mobility patterns in Lublin which is our greatest asset when it comes to our financial model.
The ultimate winners of each challenge shared 1,500 € in prizes plus the opportunity for their winning solutions to be featured at the Smart City Expo World Congress to be held in Barcelona on 16-16 November 2021.
More information about the project: https://www.citython.eu/