The FlexCurb Project Continues its Progress in 2023 with New Developments and a Pilot in Strasbourg
Despite the efforts to promote sustainable transportation systems, cities are still facing challenges related to the distribution of public street space to different uses. For example, double parking caused by delivery vehicles is one of the main negative impacts of the outburst in last-mile deliveries. This not only impacts private vehicles but also has a large impact on vital roads, generating conflicts with pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, and emergency vehicles. In addition, data on curbside (e.g., parking, loading zones) is considerably unstructured and insufficient to take proper decisions.
Therefore, there is a need for innovative measures to help cities reduce congestion and trips, achieve sustainable mobility goals, improve delivery efficiency, and potentially increase revenues. Last year a consortium of European partners began the FlexCurb project, which aims to overcome all these challenges through a series of tools used by drivers and public administration.
Thanks to the success of 2022, the project recently kicked off its 2023 edition. The entire consortium, formed by CARNET, CTAG, Eurometropole Strasbourg, Urban Radar and FIT Consulting Srl., had the opportunity to discuss the continuation of the project to reduce congestion, improve delivery efficiency, anticipate new technologies, and potentially increase revenues to make European cities more sustainable, efficient, and liveable.
The project’s main focus during 2023 will be to further validate the solution in real-life environments and adapt the existing technology to the particular case of the pilot city of Strasbourg, France. In addition to the technology tested during 2022, the consortium will also design and validate the Connected Vehicles extension for the FlexCurb Planning platform. This will reveal historical patterns of curb use and inform actions to reduce occupancy rates, and illegal parking, redistribute curb spaces, and promote sustainable mobility and logistics.
On the other hand, the FlexCurb Driver App is being upgraded and apart from the new features, the main objective will be to help drivers inform about their operations by displaying the areas of the city with the most and least parking activity based on historical patterns at a given time. This feature will help to control the flow of vehicles, as many drivers will be able to evaluate whether it is convenient for them to drive their cars based on the parking activity mentioned.
These tests intend to keep enhancing the app and adapting it to the needs of users and councils. Looking back during 2022 the project achieved significant results in the development of innovative solutions for curbside management with the cities of Leuven, Strasbourg, Funchal and Toulouse. One of them was the creation of the concept of Shared-Use Mixed Zones (SUM Zones), which integrates parking management, urban vehicle access regulations, and freight management with flexible curbside management.
Another achievement was The FlexCurb Planning Platform, an interface where the public sector partners will be able to pilot dynamic traffic regulations to meet the demands of an ever-changing network. Underutilized spaces could be freed up for freight to mitigate congestion. Additionally, another accomplishment was the FlexCurb Driver App, developed to provide freight partners with route planning based on traffic regulations and feedback on network disruption and delivery locations to plan freight movements based on the location of loading/unloading areas.
By considering the needs of various stakeholders, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation, and freight services, the proposed solutions for curbside management, have the potential to revolutionize urban mobility because will promote a balanced and inclusive transportation ecosystem. This approach will reduce the environmental impact of conveyance, minimize vehicle emissions, and support the shift towards greener modes of transportation.
The project is co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.