12-13 June 2017. Cities-4-People kicks off in Amsterdam at the premises of Waag Society.
The inaugural meeting of Cities-4-People took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the beautiful building of Waag Society, which since 1691 used to be, among others, the Theatrum Anatomicum (anatomic theatre) or a place where dissections could be performed in front of spectators.
The meeting was the occasion for the 13 project partners to discuss in person and together with the EU officer Ms. Octavia Stepan the expectations for the project, the dreams and fears for its implementation. Each partner presented the respective tasks and explained how they will contribute to the achievement of the project goals within the following 36 months and possibly make the project sustainable even after its end.
Partners from the five pilot areas – that is the Oxfordshire County Council, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (District of Altona), Üsküdar Municipality, the Municipality of the city of Budapest and e-Trikala – introduced some of the challenges that characterise their cities: congestion, air pollution, dysfunctional transportation nodes, absence of pedestrian areas and public spaces for citizen aggregation, excessive car traffic, unsustainable mobility habits. These are some of the challenges we want to address, but not before opening up to local communities to investigate the problems they face in their daily city life in accordance with the chose people-oriented transport and mobility (POTM) approach.
This is why during the first six months of the project, warm-up events will be organised to involve relevant stakeholders in the pilot areas, making them aware of the project and setting in motion the establishment of Citizen Mobility Communities.
All in all, the coming together of a consortium made of universities, research institutes, transport authorities, technical experts and municipalities reinforced our belief in the advantages of a multi-disciplinary perspective to devise “New approaches for community-driven sustainable mobility innovations at neighbourhood and urban district level”, as the full title of our project goes.
To get inspired, we had a tour in the Buiksloterham in Northern part of Amsterdam, where active citizens build their own houses following the principles of the circular economy. If you happen to be in the city, take the ferry and go have a look! You’ll be out of the touristic circuit and may be able to find ideas to increase the sustainability, if not of your city, at least of your household and your own mobility habits. And, in any case, follow the developments of Cities-4-People and let us spark your enthusiasm.