PRIAevents hosted and organized PRIA Urban Innovation Conference, on May 24th in Cluj-Napoca – a unique platform for in-depth discussions between government officials, local stakeholders, business representatives and community leaders. They highlighted the research and the projects that are helping to build more resilient, sustainable, and healthy urban communities. PRIA Urban Innovation Conference took place in Cluj-Napoca, a city in continuous development, at Grand Hotel Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Viena ballroom.
The event was focused on the top points of our urban innovation- mobility, energy, technology and infrastructure. Urban areas are growing and changing each year so we need to be ready to embrace the future as we grow and change. Therefore, the debates reflected the true meaning of what it takes to develop strong cities for the future. Also, we highlighted points that will lead to successful urban activities and we provided opportunities to build collaborative partnerships, explored emerging urban issues, discovered innovative technology for urban development.
Innovative technologies provide enormous opportunities to improve the effectiveness of business and social life of a city, therefore, there’s a big shift coming in the Smart City movement.
How we will reshape our cities and create economic opportunities for decades to come? The innovative technology, green energy and bicycle and electric car infrastructure are definitely the answers.
Sustainable urban mobility means the design and planning of urban infrastructure, focusing on environmental protection, reducing consumption of conventional energy, reducing pollution and promoting renewable green energy, reducing the costs of the cities and companies. In this context, projects must relate to cycling and alternative transport must correlate with urban planning, education, public health and environmental policies.
The only study for bicycle use conducted in Bucharest was in 2009, and it refers to the percentage of journeys made by bicycle of all journeys made in urban areas. According to the figures provided by the study done on a sample of 400 respondents, under 5% of all urban trips in the capital was done by bicycle.
The number of biking trips does not reflect the number of bikes available in Bucharest. It is known that many of those who have a bicycle, are not using it in the city, due to lack of infrastructure and safety.
In the major cities of Romania, a few tens of kilometers of bicycle paths are found, at least on paper. Many paths, however, are almost unusable and they endanger cyclists, according to the President of the Cycling Federation of Romania, Radu Mititean.
160 km of bike lanes in Bucharest from which 26 km are in operation, 5km – in Constanta and Mamaia, 10 km- in Cluj-Napoca, approx. 20 km – in Craiova, 30 km – Brasov, approx. 35 km – in Timişoara, 46 km – in Iasi, 70 km – Sibiu. That would show, according to authorities, the balance of the cycle lanes in cities that they manage.
Even if the numbers are not large, the reality on the ground is even sadder, according to the President of the Cycling Federation of Romania, who said he was disappointed by the quality of lanes and outraged by the excessive numbers reported by authorities.
Urban planning is crucial to the redevelopment of a modern and adapting city. Cycling can create a greater sense of space while contributing to the intermodal transport systems (ex. Bike + train). We must use these tools correctly to support developments that could make our cities more oriented towards to the needs of the inhabitants.
Shifting the urban mobility from motorized transport to cycling and alternative transport methods such as electric vehicles, trams and trains, helps to combat climate change and local pollution while improving air quality in our cities. This has been proven in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, cities with cycle-friendly policies which have reduced their environmental footprint and the quality of life of their inhabitants.
Hydroelectric power for cities. Hydropower uses a fuel—water—that is not reduced or used up in the process – the water cycle is an endless, constantly recharging system, hydropower is considered a renewable energy.
The idea of leveraging technology to help cities run better is far from a new concept. Worldwide many innovative city leaders have taken steps to use technology – from environmental sensors that measure air quality, to vibration sensors that measure road and bridge safety, to parking sensors that identify available parking spots, we have begun to digitize our cities in steps.
Mobility is one of the most important challenges for our cities. Hydro and green energy improves our lives and also reduces pollution and costs for businesses and households.
Early adoption in Europe of the Electric Vehicles (EV) took off in 2013 and seems set for further expansion in 2017. Currently, the uptake appears to be restricted to specific customer segments in selected countries in Europe. High costs, range anxiety, and low awareness are the most often cited barriers to EV adoption by the broader customer pool. Nevertheless, there is a sizable segment of early adopters who are willing to switch to EVs in spite of these barriers. Although many factors such as design, brand, and performance are all important consumer considerations, three key motives for early EV adoption
High costs, range anxiety, and low awareness are the most often cited barriers to EV adoption by the broader customer pool. Nevertheless, there is a sizable segment of early adopters who are willing to switch to EVs in spite of these barriers. Although many factors such as design, brand, and performance are all important consumer considerations, three key motives for early EV adoption
Although many factors such as design, brand, and performance are all important consumer considerations, three key motives for early EV adoption emerge:
• Carbon footprint reduction. The desire to reduce their carbon footprint is a motivator for environmentally conscious consumers to buy EVs. Some are even willing to pay a premium for the zero- or low-emission alternatives to ICE. For example, 29% of Norwegian EV buyers cite “environment” as their primary reason for purchase
• Driving and usage benefits. Additional benefits are afforded to drivers of EVs by many governments and cities in an effort to stimulate EV sales. These benefits may include preferential parking permits in dense urban areas or the ability to drive in bus and taxi lanes and save considerable time during rush hours.
The deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and the fraction of vehicle miles traveled that are fueled by electricity (eVMT) depend critically on charging infrastructure. PEV charging is fundamentally different from the well-developed infrastructure for gasoline fueling. It can be found in a variety of locations, from a PEV owner’s home to a workplace to parking lots of restaurants, malls, and airports.
To widely accept the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs), consumers and fleets need access to charging stations, also known as EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment). For most drivers, this starts with charging at home or at fleet facilities. Charging stations at workplaces and public destinations may also bolster the market acceptance. Community leaders can find out more about getting ready for plug-in vehicles from Clean Cities PEV vehicle community readiness projects.
All these are solutions that will make cities better places to live, work and play and in the same time, are the beginnings of initiatives that will start to allow economic development and quality of life improvement that will come.
A new type of urban infrastructure the emergence of the digital industrial age is coming available and city leaders that will embrace it stand to be the ones that win in the urban innovation era.
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Emil BOCCluj Napoca City Mayor
Nicholas DE ROUMANIE
Pascal Van den NOORTMobility Expert
Paul DECUSEARĂȘef Serviciu Dezvoltare, ENGIE
Nicolae DORDEAManager Vanzari Clienti Business Nord, ENGIE
Carmen NEAGUCEO, Energobit
Maria METZDeputy CEO, NTT DATA
Marius MAIERManaging Partner, CMC Group Risk Advisor
Adrian Ciprian MIRONChief Inspector of Cluj County Police Department
Radu MITITEANExecutiv Director- Napoca Cycling Club/ President - Cyclists' Federation of Romania
Torok GERGELYTechnical Expert North-West Regional Development Agency
Grand Hotel Napoca, Cluj-Napoca
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