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Joint Symposium SmartHubs / MOVE21 - Bologna
Concepts and tools for designing multimodal hubs


On Wednesday, 29 March 2023, the joint SmartHubs and MOVE21 symposium took place in the beautiful auditorium of Sala Borsa in Bologna (Italy).


The event was organised by Eurocities, with the support of both the SmartHubs and MOVE21 projects, as well as the Metropolitan City of Bologna. During the whole morning, both teams exchanged knowledge on mobility hub research and practical implementations in European cities. Furthermore, SmartHubs results were disseminated to the practitioners within the MOVE21 project.

Introduction to the SmartHubs project by Karst Geurs (University of Twente)

Copyright: Lucian Zagan (Eurocities)

The morning started with a warm welcome by Simona Larghetti, the Mobility Councillor of Bologna, presenting the mobility challenges of Bologna and the opportunities that innovations such as mobility hubs bring about. Then, Tiina Ruohonen (City of Oslo, MOVE21 project coordinator) introduced the MOVE21 project, its action-oriented goals, and how these goals are translated into concrete action on the ground in the MOVE21 living lab and replicator cities. Karst Geurs (University of Twente, SmartHubs project coordinator) followed with an introduction of SmartHubs and its integration ladder concept. The plenary session was closed by Christoph Kirchberger (TU Wien), with an introduction to the SmartHubs Open Data Platform and its opportunities, asking all practitioners in the room to contribute to the mobility hub database. Lucian Zagan (Eurocities) moderated the session.

After a short break to get energised with a delicious Italian coffee, the group of almost sixty participants split up into breakout sessions. During these sessions, intensive discussions and hands-on applications of the SmartHubs tools took place. Diverse topics have been touched:

  • The team from the University of Münster managed a session dedicated to the governance framework of mobility hubs and how governance aspects influence the successful implementation of mobility hubs. The participants valued the interactive session, focusing on multi-level governance and integration challenges, and bringing into discussion concrete aspects from various European cities


Julia Hansel and Antonia Graf (WWU) presenting the governance workshop

Copyright: Lucian Zagan (Eurocities)

  • During another breakout session, the AR version of the co-design tool was showcased by the TU Wien team. The game, making use of AR technology, is still in a proof-of-concept stage, but prospects are very promising in terms of encouraging participation in mobility projects. The debate between participants raised interesting issues that could further improve the tool.

  • The SmartHubs accessibility tool was presented by the team from TUM Munich. The tool shows, for a specified location of a hub, which activities can be reached. Since the tool is still in development, feedback from the participants was highly appreciated. This ranged from adding concrete data from cities to considering the accessibility of various social groups.

  • The multi-actor multi-criteria analysis (MAMCA) tool is part of the SmartHubs appraisal tool and it was presented by researchers of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The exercise involved role-playing of different stakeholders in order to weigh the criteria for evaluating the design of a new mobility hub in Brussels. The tool was appreciated by the participants as a way of considering the perspective of different stakeholders in decision making.

Back to the plenary setting, city representatives from MOVE21 took turns in offering feedback on the SmartHubs tools and their potential use. Then, the breakout session organisers summarised the main takeaways of their sessions.

The formal part of the programme closed with a poster session where the SmartHubs team presented different outputs to the audience. After a great lunch, the participants of both projects went their own ways: the MOVE21 partners with a high-speed train to Rome and the SmartHubs partners off to Rimini!

More information on the MOVE21 project can be found on their website!

You can download the overall slide collections here.

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