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Traffic Health Environment. Intelligent Solutions for Sustaining Urban Economies (THE ISSUE)

THE  ISSUE Project is a three year project funded through the European  Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme “Regions of Knowledge”. The  Project started on 1 December 2011 and will finish on 30 November 2014.

The  Project involves 13 European partners from four regional research  clusters including the East Midlands Region in the United Kingdom, the  Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine Regions in France, the Molise Region in  Italy and the Mazovia Region in Poland. Each regional cluster includes  representatives from universities/research institutions, business, and  regional/local government.

THE  ISSUE Project aims to identify innovative solutions from leading  research centres in France, Italy, Poland and the East Midlands to  reduce traffic congestion and emissions, improve air quality and journey  times, promote modal shift towards public transport and support the  achievement of sustainable urban economies in cities and towns in  Europe.

The  Project is bringing scientists, engineers, development agencies and  those bodies responsible for managing traffic, transport and air quality  from four European regional clusters to work together for the first  time, using advanced space and information technologies, to develop the  most effective methods of easing urban congestion and improving the  impact of transport on the local economy, urban environment, climate  change and the health of citizens.

Project THE ISSUE has a number of specific economic and scientific/technological objectives.

Economic Objectives

Utilise Intelligent Traffic Management to boost the competitiveness of transport-related economies at urban, regional and local levels
THE ISSUE aims to promote uptake of new technologies from concurrent RTD programmes - especially space and broadband technologies and advanced computational techniques - to existing transport management systems to deliver better management of existing transport infrastructure across the EU.

Identify market opportunities for mature RTD applications and develop action plans for commercial implementation
Examples include: exploiting the use of mobile phone and Galileo/GPS technology linked to existing traffic management systems for personal real-time public transport journey planners and location and guidance information in real-time for emergency services.

Deliver innovative solutions to traffic management operations
Economic benefits will accrue to regional authorities through improved transport efficiency. Examples include optimising performance of existing traffic management systems to relieve traffic congestion and reduce journey times.

Deliver innovative solutions to reduce traffic emissions and improve air quality locally
Local and regional authorities are mandated to improve air quality locally within nationally defined targets. The UK Government's 2007 Air Quality Strategy estimates that up to 24,000 people in the UK die prematurely as a result of short term exposure to air pollution and many more people suffer often debilitating ill health. Economic benefits will be realized by reducing traffic induced contributions to air pollution so reducing these incidences of death and illness.

Scientific and Technological Objectives

Coordinate RTD actions between regions
The generic scientific objective for THE ISSUE is the application of intelligent traffic management systems in regional transport, health and environmental matters. A prime example is the successful demonstration of a Diverse Active Traffic Control System for managing urban traffic congestion and its associated pollution in the Nissan SKY project in Kanagawa, Yokahama. The main findings from a year long trial demonstrated a 20% reduction in travel time and an estimated 17% reduction of CO2 emissions from vehicles using the system.

Identify the development path for widespread uptake of Intelligent Traffic Management
Applications for urban traffic management are being developed in Leicester; applications for emergency services are underway in Midi Pyrénées. The objective is to stimulate uptake of these technologies across more regions, in Europe and worldwide.

Achieve modal shift towards public transport to reduce urban congestion and shorten journey times
The MOBIVILLE project in Toulouse proposes is set up to encourage modal shift towards public transport and facilitate urban travel using a dynamic guidance system 'door to door'. Involving innovation using satellite localisation integrated with public transport, this project is developing a service which will guide the user using GPS/EGNOS data integrated into mobile phone displays.

Study of applications of road charging in other European urban traffic systems
Studies are underway in Mazovia to investigate the economic, technical and social implications of introducing road charging in Warsaw, by drawing down on experiences in London and Stockholm.

To transfer Computer Intelligence technology to operational users
Application of computer intelligence techniques to road based logistics offers routes to identify, model and forecast consumer movement in large transport hubs. This includes airports, train and bus stations.

To provide regional planners with comprehensive databases of transport infrastructures to support their regional strategic planning
In Regione Molise the cluster works within the framework of land management, transport planning and earth observation and monitoring to enable decision makers to optimize public transport services according to current and potential demand.

To introduce active air pollution monitoring and mitigation into regional transport and environmental strategies
Despite EU legislation to reduce emissions of key anthropogenic air pollutants (e.g. NECD, 2001), levels in many areas of Europe remain unacceptably high. Traffic induced pollution is a major factor. Research in this topic, that will stimulate coordination actions, is underway in the East Midlands and Midi Pyrénées.

The main outputs of the Project will be:

1. A  Joint Action Plan (JAP) that identifies priority areas for future  cooperation and collaboration in advancing research and delivering technologies that address real economic and strategic needs and  priorities in the 4 regional clusters in areas such as:

a. Intelligent Transport Systems
b. Transport impacts on urban mobility and air quality
c. Transport greening
d. Safety and security of citizens
e. Associated economic, health and environmental impacts.

The  European Commission will use the key priority areas identified in the  JAP to inform future calls for sustainable transport projects in its  2014 to 2020 Budget Programmes.

2. The  exploitation of commercial opportunities arising from the advanced space  and information technologies developed within the Consortium’s research  institutions.

3. The preparation of a number of  pre-project feasibility studies that deliver practical solutions to  address identified priorities in the JAP, which are also closely aligned  with European Commission’s future priorities.

4. The  submission of proposals for funding through the EU’s 2014 to 2020  Budget Programme, including the €80 billion Horizon 2020 programme,  based on the pre-project feasibility studies developed through THE  ISSUE.

5. Recommendations for improvements in the  preparation of future strategic plans, policies and programmes for  transport, economic development and the environment (air quality, carbon  reduction).

6. The exchange of knowledge and  expertise in sustainable traffic solutions between academic, business  and public sector partners within and across the 5 European regions.

7. The  establishment of a Special Interest Group to ensure continuity after  the Project to provide a forum for the cluster network and deliver the  JAP.

Authors: Monica Meini, Rossella Nocera, Gherardo Chirici, Bruno Lasserre, Marco Marchetti

Authors: Monica Meini, Rossella Nocera, Bruno Lasserre, Gherardo Chirici, Marco Marchetti

+39 0874 404 803
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Laboratorio MoRGaNA - Università degli Studi del Molise
via Duca degli Abruzzi, snc
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