BABLE Smart Cities presented 'Smart Cities are resilient cities' at the MOBLAB CONGRESS. Read to know more about how cycling will be an important option for environmental change. 

The car still dominates, but a bicycle is an option that raises more and more interest – this is one of the conclusions that can be drawn from the results of the survey on urban mobility carried out by TOMI in several Portuguese cities. The results were known to last Tuesday, during the fourth edition of the Moblab Congress, which took place at the Museu do Carro Eléctrico, in Porto, in a hybrid format and which brought together more than a hundred participants.

Transport, technology, smart cities, investment and sustainability were the themes that marked this annual event dedicated to smart mobility, organized by IFE by ABILWAYS, with the support of the Porto City Council, and which included the survey on TOMI devices. In a total of 190 responses collected in various Portuguese locations (Lisbon, Algarve, Angra do Heroísmo, Figueira da Foz, Águeda, Bragança, Évora and Tábua), it was possible to draw some conclusions about urban mobility: the private car continues to be the dominant mode (87), followed by the metro/train (56) and the bicycle (33), in the third position and surpassing the bus. When asked what improvements respondents would like to see in their cities, smooth mobility stands out again, with the largest number of responses divided between “best bike lanes” (90) and “[more] frequency and public transport timetables”.

The “lack of public transport alternatives” is the main reason given by the participants for using a particular model and the bicycle appears as the second option of choice if it was not possible to opt for the car. The survey, whose results were presented by Sofia Neves during the meeting, also showed that, among the respondents, “environmental concern” is the main factor leading to a change in mobility, with 103 responses out of the 190 collected.

As part of mobility, the event also addressed the theme of cities, which marked the start and end of this congress. Starting with giving the stage to “who decides”, in the first panel, the event brought together municipal representatives around the theme “Local Governance: the great engine of mobility”. Cristina Pimentel, councillor for Transport at the Porto City Council (CM), Miguel Gaspar, councillor for Economy and Innovation, Mobility and Security at CM Lisbon, Marco Espinheira, head of Future at CM Cascais, and João Paulo Gouveia, councillor for Transport, CM Viseu's Mobility and Innovation were the featured guests.

At the end of the day, in the panel “Smart cities are resilient cities”, the opportunity was to learn about international experiences. In a session that featured the introduction of Ronaldo Valentim, from Bable, Italian Alessandro Drago shared the experience of managing mobility in the Italian capital during the pandemic. The official explained how, through the creation of a website in which all the data possible to collect at the time of the outbreak of the pandemic, it was possible to understand the new mobility patterns of the Romans and, thus, support decision-making in the vacancies of Covid-19 that followed.


In this year's Moblab Congress program, urban logistics, the future of mobility in cities, the impact of the pandemic and road and rail transport dominated the block dedicated to "transport networks". Recalling that the “path is towards zero emissions”, Elsa Cunha Serra, from ACP Autos, pointed out “the pressing problem: acting on the existing [car] fleet”. Aware of this, Francisco Ferreira, from the environmental association ZERO, underlined “transition” as the keyword and recalled that, despite the various existing challenges, such as the need to increase the number of charging stations or to decarbonize urban logistics, “there is no we have to cling to the combustion engine”. In the search for new, more sustainable solutions for mobility inside and outside cities, the official points out the necessary complementarity between the car and public transport. “There is a new reality that consumers will have to get used to – complementarity and math, including car acquisition – but [this is something] that will take time”, he said. In turn, for José Oliveira, from Bosch Car Multimedia, “car as a service” is one of the great trends for the future, being something that “the industry will accommodate”.

As far as new technologies are concerned, the impact of tools such as 5G, data analytics or blockchain shaped the “Technology Agenda and Velocity” panel. “Today we started to have more technological capacity than the primary demand requires”, observed Miguel Rodrigues, who took the opportunity to introduce Yunex Traffic, Siemens' new non-rail mobility company. The AYR platform experience and its potential for reducing emissions in travel were presented by Catarina Selada (CEiia), while Daniela Carvalho (TIS) left the question about the acceptance of the technology: “is it being captured in the best way by all users?”. The specialist underlined that “technology plays a key role in a connected world”, reinforcing the importance of “interoperability” in this context.

In a full day of debate, in which 22 speakers participated, there was also space to talk about highways and urban mobility, with the intervention of Teresa Santos, from Ascendi, and the challenges of the energy transition in mobility, brought to the discussion by João Parreira, from CaetanoBus.

Taking advantage of the potential of the digital format and the interactive platform, Moblab Congress 2021 also had an exhibition area, where it was possible to “visit” stands and learn more about the activity of some of the entities present. This was the fourth edition of the event, which every year debates the topic of smart mobility and which, this time, took place in a different format due to the constraints of the pandemic. Although there is still no date set, the organization of Moblab Congress 2021 guarantees that the event will return in 2022.