The development of big data technologies and the digitalisation of public transport systems have been on the rise with the aim of improving innovative mobility solutions. However, certain groups are left behind for different reasons including lack of knowledge, skills, resources, and interest to accessing these technologies. Moreover, user involvement and co-creation are still often forgotten when developing non-digital public transport solutions. UMCASE intends to shift the attention of policy-makers and mobility experts to those who often do not have a voice, providing cities a method to improve their transport solutions and tailoring them to individual needs.

UMCASE (Citizens’ inclusive and accessible urban mobility solutions) is a one-year project, supported by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. The project will create an innovative method to engage key city actors in creating the mobility that suits them. Often, mobility solutions of a city are replicated from other contexts, not considering the specific characteristics and needs of their inhabitants. This is even more evident with digital solutions for mobility.

This method is based on a design thinking approach that allows citizens, citizen’s representative organisations, relevant urban stakeholders, transport providers and businesses to work together during an intensive ideation cooperation. The unique combination of observation, interaction and evaluation of the co-created solutions allows UMCASE to go further than just the formulation of ideas, truly being able to maximise people value while balancing business viability and feasibility at large (technical, organisational and institutional).

To develop and test this method, our project will develop its activities in two pilot cities: Vitoria (Spain) and Eindhoven (the Netherlands). The City of Vitoria will focus on older people, approaching the digital gap that this age group might have. Complementarily, the City of Eindhoven will focus on another group that might have difficulties accessing digital services - people with low incomes.

At the end of the project, the UMCASE methodology and execution tutorial will be made available for cities, citizens, service providers and other stakeholders to support the design of more inclusive mobility services.