A Reality Review
With the growth of urban populations there is a parallel growth in the demand for goods and services, which makes public and private operators reflect on how to satisfy them efficiently. Factors such as heavy traffic, commercial and banking areas in the city centres, the circulation of uncountable numbers of people and vehicles are extremely important at the time of approaching benefits for urban societies.
As an example, a search for the location of a bus stop or to check if there is any traffic jam can be a real tough challenge depending on whether we use Google maps or any other digital application. Differences in data standards, that means differences in characteristics or the level of details, can make the information, if you read different maps in the same area, confusing, contradictory or even insufficient.
NACTO on the Way to the Development of Cities – SharedStreets
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) presents itself as a non-profit association, made up of 63 major North American cities and ten transit agencies. Their objective is the exchange of ideas, views and transport practices with the aim of cooperatively addressing national transport issues. The priorities are:
1. Promote safe transportation systems.
2. Increase equitable access to transport for all people and all modes.
3. Support sustainable financing and financing for transport projects.
4. Bring project decisions closer to the taxpayer, at the local level
5. Promote mobility with a smaller climate change footprint.
6. Prepare for automated vehicle technology
Under the same criteria, NACTO, together with Open Transport Partnership, has presented an interesting project, called SharedStreets, an open source system. The projects main objective consists of a digital platform that allows mapping the characteristics of the streets from information provided by public or private sources anonymously. It also provides a global system to describe the streets and what happens on them, ensuring the existence of different streams of information collected by transport providers, companies and government agencies.
Ideas, such as SharedStreets, not only contribute to government administrations in traffic planning and urban design but also offer citizens the benefit of clear and complete information.
After having delved into the project, I believe that the result of data cooperation is extremely significant for cities to be better prepared for the enormous challenges of transportation technology. Sharing ideas, talking about what works and what doesn’t work in our streets, translating it through layers of data into the same system and, at the same time, being compatible between public and private entities, will allow us to enjoy the benefits of security and street management.