SCP E98 Using Data to Manage City Curbs, with Jacob Baskin

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe speaks with computer programmer and transportation enthusiast, Jacob Baskin. Jacob is the CTO at Coord, New York-based tech company that helps government agencies, companies and professionals get the valuable data they need to build and regulate transportation infrastructure in the way that works best for everyone in the city. In this episode Jacob shares what sparked his interest in the Smart Communities space, and why he feels it’s important. Zoe and Jacob discuss how the US is currently embracing Smart City concepts, including cities taking the lead and putting communities back at the centre of decision making. Jacob also explains a bit about Coord, and why curb-side management is needed more and more in today’s world of ecommerce and ride-share platforms. They also discuss how open data is crucial for any kind of integration and why shared data standards are so important. Zoe and Jacob talking about the emerging trend of cities doing more innovation in-house. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Jacob’s background in computer science and his passion for transportation
  • What sparked Jacob’s interest in the Smart Community space and why he believes it’s so important
  • Some of the problems with parking signs that cities face and how technology could help solve them
  • The future of the curb and changes we are seeing in curb-side parking thanks to ride share platforms
  • How Jacob sees the US embracing Smart Concepts
  • What Coord does and the projects they’re currently working on to help cities manage their curbs
  • Why open data is key to integration across disciplines and the need for shared data standards
  • The emerging trend of cities doing in-house innovation

 

Quotes:

“One thing we found out at Coord is that most cities have no idea what parking signs they’ve put out on the street…People put up fake signs and people get real tickets based on those [fake signs].”

“We’re seeing that curb management is becoming an increasingly important thing for cities to do. This is managing who can pick up and drop off passengers, load and unload goods, or park at the side of any given street at any time, and for how long and how much do they have to pay? The rise of ecommerce and the rise of ride hail have made the curb a much more important and a much more contentious space in cities, though of course it’s always been contentious. Cities don’t have the data that they need to manage this.”

“Once you have open data you start to realise that not all open data is created equal, and one of the biggest things that makes open data more useful is being in a form that makes it easier for people to understand. So this is something that we’re trying to make happen on the curb – make there be data standards for understanding this information and for sharing it between people.”

“Often, because we’re tooting our own horns so much, the efforts of private companies get publicised a lot, but the things that happen inside cities which are really great to see, don’t get as much press as they maybe should.”

 

Connect:

Connect via the website Coord.co or with Jacob on Twitter @jacobbaskin

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E97 Integrating Active Transport and Infrastructure into Smart Mobility, with Kylie Nixon

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has an interesting conversation with traffic engineer and transport planner, Kylie Nixon. Kylie is the Vice President of PedBikeTrans – the Pedestrian and Bicycle  Transport Institute of Australasia and an Associate in Transport Planning at Arup, and in this episode she shares her passion for active transport and integrating it into our Smart communities. Zoe and Kylie discuss what walking might look like in an autonomous vehicle world, and the need for planning, technology and infrastructure that facilitates accessibility and walkability. Kylie shares some of the projects she’s currently working on, including PedBikeTrans and Whole Journey Guide for Accessible Public Transport, and what she’s learned about integrating across disciplines, government and industry. They finish the chat discussing what all this transport technology means for our health and wellbeing, and why it’s an emerging trend we should be talking about more. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Kylie’s background in engineering and planning, and what sparked her interest in Smart Communities
  • What a Smart Community means to Kylie and why she believes it’s important
  • Active Transport in an Autonomous Vehicle World
  • The gap between the tech companies’ and manufacturers’ views and the planners view of how we shape the future of our places
  • How and why we need to keep Active Transport as a key part of Smart Mobility and Mobility as a Service
  • The importance of good planning and infrastructure for facilitating walkability and accessibility
  • Kylie’s work with PedBikeTrans and some other projects she’s currently involved in
  • What those projects have taught her about better integrating across different disciplines, governments and industries
  • The emerging trend of the impact of technology on our health and wellbeing
  • The need to communicate more with the broader community about results of trials and the processes behind decision making
  • The emerging trend of monitoring and using data for reflection, evaluation and evidence-based decision making

Quotes:

“We have a role as urban planners, engineers, and designers in this space to make sure we keep bringing everybody back to [talking about] what does it mean for our communities when this [autonomous vehicle] technology comes on board? It’s about positioning our designs, our infrastructure, this technology so we actually do get that best outcome and we aren’t creating the environment that all the images show of sexy people in connected pods and nobody walking. There are other impacts as a result of that—health and wellbeing, and missing that social interaction that walking and cycling achieve.”

“Walking should still be the first choice: [your feet are] the original autonomous vehicle!”

“[On active transport in an an autonomous vehicle world] You still need great infrastructure for walking and cycling. We still need to ensure that we’re connecting the places people like to go to, ensuring we haven’t got missing links, ensuring that it’s easy to navigate…The right infrastructure has a very strong role in encouraging people to continue walking and cycling, to get out and give it a go.”

“A decent sized path, particularly when you’re considering families—we’re designing for all ages and all abilities, and that goes both for walking and for cycling. If you’re walking with a family and kids, a narrow footpath doesn’t cut it, and it doesn’t allow you to have those conversations and that social interaction that you want to be encouraging whilst you’re walking. Infrastructure plays a key part of continuing people to walk or cycle and technology’s role in that space is just to top and tail it.”

“We do need to stop working in silos, we do need to keep an open mind, and listening is certainly key…there will be boundaries and challenges that may not be able to be fully resolved, and listening and understanding that is key to integration, to [getting] the best outcome.”

“If we keep prioritising vehicular traffic over walking and cycling, other than the immediate frustration of ‘here we go again’, [the result is that] a piece of infrastructure is built and we haven’t delivered upon the connectedness and safety that we harp on about.”

“We can use the digital tools that we have to make use of that human connection.” ~ Zoe

Links:

PedBikeTrans Events including the notes from the 2018 event with Dale Bracewell, Manager of Transportation Planning for the City of Vancouver

The Whole Journey Guide for Accessible Public Transport

Walk21 Conference in Hong Kong

Wall-E example of humans in connected pods

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Kylie on LinkedIn and find PedBikeTrans on Facebook and Twitter

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E96 Public-Private Integration and Interoperability, with David Pickeral

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has an interesting discussion with entrepreneur and Smart Mobility advisor, David Pickeral. David shares his varied background from Naval Officer to practicing Law, to working with a variety of public and private organisations in the transit and technology arena. He tells us what sparked his interest in the Smart Mobility space, and how he sees the US embracing the Smart City and Community concepts. Zoe and David then cover the advantages of bottom-up, individualised approaches, and how integration and interoperability between government, industry and academia is key. They finish their chat discussing the emerging trend of public-private collaborations in the realm of Smart Mobility. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • David’s varied background across a number of industries, and how he fell into this Smart Mobility space
  • How the discipline of Smart City or Holistic City Planning has evolved
  • What a Smart City is and why it’s so important
  • How David sees the US embracing the Smart City concept
  • The advantage of bottom-up, individualised approaches to Smart City changes
  • Some of the projects David is currently working on
  • How cloud-based and robust behind-the-scenes systems can enable integration and interoperability across different disciplines
  • Collaboration between the essential triangle of government, industry and academia that is needed for public good, not just for profit
  • The emerging trend of public-private partnerships and interoperability in mobility spaces

Quotes:

“It’s kind of hard to do Smart Cities and just focus on one aspect of it because being as it’s about the data, you really need to be able to deal with the city as an entire ecosystem—everything is dependent on each other.”

“It really is a city that uses the technology or resources that it has or that it has access to near term, and builds upon it. There’s never going to be a case in most of the world where you build a Smart City from the ground up…you’re going to add in different layers of technology, different layers of data, different layers of sensors and you get to a point where you improve the situation.”

“Most of the measures to improve transportation, or cities, or other infrastructure, or data access or wifi, were approved by voters; people want to invest in having Smart technology available within their city, not just buy a device and carry it around, but have the ability to get better information, use city services and engage with their city both at the government and the private sector level. I think they’re driving it… the strength of the US is going to be this local or as we say State-level initiative rather than big national initiatives.”

“It’s not about putting more and more sensors and devices out there necessarily, but using the data that is coming in…You don’t want to gather the same data twice.”

“People have learned the hard way that you really can’t do it on your own if you’re just government, and nor can you do it just industry and make money.”

“I think the big trend people aren’t talking about is that operating consumer based mobility services [T&C, micro transit, scooters, bikes] is never going to turn profit because the margins are so low… The money is not going to be in selling things to consumers, it’s going to be in monetising the cost take out to governments.”

Links:

Columbus Ohio US Dept Transportation Smart City Project

Los Angeles Metro has an Office of Extraordinary Innovation

 

Connect:

Connect with David via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E95 How Uber sees the future of transport, with Natalie Malligan

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In this bonus #mobilitymarch episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe has a fascinating chat with Natalie Malligan, the Head of Cities for Australia and New Zealand at Uber. This is a short but jam packed episode, and it’s also a perfect follow up to our previous episode featuring Sampo Hietanen, all about Mobility as a Service, so if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I’d recommend you go back and listen to it before this one, as Zoe and Natalie do talk about MaaS a bit here so Sampo’s episode will be useful for a bit more context in that regard. In this episode, Natalie shares a bit about how Uber sees the future of transport and some of their projects worldwide, including taking part in the Transport NSW Mobility as a Service Challenge, and integrating the public transport services into the Uber App in the City of Denver in the US. Zoe and Natalie discuss how Australian consumers and governments are embracing Smart concepts, and how this has changed over time, as well as why Uber has been so successful in become a household name. Natalie explains how Uber views their role in the transport sector, and some of their other projects like up-coming on-demand aircraft service Uber Elevate and the open data platform Movement. Natalie and Zoe finish their conversation on how Uber has changed their approach over the years, and the emerging trends of micro-mobility such as e-bikes and e-scooters. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Natalie’s passion for mobility and what sparked her interest in the Smart Community Space
  • What a Smart City means to Natalie and why the concept so important for the inclusion of our community and the prosperity of the economy
  • How Natalie sees Australian consumers and governments embracing Smart concepts
  • The future of transport, as Uber sees it
  • What needs to happen for Mobility as a Service to become a reality in Australia
  • Some of the projects and plans happening worldwide with Uber, including integrating public transport into the app
  • How Uber views their role in the transport sector providing first- and last-mile solutions
  • Why Natalie believes Uber has been so successful in becoming a household name
  • The importance of open data and Uber’s platform, Movement
  • What Uber is doing differently now compared with when they first burst onto the scene
  • How to better integrate across disciplines, industries and government
  • The emerging trends of MaaS and micro-mobility, such as e-bikes and e-scooters

Quotes:

In the next 5 years, what’s going to happen as different modes of transports become connected, as people start using bikes and scooters, as we see flying cars introduced? There’s just so much to be excited about, as change is happening so rapidly.

Australians, as consumers, are really getting behind [Smart Mobility]. They want their cities to be more connected and Smarter, and I think we’re actually seeing our governments get on board as well…there’s a lot of interest in driving change and using technology to make our cities Smarter.

You need your governments not only backing [Smart Mobility solutions] but also allowing the private sector to be the experts in this area and to help them create solutions that work. And then you obviously need consumers who are willing to try and change behaviour. It takes a long time to change what we’ve always done and break habits, so consumers really getting on board and trying different things and using technology to change the way that they move [is important].

Our aim is to complement public transport. Mass transit, rail for example, will always remain the most efficient way to move large numbers of people from one place to another and we don’t aim to compete with that, we aim to provide solutions that are first- and last-mile, that get people to or from those transport hubs, and also to integrate all of those forms of transport into the one place so that it’s more convenient for a person to take that train or bus because they’re able to book and pay the whole of their journey getting to or from that mass transport node within the one app.

[Integration] starts with an openness of government to work with private industry, and to work across departments, and we’ve really seen over the last few years a massive change in the space. Obviously Uber’s entry into most markets wasn’t without controversy, but we’ve seen a change in how we’ve approached things and also the openness of governments to work with us and with other private companies.

Uber has learned a lot of lessons over the years and one of them is engagement up front. So, going to the policy makers and talking with them about how we can help their communities, and trying to understand their positions and their concerns, and jointly trying to find solutions. It’s a much more collaborative approach that we’ve taken [in recent years] and that we’re also seeing from governments as well, which is exciting.

Links

Transport NSW’s Mobility as a Service Challenge

Uber Elevate

Lime Electric Scooters

Uber’s open data platform, Movement

Connect:

Connect with Natalie via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E94 Mobility as a Service to rival private car ownership, with Sampo Hietanen

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe speaks with Sampo Hietanen, the Founder and CEO at Maas Global, the world’s first Mobility-as-a-Service company. Zoe and Sampo discuss his background in transport planning and what sparked his interest in the Smart Community space, as well as how Finland is embracing Smart Concepts, including working towards a life where citizens don’t actually NEED a car. Sampo explains what “Mobility as a Service” is, and how his company MaaS Global came to be. He also shares a bit about its success in a relatively short period of time in Finland, and the plans to go live in other cities in the world, including Sydney. Zoe and Sampo explore why Mobility as a Service can only work when there is integration across different suppliers and systems and the importance of building trust with both the end user and mobility providers in order to facilitate that integration. They finish the conversation talking about the question we really should be asking about mobility in our communities, and how cities can be a part of that. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Sampo’s background in transport planning and civil engineering, and what sparked his interest in this Smart Mobility space
  • What a Smart Community means to him and why it’s so important
  • How Finland is embracing these Smart Concepts, and in particular moving towards a life where you don’t need a car
  • What Mobility as a Service is and how it competes with car ownership
  • How MaaS Global came to be, their success so far in Finland and the plans to go live in several other cities in the world
  • Why Mobility as a Service can only work when there is integration across different suppliers and systems
  • The importance of building trust with both the end user and mobility providers in order to facilitate that integration
  • The question we really should be asking about mobility in our communities
  • The second chance cities have now to create places that are good for people, business and the environment

Quotes:

“If you have a car you have access to everywhere. This is great for the individual but the infrastructure needed if everybody wants and needs to pursue the same dream just becomes quite, the whole city outlook and the way that it’s constructed after that, does not fulfil our dream of the city. You like to connect, you like your car, but you don’t like all those motorways next to your house.”

“We treat the traffic in the same format as we do waste water: we put people and these cars in the pipes and we think that’s how it works, but people are much harder to manage than water.”

“The whole idea [of Mobility as a Service] is to be able to have enough fall-backs, have enough supply, enough density in the supply and then enough versatile supply to be able to guarantee the end user that yes, we can take care of all your journeys.”

“When you go and buy your car you’re not thinking about your next drive, you’re not thinking about your next week’s ride, you’re thinking a year ahead. So unless we as MaaS operators can guarantee that we can take care of all your rides for a year, we’re not really there, we’re not as big in the minds of people as owning a car.”

“[Building trust] is a much tougher game because we have to be really good for the end user, focus on them, but at the same time…only by the [other mobility providers] trusting us enough to allow us to integrate them can we actually even have a product.”

“I think that the biggest question for Smart Cities but also for world economic growth for the next decades is ‘What will be big enough to compare with car ownership?’ I don’t think we’re yet there.”

Connect:

Find the full show notes as: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Sampo www.maas.global or email sampo.hietanen@maas.global or on Twitter and LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E93 Investigating Smart Mobility around the world, with Zoe Eather

In this episode, producer Ellen Ronalds Keene interviews host Zoe Eather. Zoe shares what #MobilityMarch is, why she’s created it and what to expect on the show this month. Zoe also discusses a range of different aspects of Smart Mobility and explains how mobility is different from transport.

Next, Zoe talks about her up-coming Churchill Fellowship project which will see her travel across the world investigating Smart Mobility. She tells us where she’s going, who she’s meeting with and what she’s hoping to get out of the investigation.

Listen here:

Connect with Zoe via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.