ERTICO’s City Moonshot initiative is nearing its target of 300 interviews with cities and regions worldwide. This comprehensive study sheds light on how cities globally are tackling transportation issues. As the project gathers steam towards its second report, the team delves into some of the fascinating discoveries so far. Uncover diverse interview styles, logistical hurdles, and surprising discoveries, offering a window into global mobility challenges and solutions across diverse cityscapes.

ERTICO’s City Moonshot has reached a new milestone, gathering the participation of 200 cities and regions worldwide. The interviews offer a fascinating glimpse into the unique challenges and approaches cities are taking towards mobility. Steering the City Moonshot initiative are dedicated individuals from ERTICO’s Innovation and Deployment department and Project Communications department: Lidia Buenavida Peña (I&D Manager), Vlad Vorotović (Director of Strategy and Innovation), John Paddington (Senior I&D Manager), Dimitrios Vovolis (I&D Support Manager), and Julia Rodriguez Rayego (Communication Officer). In this article, they share some captivating stories and anecdotes gleaned from the City Moonshot interviews.

“The City Moonshot initiative has provided the unique opportunity to listen to 200 cities and regions share their transport and mobility challenges. We are incorporating this into our reports—one published, another in progress. In this article, we capture some additional interesting insights from some participants”, explains Lidia Buenavida.

City Moonshot goes beyond its team, and other ERTICO members contribute to increasing its reach.

Diversity in cities, diversity in interviews

Just as cities are diverse, so are the interview styles we encountered across different locations. Our team observed a range of approaches. In some Spanish cities, interviews tended to be more conversational, fostering in-depth discussions that sometimes lasted up to three hours. In contrast, interviews in some German and Estonian cities were more concise, typically clocking in around 30-40 minutes. Interestingly, one interview even featured the highest number of participants at nine.

Scheduling interviews across vast time zones presented logistical hurdles at times. Vlad Vorotović highlights that the team has faced challenges in coordinating interviews with participants in New Zealand, the Far East, and the West Coast of the USA, as they had to be available at very unusual office hours (10PM or 5AM for example)

City challenges, tailored solutions

The interviews highlighted how the specific challenges faced by a city often influence their mobility focus. Cities like Dubrovnik, Valencia, and Rome, which grapple with large tourist influxes during peak seasons, need to adapt their mobility solutions to accommodate these temporary peaks. In contrast, cities like London, Los Angeles, and many American cities interviewed, deal with a constant flow of commuters, and their strategies reflect this. Some common approaches include park-and-ride facilities near train stations, expanding e-charging infrastructure, and fostering micro-mobility services like bike-sharing within city limits.

Unexpected insights

The interviews yielded insights beyond the anticipated mobility challenges. Dimitrios Vovolis shared an interesting observation on how cities react to unforeseen events. He highlighted the example of a Dutch city dealing with technical earthquakes caused by gas extraction. This experience serves as a valuable resource for other cities facing similar challenges, prompting them to adapt and shape their mobility and transport policies in a very resilient fashion. It’s also worth noting that regardless of city size, data protection and cybersecurity emerges as a common concern.

Size doesn’t limit innovation

The interviews weren’t limited to major metropolises. One example is Kehlen, a small municipality in Luxembourg with a population of around 6,000, participated in the initiative. This inclusion demonstrates City Moonshot’s commitment to understanding mobility challenges across the urban spectrum. In fact, John Paddington observed a trend towards greater innovation in smaller cities that were often focused on specific needs and size did not stop them exploring he latest technologies such as drones.

City voices

ERTICO’s city engagement initiative isn’t just about gathering data – it’s about fostering a global conversation on urban mobility.

“ERTICO City Moonshot’s mission helps stakeholders in the transport sector see the mobility challenges of cities across the world […]. The future of urban transportation in Baku lies within sustainable, inclusive and safe mobility where ITS solutions are implemented. So, we do believe that the objective valuation of mobility solutions in Baku by City Moonshot survey will bring additional value and highlight importance of measures taken”, Baku, Azerbaijan.

“The City Moonshot Initiative offers a valuable opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the global transportation needs and the sustainability challenges that cities world-wide face. The Initiative serves as a crucial link to implementing smart mobility solutions, particularly in regions where such advancements might seem unattainable”, Maputo, Mozambique.

“The City Moonshot initiative is a source of information and inspiration for cities and regions in their ambitions to boost the transformation of mobility to a system that is more smart, sustainable, responsible, safe and inclusive. At the end of the day, it is not the lack of technology or smart, connected and sustainable solutions that limit progress but the lack of leadership. Politicians and policy makers can be inspired by the City Moonshot initiative to speed up their own process of transformation without fear for resistance. Experience learns that bold leadership makes the differences to get things done and make cities better in terms of use of space, clean air, economic development, liveability and road safety”, North Brabant, Netherlands.

Explore the results from the City Moonshot Phase I in the first report, and stay tuned for further insights in the upcoming second report.