IISc, University of Amsterdam ink pact on smart mobility

With the aim to try and mitigate Bengaluru’s perennial traffic problem, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday that would see them collaborate on a number of research projects to bring in the concept of smart mobility.

The two institutes have earlier been actively involved in collaborations in various fields of sustainable transportation. The MoU will see them take up issues under topics such as urban complexity as well as pilot projects on bicycling.

Eberhard van der Laan, the Mayor of Amsterdam, in his speech on the occasion talked about a number of challenges such as sewage disposal and provisions for the homeless
that needed to be dealt with to achieve the goal of ‘smart city’.

“On our way here from our hotel, we were stuck in a traffic jam of nearly two hours,” he said, elaborating on the challenges that Bengaluru needed to tackle.
Laan said that 7,000 Indian expats who are presently residing in Amsterdam have taken well to the bicycle riding culture of that city.

Clearly one of the main aims of the ‘smart mobility’ project is to try and replicate the success in Bengaluru. A number of papers were presented on the topic. An officer from the Directorate of Urban land Transport (DULT) highlighted the agency’s plan to popularise cycling in the city by making it the preferred choice for last mile connectivity, for neighbourhood trips, tourism, etc. “We are trying to do this by creating a demand through various means like Cycle Day events and by creating infrastructure,” he said.
PacoBunnik from Amsterdam’s Urban Planning department also talked about the gradual change in his city’s traffic when the concept of bicycling was brought in.

Alphonsus Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, J M Chandra Kishen, Chairman, Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transport and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) of the IISc and Prof Peter Sloot from the University of Amsterdam also spoke.

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