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Innovation in Urban Mobility - Nahungu Lionjanga

Updated: Sep 15

Nahungu Lionjanga a consultant at RIIS commented on intelligent transport and how to approach innovation in urban mobility. In every transport research project she have worked on in the past, finding up-to-date and accurately representative data has always been a challenge or a limitation. What concerns her is that, in some cases, we rely on this research to inform policy changes, urban planning, and transport project. We have made some strides in taking a more multidisciplinary approach to transport and urban planning, but we definitely need to accelerate this and continue to encourage and invest in collaborative data collection projects. Furthermore, new and innovative methods of data collection are required in contexts such as South Africa where the public transport landscape is a combination of both formal and informal modes of transport, mainly dominated by the latter.

Nahungu agrees that converting data to intelligence that is shared with commuters to allow them to make more informed decisions is necessary. But one would ask an additional question here: how do we then use this data to not only inform but also help commuters choose the options that are aligned with a greener, efficient, equitable, safer, seamlessly integrated and accessible future state of urban mobility. Can I, as a woman, log onto a trip planning application that shows me the various combination of modes I can use to travel from point A to point B, and furthermore, shows me which routes are the safest and have reported the least safety-related incidents for women? This would help me make a better choice with the options presented. This will require a combination of both rigorous data collection tools and continued advancements in transport infrastructure and urban planning.

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