“Operating system for urban mobility” wins Audi Urban Future award

The team from Mexico City has won this year’s Audi Urban Future award with a scheme that collects location data from commuters to identify problems in the city’s congested road network (+ slideshow). The interdisciplinary team, headed by architect and city planner Jose Castillo, proposed an “operating system for urban mobility” to relieve the Mexican capital of its problems with traffic – beating groups from Berlin, Seoul and Boston to win the €100,000 (£80,000) prize awarded by German car brand Audi. An estimated four million vehicles use Mexico City’s road network, with the worst affected areas around the Santa Fe business district – where commuters face journeys of up to three hours to reach their workplaces. According to the 2011 IBM Commuter Pain Index , Mexico City is the “most painful commuter city in the world”. “Our city needs an operating system to help people make informed decisions about their mobility choices and to support public officials and policy makers in finding long-term solutions for the megacity,” said Castillo, who is also a professor at Harvard University. “Our proposal works in real time and is extremely low-cost.” The Mexico City team – which also includes data analyist Carlos Gershenson and the head of the city’s Laboratory for the City, a creative think tank, Gabriella Gomez-Mont – came up with a project that relies on the collection of real-time traffic data from commuters, which they can use to assess congestion. Drivers are asked to anonymously donate data about their location and movement using mobile devices, allowing other road users to identify weak points in the traffic network so they can avoid those spots, depart later or choose an alternative mode of transport. The data is shared via a website and an app, which citizens and corporations voluntarily sign up to as a portal for automatically tracking or manually logging their movements. Information collected is gradually built up to create an overview of the traffic problems, which will inform future urban and transportation planning. read the full article: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/11/20/operating-system-for-urban-mobility-mexico-city-traffic-congestion-app-audi-urban-future-award/