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Get in lane! EU backs greener traffic management
A new EU-funded project that aims to deliver green traffic management systems in European cities and towns has just kicked off. The three-year project, titled THE ISSUE ('Traffic- Health- Environment. Intelligent Solutions Sustaining Urban Economies'), brings together research clusters from five European regions - the East Midlands in the United Kingdom, the Molise region in Italy, the Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine regions in France and the Mazovia region in Poland.
With a EUR 2.7 million boost as part of the 'Regions of knowledge' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the project partners will support scientists, engineers and development agencies from the different regions to work together and develop more effective methods of easing road congestion and improving the urban environment.
Traffic management systems use information and communication technologies (ICT) applied to both transport infrastructure and vehicles in order to improve life on the roads for everyone. This can be in terms of safety, reliability or even productivity. Increasingly, traffic management systems are also addressing the need to tackle environmental factors.
The ultimate aim is to influence future policy so that traffic management systems that benefit public health and safety are widely implemented. The main trouble areas when it comes to traffic management are how transport impacts on urban mobility, how green our transport system is, and the health, safety and security of citizens.
In THE ISSUE project diverse technologies and research applications will be used to tackle these traffic management issues. One such example is the integration of computer intelligence solutions and real-time satellite navigation data into existing operational urban traffic management systems. Two other practical approaches are space and in situ measurements to help mitigate risk to citizens' health from traffic-induced air pollution, and technology demonstration and pre-operational real-time trials of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car operating in a city environment.
The project is being headed up by researchers from the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council in the United Kingdom.
Councillor Rory Palmer from Leicester City Council spoke about the project: 'Making Leicester a low carbon city is one of our main priorities and this kind of research will be essential to helping tackle issues around congestion and air quality in the future. I am proud that the city council can help make this work possible.'
Project leader Professor Alan Wells from the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre said: 'With the EU funding we have secured, we can now coordinate different research activities in the same general areas of traffic and the environment that are being carried out by partners from across Europe. These sort of outcomes have never been brought together in this way before.'
The main objective of the 'Regions of Knowledge' Theme of the FP7 is to promote knowledge exchange and cooperation between European regions so as to stimulate economic growth and job creation. THE ISSUE project aims to create vibrant partnerships between different regional research clusters to bring together and coordinate existing and forthcoming research and technological development (RTD) programmes relevant to traffic, health and the environment.
The idea is that by holding consultations, participating regional and local authorities can identify economic priorities specific to certain regions, and ensure that their research priorities are in line with their traffic, health and environment policies.
'The scientific teams at the heart of the project will be working closely with the bodies responsible for managing traffic, transport and air quality in the UK and European regions to explore how this research can be of value to them,' says Professor Alan Wells. 'Our aim is to draw on the strengths of industry and academics working in partnership. We have to be mindful at all stages of the connection between research, policy and how what we are developing can make a difference to the quality of people's lives.'
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University of Leicester:
Data Source Provider:University of Leicester
Document of reference:Based on information from the University of Leicester
Subject index:Coordination, Cooperation,Economic Aspects,Regional Development,Scientific Research,Social Aspects,Transport
Programme Acronym: MS-FR C , MS-I C , MS-UK C
Record control number (RCN):34228