CTS collaboration: symposium Smart Cities and value of time, Dominican Republic

January 2018

Travel time and activity time have been treated as separate notions, albeit with some assumed interdependencies. However, previous studies show that people accept noticeable higher travel time ratios when travelling by public transport compared with travelling by car. The cost of travel time is reduced as travel time is converted as activity time (towards the productive use).  In recent years, some significant ICT-related innovations have been introduced to large shares of society, but research on the current relation between characteristics of ICT-use and its impact on mobility is limited. Development of smart cities and urban living labs is strongly affected by the ICT use and mobility patterns, as urban living labs co-create new products from collaboration between public, private and civic partnerships. At the same time, in certain self-constrained environments, activity duration has many effects in travel patterns for out-of-home activities. Use of big data to model travel behaviour might bring important implications for individual mobility. Similarly, traffic safety and management of transport infrastructure are a main concern for government decisions in developing countries.

The symposium ‘Smart Cities and value of time: transport planning for the ‘on move’ society’ was organized as part of research collaborations between the Faculties of Civil Engineering of University of Twente (UT) and Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC). The event aimed to contribute to the debate on planning transport system and urban development according to the needs and activities undertaken by citizens of the modern ‘on move’ society. The symposium took place at INTEC, during the dates January 18th and 19th. Four thematic sessions were the main focus: Major Roads and Accessibility in Dominican Republic;  Public transport, value of time and multimodality; Urban living labs and new urban developments; Traffic Safety. A set of 16 presentations was given over a keynote (first) day, and a workshop (second) day.

During the first day of the event, five keynotes presentations  by Prof. Dr. Karst Geurs (UT), Prof. Dr. Francesc Robusté, Dr.Ing. Lissy La Paix (UT), Dr. Thais Rangel and Dr.Ing. John Pritchard (UT). During the workshop, several local institutions from private and public sector participated. International contributions were given by University of Valencia (Spain), Complutense University (Madrid, Spain), Universidad del Norte (Colombia), and the Brazilian engineering firm BnVeb.  This event constitutes a benchmarking for transport research and planning in the Dominican Republic.

Interesting ideas can be highlighted as:

•          GPS data can monitor behavior, but can also make changes;

•           The importance of road operator incentives to improve traffic safety;

•          Data should work for us, not the other way around;

•          The role of private car for Dominicans: the car is the space of dignity that Dominicans can buy straight from their budget.

•          Traffic safety: Traffic safety has improved in DR between 2013 – 2015.

The event was sponsored by the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (local host); EPSALABCO engineering and consulting; STRATEGIC POINT consulting and advisor; Ministry of Higher Education (MESCyT); Cervercería Nacional Dominicana (CND, Grupo E.León Jiménez); IGLOBAL Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Lissy La Paix from UT, organized the symposium together with the Faculty of Civil Engineering at INTEC.