Gdańsk One of the most innovative and open-minded Polish cities

Piotr Grzelak / 35 years old : he has been the Vice–Mayor for Housing and Public Utilities Policy in Gdańsk since 2014. He is responsible for housing, transportation system, waste management and other municipal services.

city:one 2017-11-15 10:02 Piotr Grzelak : Vice–Mayor for Housing and Public Utilities Policy Citizen Public space Mobility

: Gdańsk

Gdańsk, located at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, has a history of over 1000 years and is the largest city in the Pomerania region of northern Poland. It is a large centre of economic life, science, culture and a popular tourist destination. Gdańsk has the third biggest airport in Poland (over 4 million passengers per year) and the largest container terminal in the Baltic Sea (over 1.2 million TEU in 2016 with capacity 3 million TEU). With over 460,000 inhabitants it is one of few Polish cites with relatively good demographics.
From several years the birth rate has been growing as well as migration rate.

: Innovative tools

Gdańsk is considered as one of the most innovative and open-minded Polish cities and the cyclingcapital of Poland. These opinions commits us to do our best in terms of sustainable transport as well as innovative tools.It all started back in the 90s. In 1994, Gdańsk bought fi rst low-fl oor buses in Poland. Today it sounds rather commonly,
but after years of iron curtain isolation and economic stagnation it was a real revolution and re-orientation of approach in public transport. We said: It should not only run, but it also should be as accessible and convenient for everyone as possible.

Today with all easy-accessible busses and almost 90% of our trams, we are working towards integration enhancement.We are re-developing transport hubs located all over the city to connect not only trams or busses, but also trains and bikes or cars. We are
working on ticket and fares integration too. With over 50 transportation authorities and companies to cooperate and its diffi culty, the fi rst stage, introduced next year, will be ticket and reckoning integration within the metropolitan area (Metropolitan Electronic
Ticket). It is too soon to tell more details about its functionality, but we want it to be the most integrated, convenient and up-to-date  solution available on the market. So it will not be only an electronic ticket, but it also could be a student ID card, library card and
debit or credit card as well. From the technical side there is no limit to integrate it with existing chip-based cards. However, using smartphones as a debit card is becoming very popular today and slowly replaces plastic cards, thereforewe want it to be smart replacement for today’s apps in everyday usage as well.

: Metropolitan Electronic Ticket

Metropolitan Electronic Ticket will be also integrated with introducing in 2018 Metropolitan Bicycle Sharing System. We all know public bicycle sharing systems with docking stations and not- -always convenient registration and payment ways. Our system will be one of the biggest in Poland and one of the most advanced system in Europe. It will be IV-generation system fully based on GPS app. It means that the system is dockless and bike could be rented by your smartphone and returned on every bicycle rack in the city. To avoid uncontrolled locked-up bikes all over the city,
with the system will come over new 4,300 bicycle racks. These racks will be preferred by the system, which means leaving bike here will be cheaper for a user. The system will be fl exible enough to modify pricing just on base of real-time traffi c and bikes location. For example it could reward users going in less popular directions, for instance uphill (altitude diff erence in Gdańsk reaches up to 200 m) or in the sunny day from the beach to the city centre.

But there is another advantage of using Metropolitan Electronic Ticket or Metropolitan Bicycle Sharing System. The advanced IT system will provide us with very valuable data. It will show us how and where people travel, which routes they take by bikes,
where bicycle racks are more used, or which directions are more frequent. Based on that data we could plan investments in infrastructure or maintenance. The same applies in case of the ticket and public transport: which bus or tram routes should be
reinforced with more vehicles, which should be changed at all, or which should be cancelled.

: Cycling Campaigns

But infrastructure is not everything. Very important for us is to encourage people to use other than cars means of transport. Once a year, in May we run two campaigns promoting active mobility.

First of them, as a part of European Cycling Challenge campaign, “Rowerem do pracy” (“Bike to Work”) is addressed to employees. The European Cycling Challenge is a competition organized by Bologna, Italy, with many European cities involved. Every participant in every involved city on his or her way to work, home, shopping or every daily use travel by bike tracks this travel with the GPS app. The more kilometers are saved the better. After a month, the city with most kilometers saved wins. We thought it is a good opportunity to get our local employers involved to
motivate their employees to compete within their companies, but also companies to compete between each other. We started to cooperate with them building bicycle partnership between us. After three years we can say it worked perfectly. First of all,
people really started to commute by bike. But, what is important, employers started to understand bicycle commuters’ needs and build more bicycle racks, locker rooms and other facilities and ask us how it should look like. People become more integrated,
they created Facebook groups where they could exchange their experiences, advices but also they organize trips together in their spare time. And thanks to that we, as a city, win the European Cycling Challenge every year.

Another campaign is “Rowerowy maj” (“Cycling May”) addressed to school and kindergarden children. The campaign scenario has been created by The Active Mobility Unit of the Municipal Offi ce in Gdańsk, where the innovative approach lies in the combi-nation of the fun factor, every day stimulation and motivation and the rivalry elements. The campaign rules are simple: the schoolchildren and the staff are encouraged to choose two wheels for their daily commute from Monday to Friday throughout the whole May. Each journey is rewarded with two stickers, one for the individual cycling passport and the other to the class poster. The children collect points in order to get an attractive individual incentive as well as the classes compete for the title of the best cycling class, while the schools for the best cycling school. The schools receive all theprinted materials and instructions, as well as incentives at the end of the campaign. The local private stakeholders are involved in providing the awards for the
best cycling classes (group tickets) and the local politicians are involved in school award ceremonies. Thanks to the educative  part included in the printed materials children are familiarized with cycling infrastructure and cycling principles. The campaign infl uence children’s and their parents perception of bicycle as
a valuable mean of daily local transport.

This year’s campaign was implemented with the use of the same scenario and materials by 20 other Polish cities. Gdańsk provides the graphic materials, scenario and its know-how. The city has the ambition to prepare English version of the campaign rules and brochures in order to facilitate its transferability and to encourage other European cities to implement Cycling May campaign too.

We believe that Gdańsk asasmart city is not the one with a lot of different apps nor plenty of other IT solutions. In our opinion, a smart city is friendly, safe and easy to use city for everyone. New technologies are one of the tools used to achieve it. As you can see, stickers can work miracles too.

Časopis city:one

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