For over 40 years, the City of Ghent has been managing mobility through sustainable urban mobility policies. This resulted amongst other things in further expanding the large pedestrian area in the historic centre. Furthermore, in April 2017 all cross-City traffic arteries were cut to prevent car traffic from passing through the City centre.
The City now plans to intensify its focus on multimodal journeys. The realisation of a multimodal traffic centre to inform citizens is a key element of the City of Ghent’s latest mobility plan (Strategic Mobility Vision 2030).
A lot of small- to medium-sized cities around the world, like Ghent, want to get a grip on traffic and mobility. Building separate, traditional traffic management centres for all these cities is most likely not the answer. They require huge investments and people watching screens 24/7. On top of that, the majority of trips are not undertaken by car and cities want to encourage walking and cycling in their mobility plans. How can this be achieved when the main focus of traffic management is on cars? And how can cities prepare for disruptive technologies when their traffic Control centres haven’t changed a lot since the seventies?