Madrid wins 'Thinking Cities' Award

With the Thinking Cities Award, Polis and H3B Media reward a Polis member city or region that delivered a presentation at the 2016 Polis Conference which features new solutions that help to tackle today’s urban mobility challenges.

At the official Polis conference dinner on 1 December, Polis Secretary General Karen Vancluysen revealed Sergio Fernandez Balaguer from EMT Madrid as the winner. Besides the Thinking Cities trophy and certificate, the winning city also received one month of unlimited downloads of the Bike Citizens App from CEO Daniel Kofler. If promoted well, this can get the city thousands of people to route and track their bicycle trips. At the end of the period, the city will be provided with user statistics, before and after heat maps, along with insights into how the collected data can be interpreted and used to optimise cycling policies.

Smart crossing to improve pedestrians’ safety and comfort

This year’s winning city innovation focuses on user-driven smart cities solutions that aim to improve and enhance the citizen’s mobility experience. One of the solutions presented was a smart crossing service, which not only allows pedestrians to activate a request for green light, but also takes into account the real-time status of the intersection, detects pedestrians, directly interacts with the traffic control centre and extends the green phase if needed, with the overall aim to improve pedestrians’ safety and comfort.

Madrid’s bus priority service then, prioritises delayed buses at selected crossings in order to optimise travel time and frequency, and that way also the efficiency of this mode of transport. Thirdly, the trip planning and infomobility service calculates the best multimodal journey option, taking into account different parameters such as time, energy efficiency, incentives, user preferences, and this for different modes. These tools were developed in the framework of the MoveUs project (

The award winner was chosen among all abstracts that were submitted by Polis members for the 2016 Polis Conference. The Thinking Cities Award is associated to ‘Thinking Cities’ magazine, which showcases urban transport innovation in practice from European cities and beyond, and is published by Polis and H3B media twice a year.

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