Polis members win OSMOSE Awards

Essex (UK) and San Sebastian (ES) were also awarded at the final conference of the NICHES+ project on Thursday 7 April in London. The OSMOSE Awards honour local and regional authorities that have shown the courage to introduce innovative and daring measures to meet today’s challenges in urban transport in a sustainable and effective way. The awards particularly look at the most promising new initiatives, which today still occupy a ‘niche’ position but clearly have the potential to become a ‘mainstream’ urban transport policy application in the future. “The awarded cities are all innovative forerunners in their field”, says Patrick Mercier-Handisyde from the European Commission, DG Research.

The 2nd edition of the OSMOSE Awards were presented in these five categories:

  • Innovative concepts to enhance accessibility: Essex (UK)
  • Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges: Madrid (ES)
  • Traffic Management Centres: Aalborg (DK)
  • Automated and Space-efficient Transport: San Sebastian (ES)
  • Integrated approach on urban transport innovation: Barcelona (ES)

Madrid (ES) got awarded in the category 'Efficient planning and use of infrastructure and interchanges' for its Transport Interchanges Plan. Each of the seven access routes to the city are to be connected with interchange stations which link metropolitan and urban bus lines, the underground network, as well as long distance and commuter train lines. While many cities have built an interchange station, Madrid’s effort to implement a whole network of interchanges is unique.

Aalborg (DK) received the OSMOSE Award for Traffic Management Centres. Despite being medium-sized, the municipality of Aalborg managed to establish an advanced ITS network which is outstanding for a medium‐sized municipality. Aalborg implemented a number of ITS applications such as traffic emission monitoring, traffic forecasting based on the situation during preceding weeks and a tunnel management system to control the Limfjord tunnel.

Donostia San Sebastian (ES) got awarded for space‐efficient Transport Systems. 50 % of the population lives in hilly areas and the city adapted and upgraded its public transport services to local conditions. Additional minibus lines and shuttle taxis provide access to public transport to everybody. Two high quality public transport corridors following the UNE‐EN 13816 standards have been set up which are equipped with smart tools such as GPRS positioning and 100% safety camera monitoring.

Barcelona received the Award for its integrated approach on urban transport innovation. As one of Europe’s most dense urban centres, Barcelona set up a new network of high speed buses with fewer stops and improved line transfers within the RetBus Project. Signal‐controlled junctions are being upgraded with low‐maintenance, energysaving LED technology.

The winners were presented with the awards at the final conference of the NICHES+ project in London. NICHES+ is an EU funded project, within the framework of which the OSMOSE Awards were launched. NICHES+ aims to stimulate debate on innovative urban transport solutions. The first OSMOSE Awards were presented in 2007 to Barcelona, Bremen, Freiburg, Graz, Emilia Romagna and Stockholm.

More information about the winners and the OSMOSE Awards can be read in the press release here.