LAUNCH: The 100 Questions Initiative’s Urban Mobility and Transportation Domain Releases its Final Report

The GovLab, CAF — Development Bank of Latin America, Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), and the New Urban Mobility Alliance published the final report detailing the process and results of the 100 Questions Urban Mobility and Transportation Domain.

Learn more about the domain here.

BROOKLYN, New York, Monday, October 10 — Along with CAF — Development Bank of Latin America, the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), and the New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO), The Governance Lab (The GovLab) releases the final report detailing the outcomes of the 100 Questions Initiative’s Urban Mobility and Transportation domain.

This domain is the eighth installment of the 100 Questions Initiative, a project originally launched in 2019 that seeks to identify pressing policy issues through a unique, data-driven decision-making framework.

Using questions as a device for both inquiry and data responsibility, we identify the high-priority and high-impact problems that could be answered if relevant datasets were leveraged in a responsible manner with the help of ‘bilinguals’ — subject matter and data science experts in the field. Through question clustering and prioritization, we produce the top ten questions for the domain. During a public voting period, we solicit feedback from the general public to rank the most important questions. Through this collaborative process, we help identify focus areas for data collaboratives initiatives to share and (re)use data to address social problems.

In our final report, we first provide a topic map of the urban mobility and transportation field organized across six central topics: (1) Cross-topic considerations of performance, policies, and regulations; (2) Economic opportunity and mobility; (3) Social justice; (4) Wellbeing and safety; (5) Environmental impact; and (6) Innovation and technology. We developed a tagging system to showcase the interconnectedness of the elements of urban mobility and transportation.

Further, we detail the impetus for the domain and describe the methodology behind the 100 Questions to find the top ten questions. Following the release of the 10 questions at the World Urban Forum in the session “Shaping the Future of Mobility: Data Governance for Sustainable Development,” we ran a public voting campaign in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to gain multilingual and representative input.

Ultimately, the following priority questions were selected:

  1. How can we incentivize people to take trips by sustainable modes, such as walking, biking and/or public transit, rather than by personal motorized vehicles? Which governance frameworks and regulatory tools can we use to change transportation behaviors?
    Rationale: Researchers focus on incremental changes in behavior associated with different transportation and mobility conditions. For instance, there are greenhouse gas, health, traffic decongestion, employee attendance, public safety, even retail sales benefits from traveling under human power, along particular routes. Faced with the urgent and timely need to decarbonize the transportation sector, why not ask what it would take in terms of incentives to lower the transaction costs of even very small payments for these environmental benefits that might aggregate up to behavior changing incentives? How would policy be guided if we were equipped with this information first and then looked for the co-beneficiaries of that change and see if we could devise ways to extract the funding?
  2. How can we incorporate technology-enabled spatial analysis methods (such as location-based data analysis) and validate open data (e.g., census data, satellite data, GTFS data, POIs, etc.) to understand and respond to people’s public transportation needs in a responsible manner?
    Rationale: Current transportation systems tend to be designed to serve central or commercial areas, and new data sources (ie, cell phone data) overrepresent high socioeconomic levels. It is important to figure out a way to address the bias issue in new sources of data.
  3. What sources of data and methodologies are nowadays the most effective to use to calculate the modal share of a city?
    Rationale: There is a lot of work on how to use new data sources, which are often biased towards a particular mode (i.e. ticketing data for public transport), but we need more discussion on how to adapt traditional sources and combine them with the new ones. Looking at the methodologies and sources to calculate the modal share/modal split and figuring out which methods are most effective will better serve policymakers in utilizing this data for insight generation.

The questions are guiding the TUMI Mobility Data Hub Project in their efforts to establish a Data Hub and engage in practical exercises and create digital tools through urban mobility data collaboratives within a variety of cities by, for instance, using the questions to identify new pathways of using available city-level data to address policy gaps.

Interested in setting up an urban mobility data collaborative in your city? Email contact@the100questions.org. For more information about the 100 Questions Initiative, visit the100questions.org or contact Stefaan Verhulst, lead of the initiative at sverhulst@thegovlab.org.

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About the 100 Questions Initiative

The 100 Questions Initiative is presented by The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. This initiative seeks to map the world’s 100 most important questions in the most critical domains, such as gender, migration, and air quality, that could be answered if datasets and data science were unlocked and leveraged to their full potential, in a responsible manner. It is supported by a global advisory board comprising data science and subject matter experts from the public, corporate, and non-profit sectors. Members include Ciro Cattuto, scientific director of ISI Foundation; Gabriella Gómez-Mont, founder and former director at Laboratorio Para La Ciudad; Molly Jackman, leader of Content-Product Data Science and Engineering at Netflix; Vivienne Ming, founder of Socos Labs; Wilfred Ndifon, director of research at AIMS Global Network; Denice Ross, fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation; and Matthew Salganik, professor of sociology at Princeton University. For more information, visit the100questions.org or https://the100questions.org/faq

About The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

The Governance Lab’s mission is to improve people’s lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit the thegovlab.org

About CAF- Development Bank of Latin America

CAF — Development Bank of Latin America is a development financial institution committed to improving the quality of life of all Latin Americans. CAF´s actions promote the sustainable development and integration of the region through loans, non-reimbursable technical assistance resources, and support in the technical and financial structuring of programs and projects in the public and private sectors in Latin America. CAF works in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as in Spain and Portugal through 13 offices, to serve the region.

About the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative

TUMI is the leading global implementation initiative on sustainable mobility, formed through the union of 11 prestigious partners. Facilitated by GIZ and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Development (BMZ), TUMI’s vision is thriving cities with enhanced economic, social, and environmental performances in line with the New Urban Agenda, the Agenda 2030, and the Paris Agreement. TUMI is based on three pillars: innovation, knowledge, and investment. Website: www.transformative-mobility.org

About the New Urban Mobility Alliance

NUMO, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, is a global organization that channels tech-based disruptions in urban transport to create joyful cities where sustainable and just mobility is the new normal. Founded in 2019 as an outgrowth of the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, NUMO convenes diverse allies and leverages the momentum of significant revolutions in mobility to target urban issues — including equity, sustainability, accessibility, and labor — impacted by the shifting transportation landscape. NUMO is hosted by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Learn more at www.numo.global

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