Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel Aviv Yafo

I visited Tel Aviv Yafo as part of my work reviewing the CIVITAS 2move2 project in late March. I’d never been to Israel before and it was very interesting and nice. The weather was fantastic, sunny and about 20 degrees for our whole visit.

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

The goal of CIVITAS is for cities to demonstrate a set of innovative sustainable transportation measures and then evaluate how well they worked so that other cities can learn from their experience. Groups of cities work together to implement similar measures and learn from each other. In Tel Aviv we saw measures for electro mobility, improved traffic control, bus priority, green corridors and bike systems. Our hosts from the city took us on tours to see these innovative ideas.

One of my favourite projects is the green corridors. I learned that the noted city planner Patrick Geddes had developed the original plan for Tel Aviv and had included green corridors around the city. We walked and rode bikes on several of these corridors and they are really wonderful. They reminded me of the parkways in my hometown of Buffalo NY planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. There are one-way streets (one parking lane and one travel lane) on both sides of a wide landscaped median. The median contains a bike path, pedestrian path, play areas, and cafes at the main cross streets (see photo). These corridors are very pleasant and well used, they would be a great model for modern cities!

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

We also had a very nice tour of Tel Aviv’s White City. This is the part of Tel Aviv developed in the early 1920s (planned by Geddes). It contains over 2,000 Bauhaus (International Style) buildings. Many of these buildings need renovation, and the city is working on making this happen by working with owners to develop economically possible renovation plans. This portion of the city was recently designated a world cultural site by UNESCO.

Of course, the beach is also nice!

My photos of Tel Aviv on Flickr.

My photos of Jerusalem on Flickr – it’s only about an hour away by bus!

LSECities – Urban data conference – March 2014

LSECities – Urban data conference – March 2014

I’ll be participating as a discussant at a conference organised by Adam Greenfield at the London School of Economics on Friday March 14. Read more about the speakers and programs on the LSECities announcement or on Adam Greenfield’s blog post. It should be a provocative day!


The Urban Data from Fetish Object to Social Object conference in London was fantastic, lots of great ideas discussed by people doing really neat things with social data. Sjors Timmer did a nice post about the conference.

Washington DC – TRB 2014

Washington Metro station

Washington Metro station

The 2014 TRB Annual Meeting was busy and fun – as usual.

I was co-author of two papers:

Lion sculpture on William Howard Taft Bridge - on the walking route between TRB hotels.

Lion sculpture on William Howard Taft Bridge – on the walking route between TRB hotels.

  • Using Online Games in Transport: Grr-Grr-Bike Case Study (Paper 14-3805), with co-authors Peter Purgathofer and Fares Kayali from the TU Wien; and
  • A proposed methodology for comparing and harmonizing railway operating processes (Paper 14-2632), with co-authors Silko Hoeppner (main author) and Ulrich Weidmann from the ETH Zurich’s IVT.
Washington Metro - backlit system and local area maps on telephone booth in station.

Washington Metro – backlit system and local area maps on telephone booth in station.

There were lots of excellent sessions and posters. I have many ideas for new projects and games … stay tuned!

Games in transport: Grr-Grr-Bike case study

GGBike-doorI just posted the paper I wrote jointly with Peter Purgathofer and Fares Kayali of the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology Vienna University of Technology about the use of games in transportation, with a focus on the technical evaluation of the Grr-Grr-Bike game prepared by Peter and Fares last spring. Here’s the paper abstract:

This paper presents an introduction to using games in transportation. Many organizations are using online games to help explain complicated subjects, increase awareness and encourage participation, three key transportation agency objectives. The Grr-Grr-Bike game was developed to better understand how mobile games could be designed to achieve these objectives. In the game players swipe the screen to guide a bike rider along an increasingly more complicated streetscape while avoiding opening car doors and stopping at traffic lights. The game’s objective was to encourage people to get involved in local bike planning and to teach them about urban cycling. The prototype game was released in January 2013 and then evaluated by game design experts. The experts produced a research report with improvement recommendations. The paper begins by providing an introduction to using games in transportation including example games, then uses the expert recommendations for Grr-Grr-Bike to illustrate important game design concepts, and finally presents general recommendations for using games in transportation.

You can download the paper from my publications page or directly via this link.

I’ll present the paper at a poster session on Monday morning January 13, 2014 between 8:30 -10:45 AM, Hilton International Center.

Hope to see you there!

CIVITAS Forum 2013

Georges Braque - Mon Velo

Georges Braque – Mon Velo

Just returned from the CIVITAS Forum 2013 in Brest France. Great conference with lots of neat sustainable transport ideas.

LRT on pedestrian mall in centre of Brest, France (October 2013).

LRT on pedestrian mall in centre of Brest, France (October 2013).

I travelled via Paris, taking the TGV from Montparnasse to Brest and back. On my return trip I visited the wonderful Braque exhibit at the Grand Palais and was struck by his painting of his bicycle (above). It was appropriate for the trip!

Brest is a very pleasant city. Like many relatively small cities in France they have a tramway! The tram runs along a pedestrian mall through the center of the city.

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