People riding bikes, scooters and a car with a bus in the background
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Many things define a city: geography, population, history, industry, nightlife. But few are more defining of a city’s status as ‘modern’ than transport.

Urban mobility has become a critical issue for modern cities. Not only from the standpoint of convenience and connectivity, but because of its impact on the sustainability agenda too. The rapid growth of urban populations has led to an increase in traffic congestion and air pollution, making the search for sustainable transport solutions a key aspect of global sustainability efforts.

But as the Smart City Expo showed, many cities across the world are pioneering new transportation solutions to drive these agendas forward.

The tech at the centre of tomorrow’s smart cities

From new lanes for bicycles or scooters to shared vehicle services, many sustainable transport choices are being embraced by citizens in urban areas already. And new means of transport are coming to the market too, such as autonomous vehicles, flying engines and a rising number of electric cars.

But key to integrating these new modes of transport is data analysis. The right technology can help every city to analyse their traffic patterns, identify possible solutions and implement multimodal services that can increase convenience and traffic safety.​

The Belgian city reducing congestion with data analysis

One such city is Antwerp, which has been using innovative ways to reduce congestion and coax drivers to use other means of transport. The Belgian city worked with Microsoft and partner Be-Mobile to build a platform that collects data from road traffic to get a fuller picture of the City’s real-time traffic issues.

Analyzing this data led to the City offering drivers a wide range of alternatives – such as dissuasive parking, car or bike sharing options, or microelectric vehicles – that would still allow them to reach the city centre, through more sustainable means.

The initiative saw car usage for commuting decrease by almost 10%, with 14,000 fewer cars entering the centre on an average workday.

Driving forward the urban mobility agenda with cloud technology

Microsoft is already working with a wide number of cities like Antwerp across the globe to introduce more efficient and sustainable transportation solutions in urban areas. With our ecosystem of partners, Microsoft can support every municipality to achieve its urban mobility goals and provide modern services to citizens.

To learn more about the technology that is helping to redefine the public sector, download our latest eBook below.

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