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XCARCITY Consortium Meeting

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The first consortium meeting for the XCARCITY Programme took place on 6 December 2023 in the City Hall in Almere. Over 32 participants gathered, including partners and researchers, to reflect on the first 6 months of the programme, be introduced to the appointed researchers, receive updates on the use cases and discuss administrative aspects around the programme. 

The day started with a great introductory presentation from Bart van Arem, detailing his trip in Japan, his learnings and links to the XCARCITY programme. Bart took the audience on his journey from the ‘Mobility Innovation Week’ and several research visits in Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. An inspiring presentation set the tone for the day.

Pierre Kil (Open Remote), Aries van Beinum (WitteveenBos) and Jeroen Nieuwenhuis (FSD) followed suit, with their inspirational presentations, highlighting their own experiences in designing car-free areas and/or digital twinning. The three inspirational speakers are key members in the consortium and provided insight on what XCARCITY means to them and what they are contributing to the project.

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) played a key role in the programme, with Jennifer Faber proving an interactive session on the programme progress, NWO expectations, and reiterating the importance of Consortium Days, where partners come together and interact on the Programme, its relevance and contribution to the research.  

The Consortium meeting allowed space for some important administrative aspects, presented by Bart van Arem, before the stage was handed over to Maaike Snelder to provide a brief update on the status of the Work Packages and the research achieved to date. 

Patrick van Norden (from MRDH), Barry Ubbels (from the Amsterdam Region) and Michael van Bokhorst (from Almere) provided brief updates of their use cases, following on from their first presentations at the Almere Design Session in October.

Ubbels zoomed in on spatial planning, the importance of walking and combining existing models. Van Norden explained about what they are trying to overcome in the MRDH Region: scalability and what he refers to as the ‘sweet and sour’-concept: people have to go through a transition phase of not using cars. First the sour, then the sweet. XCARCITY will help the 21 municipalities of the region to connect its citizens and projects. Finally, Bokhorst noted the success of the design session that took place in October and how it will be put to use for the Almere use case. 

The formalities of the day ended with Carla Robb conducting an interactive session to introduce the appointed researchers and get acquitted with their ideas for XCARCITY programme and the research they will be conducting. If you are also curious who they are, they can be found here!

The day landed up being another successful XCARCITY event, ending with borrel and networking. Ending on a high and looking forward to the exciting ideas that 2024 shall bring.