Pedro MoreiraManager at Transport Coordinator Center of Braga
Born in Barcelos and with experience in the area of Transport, Mobility and Urban Planning, Pedro Moreira is currently manager at Transport Coordinator Center of Braga.
Pedro Moreira is also a senior engineer in the Traffic and Mobility Division of the municipality of Braga, responsible for the coordination of european projects (URBACT, CIVITAS, EIT Urban Mobility, Eurocities, CEF-CALL Quadrilátero Urbano).
With a degree in Engineering and Industrial Management and a master's degree in Transportation, Pedro Moreira is the special guest of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS Connecting Stories series.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience?
My professional journey is very marked by the academic option. The course in Industrial Engineering and Management has allowed me to have a transversal vision of the main problems faced by organizations in the most diverse sectors of activity.
So, I had the opportunity, in the first years of professional activity, to be connected to the industry, in a multinational and a SME, with functions in the areas of production and planning.
Later on, being able to complement my basic education with a master's degree in Transportation was the possibility to deepen knowledge in an area that already in 2008 showed that it would be one of the most pressing issues in city life.
The specialization in this area proved to be an added value for my professional development, allowing me to develop my activity in a sector whose development I am particularly enthusiastic about, allowing me to be one of the responsible for one of the first public transport concession contracts.
Having the possibility of developing work in a city that clearly invests in this theme and promotes an ecosystem of innovation and experimentation is a unique privilege. It also allows me to interact, in my daily life, with different national and foreign interlocutors in different networks of european cities, which make me a very optimistic person regarding the evolution that the Mobility sector will soon experience.
2. You are manager at Transport Coordinator Center of Braga. What can you tell us about this function?
The management function of the Braga Transport Coordination Centre is a recent challenge. The Braga Municipality has taken on new competences resulting from new legislation and new opportunities to intervene in a crucial element in the city's mobility ecosystem, such as a Transport Coordination Centre.
The possibility now arises to give a new vision to an equipment that has suffered some degradation over the years, but that can become the visible face of Public Transport in Braga: more modern, efficient, intuitive and able to meet the needs of more demanding customers. Reinforcement of security, information to the public, integration, cleaning or image are essential.
Public Transportation has always had, has and will have a central role in the mobility policies of a modern and every day more sustainable city.
3. How has the City of Braga contributed to the development of Smart Cities?
The development of Smart Cities is a transversal objective to any city. The term Smart City, often associated with cutting-edge technology (and often reduced to that, unfortunately), is a term that should be seen in all aspects that can make a city intelligent: investment in human and social capital, encouraging the use of technologies as a facilitator of sustainable economic growth, providing an improvement in the quality of life of citizens, also allowing a better management of natural resources and energy.
Braga has invested in various points of sensorization of the city's activity, whether in issues of mobility and traffic, or environmental, energy, social and cultural issues. This knowledge of the "field" allows to act in a preventive way on the events, reducing the action by reaction. In this path, Braga will be every day a more "smart" city.
4. How do you think mobility planning in portuguese cities has evolved?
Mobility planning is essential to modern city life. It is essentially about creating freedom of choice for citizens.
Portuguese cities have made an effort, even in response to recent legislation, to plan their mobility. However, we are at an early stage in many places. If we put portuguese cities on the scale of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, we realize that the vast majority is still in the 1st generation of plans, focused on traffic and on studies of car traffic flows (construction of infrastructures). Some have already moved to 2nd generation plans, with people's movement planning and only a small number of portuguese cities are starting to look at 3rd generation plans, focused on quality of life planning in cities.
5. What advantages come from a well planned mobility?
A well planned mobility allows to optimize citizens' movements, creating the basis for a sustainable urban mobility. This is an objective that has taken on a leading role in all cities in Europe and around the world.
The importance of this theme lies in the need to build cities that are less polluting, more inclusive, more intelligent and ecologically and spatially optimized. It is also a central theme in the planning and management practices of the Municipality of Braga. The main objective is the inversion of the mobility pyramid, which consists in the redefinition of the urban design processes, prioritizing the pedestrian, the soft modes of travel, followed by public transportation and, finally, the car.
6. This year's European Mobility Week had as its main theme “Zero Emissions, Mobility for all”. How can we put this objective into practice?
This is the "one million dollar question" of mobility planning in cities. Everyone knows that the investment in electric mobility, soft modes and collective modes are essential to a mobility that promotes the reduction of CO2 emissions, the increase of road safety and the release of space for urban experiences and for the redesign of roads, becoming totally accessible.
The Transport sector, as one of the main contributors to EU greenhouse gas emissions, contributes significantly to climate change. We should look at this not as a problem, but as an opportunity. Moving transport is something we can do, without destructive effects on the economy, there is will and proper planning.
7. How can well planned urban mobility and Smart Cities improve the quality of life of the population?
Following on from what I answered before, I want to reinforce the idea that the Smart Cities will only truly do so with an improvement in the quality of life of the population. There are no Smart Cities where this is not the ultimate goal. No matter how much technology is added to a city, if it does not improve the life of the population, simplifying it, harmonizing it, making it more perceptible and accessible, it will remain a "Dumb City".
8. What relationship exists (or should exist) between a Smart City and sustainable development?
First we should talk about sustainability. And sustainability covers all dimensions of urban life. Environmental, social and economic. These dimensions are treated together, so that the whole is the intended result. It is easy to see that there is a complexity of issues to be addressed and optimized.
So, only a Smart City that puts at the service of the population its capacity to collect, analyze, process data, disseminate information, simulate and forecast the collective effects of our individual actions can be successful.
9. In your opinion, what will the cities of the future look like?
I don't know. There are things I know I won't miss: in the short term portuguese cities will be cleaner, more connected, more shared and more appealing as places to live.People are the best "sensor" about the way to go and the habits already acquired and entrenched lead us to conclude that the city of the 80s/90/00s is beginning to be out of touch with the life pretensions of citizens.
As such, and with the indispensable help of technology, we will have cities much more centered on people, families and relationships and less centered on economic activities. I am convinced that we will leave future generations very pleasant cities to live in.
10. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a company that has the possibility to produce digital billboards, multimedia kiosks and other technological solutions for Smart Cities and for the transportation area, what is your opinion about PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, its products and its strategy for the Smart Cities movement?
Information and communication are key factors in achieving the goals that guide a Smart City. A city made for and by citizens.
Therefore, the possibility to transmit dynamically and collect the information that people want to transmit to us is essential. Interactive billboards are some of the equipments that best serve the purpose, due to the proximity that is possible to have with the citizen, in the public space, collecting information that would otherwise be lost.
So, it is vital that companies like yours are always present in the cities and that they can always be at the vanguard of technological options, to create value for the economy and the ecosystem of the cities.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.