Archive for April, 2019

Time to Breathe – Now, our cities must nurture, not pollute.

Written by Laura TREVAIL on . Posted in All Y4PT Chapters, Y4PT Belgium & EU, Y4PT Belgium & EU in Brussels, Y4PT Brazil, Y4PT Brazil in Belo Horizonte, Y4PT Brazil in Florianopolis, Y4PT Brazil in Florianopolis at UFSC, Y4PT Chile, Y4PT Chile in Concepción, Y4PT Chile in Santiago, Y4PT Colombia, Y4PT Colombia in Bogota, Y4PT Colombia in Bogota at UNAL, Y4PT England, Y4PT England in London, Y4PT England in London at UCL, Y4PT France, Y4PT Germany, Y4PT Germany in Karlsruhe, Y4PT Germany in Karlsruhe at HSK, Y4PT Greece, Y4PT Greece in Athens, Y4PT Greece in Athens at NTUA, Y4PT India, Y4PT Nepal, Y4PT Nepal in Kathmandu, Y4PT Oman, Y4PT Oman in Sohar, Y4PT Oman in Sohar at SU, Y4PT Qatar, Y4PT Qatar in Doha, Y4PT Qatar in Doha at QU, Y4PT Russia, Y4PT Russia in Moscow, Y4PT Russia in Moscow at SUM, Y4PT Spain, Y4PT Spain in Gijon, Y4PT Spain in Madrid, Y4PT UAE, Y4PT UAE in Abu Dhabi, Y4PT UAE in Dubai, Y4PT World

“Sustainability is the key. Plan all your actions with this in mind.” – Riccardo Scarinci, Algorithm Designer, Project Manager, Biz Dev. Y4PT Hackathon Participant and winner.

 

 

As we travel together, the sun is beginning to grow warm over part of the world. Spring is rising with the dawn, heating the earth and coaxing the seeds of plants and ideas to crack open and send tendrils of potential out into the unknown.

 

Beneath our feet and in our hearts, this journey is moving from hope to happening in a season of new growth.  

 

And elsewhere on this same planet, at this same time, the year is cooling into autumn. Plants and animals are preparing to survive the winter; gathering resources, sheltering what is important and shedding what is no longer needed.

 

Surrounding us, and in our brains, this journey is moving from hope to happening in a season of harvest, readiness and conservation.

 

Our world is in balance, breathing steadily in and out. From all our different seasons, our different weathers; we global elements of Y4PT travel together. We meet, we exchange, we travel on. We return to meet again.

 

 

Beginning the morning’s work with meditation, we focus on our breathing. In, and out. Steady, balanced. The flow of air and ideas uniting our community in this moment. All our languages, our skills, our unique experiences brought together; breathing in and out.

 

As we breathe the air of the places we meet, we are aware that it gives us life. We are aware that we breathe in the oxygen we need. But what else are we breathing?

 

Perhaps we listen to traffic passing outside. Or perhaps to the movement of trees. Perhaps we hear people laughing. Or perhaps we hear horns and shouting.

 

Someone reaches into their pocket for a tissue and blows their nose. Perhaps the white paper is grey with the dust of the city. Perhaps someone else is using their asthma inhaler more than usual today. Perhaps we are tired. Perhaps there is a little catch in our throats..

 

We know why we are here. Our world is in danger. We have been choking it up for years. Creating processes, vehicles, objects, and whole places that seep, exhale, belch and slough off dangerous waste. Tiny particles shivering off and away, into the air. Into the air, and so into us as we breathe. Every particle containing the potential for sickness and disease. Heart disease, stroke, COPD, respiratory infections and lung cancer – just from breathing. And not just now, as we are learning and aware of the danger, but every day as we go about our lives.

 

 

We have been building ourselves cities – wonderful human gatherings where we can work together, make friends, make families. But for generations, we have built them in ways that stifle us, and even take our lives.

 

“The trend I see is that people are more inclined over short term goals and wins and they don’t foreseen the big picture or the implications of their actions over long term.” – Ion Morozan, Software Engineer, Product Designer, Y4PT Hackathon participant and winner. 

 

We have prioritised expansion, without conserving what we need. We have been living as though it is always spring. But at Y4PT, when we meet, we have travelled from all the seasons, not just one. We are here to create and to inspire a better, healthier way. We do not need to do things the way they always have been done. We are new generations. We choose to work with the balance of nature, rather than attempt to conquer it.

 

“Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and don’t consider mankind superior to all the rest of the organisms in the world.”  Vreixo González Caneda, Software Developer, Y4PT Hackathon participant and winner.

 

Mistakes of our past and present have polluted not just the cities themselves, but far beyond. In 2012, the WTO reported that one in eight of total global deaths was due to air pollution, making air pollution the world’s largest single environmental health risk. New data in 2018 revealed that one in nine people globally breathe highly polluted air.  As well as particulates, a wide range of gasses in our polluted air including Carbon Monoxide(CO), Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), Nitrogen Dioxide(NO2) and Sulfur Dioxide(SO2), are forcing the climate of our entire planet to change.

 

Our air knows no borders. So our ideas too must travel. Just as every particle or molecule of pollution contains the potential for harm, every spark of an idea contains the potential to prevent and reverse this damage. And so we meet, we exchange, we research, and we create the solutions of the future.

 

We know that just pushing the problem elsewhere is not a solution, because we all come from somebody else’s “elsewhere”. Truly global collaboration owns and addresses the whole challenge.

 

“My hope is that the pollution generated by transport and especially private transport might be reduced in the years to come, even removed [and replaced entirely] with sustainable power sources. My fear is that we just move the contamination from place to another, for example from city centres to the surroundings of big batteries manufacturers.”  Vreixo González Caneda, Software Developer, Y4PT Hackathon participant and winner.

 

In 2015, we launched the #BreatheableCities World Campaign; a multi-stakeholder initiative measuring people’s exposure to and inhalation of air pollutants through different modes of transport, in order to estimate impact on human health.

 

 

In the first experiments of this kind ever performed in the country, Bogotá DC (Colombia, South America), was the was the first city to host the Campaign, organising two editions to date. The first measuring black carbon during the course of a day, and the second integrating exposure and inhalation aspects, monitoring a wider range of air pollutants over a 12 day period.

 

The studies concluded that not only did car drivers experience the highest exposure to particulate matter, but that those engaging in healthier mobility modes, such as cycling, while suffering significantly lower exposure (almost half), were vulnerable to increased inhalation of pollutants due to the physical effort that would otherwise provide health benefits. Our polluted air is making even #HealthyMobility significantly less healthy.  There is no option but to clean up, and fast. 

 

 

“I hope and I’m sure that it will be sustainable one day, but my fear is when this will happen.” – Silvio Biasiol, Software Developer, Maker and Y4PT Hackathon Participant.

 

The Youth of Y4PT are not prepared to wait for older generations to come up with the answers. Why wait, when 8.8 million lives a year could be saved? At each Local and Global Hackathon, ideas are pitched that can solve these problems. From the improved air pollution monitoring hardware of Montréal Global Finale 2nd Prize-winners “Air4”, to the integrated rural transport of Menden Local Hackathon winners “Get moving”, Y4PT teams are offering improvement, optimisation and innovation at every step. Skilful teams of young minds develop these ideas, carrying them forward and exposing visiting mentors, judges and supporters to the inescapable truth that things can be done differently, and that the people capable of making these changes are already here. We must welcome and invite them. We must employ them; and not to continue our work as it already stands, but to listen to them, learn from them. They know how to make it work, and they know that it is practical and logical to improve.

 

“Technology moves forward rapidly, and […] current standards tend to leap behind quickly. Therefore nowadays humanity is still actively looking for popular movements which could eventually become the standard. So once humanity can be convinced to adopt a greener or better standard, this might become the next million-dollars platform for the years to come.” – Johnny Heesterbeek, Engineer and Y4PT Hackathon Participant.

 

The world is listening to the youth, and is beginning to change. Even those of us motivated only by the bottom line are aware that these changes must be made.  What is best for us as humans, is best for us as cities, as countries, and as a planet. A healthy way may seem simple and obvious, and ideas promoting it are often selected to win these competitive Hackathons – so why do we keep avoiding it in our everyday lives?

 

“What makes people happy in a city? Clean air, green spaces to meet and play, facilities in proximity of each other. Put these wishes central to your urban developments and mobility decisions. I can guarantee you will face many temptations in your daily work, especially of things that people want (more), but never forget what makes people happy in the end! – Geert de Leeuw, Urban Geographer,  Lecturer in the Built Environment, and Y4PT Hackathon Participant and Mentor

 

 

 

– Laura Trevail; Brussels & Southend. April 2019

A Movement for Movement – Creating Healthy Mobility Together

Written by Laura TREVAIL on . Posted in All Y4PT Chapters, Y4PT Belgium & EU, Y4PT Belgium & EU in Brussels, Y4PT Brazil, Y4PT Brazil in Belo Horizonte, Y4PT Brazil in Florianopolis, Y4PT Brazil in Florianopolis at UFSC, Y4PT Chile, Y4PT Chile in Concepción, Y4PT Chile in Santiago, Y4PT Colombia, Y4PT Colombia in Bogota, Y4PT Colombia in Bogota at UNAL, Y4PT England, Y4PT England in London, Y4PT England in London at UCL, Y4PT France, Y4PT Germany, Y4PT Germany in Karlsruhe, Y4PT Germany in Karlsruhe at HSK, Y4PT Greece, Y4PT Greece in Athens, Y4PT Greece in Athens at NTUA, Y4PT India, Y4PT Nepal, Y4PT Nepal in Kathmandu, Y4PT Oman, Y4PT Oman in Sohar, Y4PT Oman in Sohar at SU, Y4PT Qatar, Y4PT Qatar in Doha, Y4PT Qatar in Doha at QU, Y4PT Russia, Y4PT Russia in Moscow, Y4PT Russia in Moscow at SUM, Y4PT Spain, Y4PT Spain in Gijon, Y4PT Spain in Madrid, Y4PT UAE, Y4PT UAE in Abu Dhabi, Y4PT UAE in Dubai, Y4PT World

Keep listening to your inner voice, the real work comes from inside out.” – Yasmina Ravijse, Wellbeing Instructor, Y4PT Mentor  

 

We are on a journey, you and I. Always on a journey. In our minds and hearts a vision of a better world, and it is to this we set our compass. We strike out in hope of reaching our destination – but do we really know the way? What will we achieve today, tomorrow, this month, this year, this lifetime, this generation?

 

In 2013, Y4PT began our campaign for Healthy Mobility, to connect and build on shared knowledge of global links between transport and health across interconnected challenges of modal shift, air pollution, emissions, nutrition and road safety. In that time we have developed and incentivised tools for practical youth knowledge of reducing C02 emissions with #iCOmmit2, improved nutrition education with #NutriEnergy, measured exposure to transport pollution with #BreatheableCities, lead 3 years of #ModalShift to healthy and sustainable transport modes, and encouraged over 4 years of #Y4PTHackathon projects to address these challenges.

 

Defining Healthy Mobility is more perilous than it seems. In the transport world, it conjures a sea of bicycles and scooters – sometimes carrying joyful travellers on the crest of its wave, and sometimes filling the depths with heaped-up detritus of battles for growth. Outside the transport world, it raises the spectre of our aging future as we try to avoid picturing ourselves bent stiffly over walking frames unable to read the bus times on tiny phone screens.

 

Mobility is movement, and the possibility of movement. The ease and peace of movement – being able to travel as we please, to move our bodies as we please. When it is at its healthiest, it is smooth, clean, unobstructed. But when it is not healthy, the grinding obstruction obliterates all else. Pain, frustration, delay; being stuck, and the looming fear of destination nowhere.  

 

 

For mobility to be healthy, the power lies in the nurturing of health itself. The health of our bodies, our emotions, and of our whole planet home.

 

As we approach our 3rd Global Finale at the 2019 UTIP Global Transport Summit, Stockholm, we reinforce our commitment to a connected, holistic, collaborative approach to creating and building on healthy solutions to our most pressing global transport issues.

 

“I think that the biggest challenge is to really integrate in our world and stop destroying it, not only for nature but also for ourselves, to live a healthier life.” – Vreixo González Caneda, Software Developer, Y4PT Hackathon participant and winner.

 

Healthy Mobility has been embedded in our approach throughout the Y4PT Hackathons, spanning two UITP Summits and approaching our third. During the 2015 UITP Summit Milan, we endorsed Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” movement as multipliers of global voices sharing healthy visions for our new generations stepping up to become creators of future mobility. By the 2017 UITP Summit in Montréal, we were reinforcing ideas in practice, with Wellbeing Instructor Yasmina Ravyse bringing leadership in movement, meditation and massage to our participants and mentors, enabling physical and mindful awareness to become part of the creative process for new technologies.

 

“I want to be part of an organisation inspired by the idea to make the world a better place, especially young people, they are the future”  – Yasmina Ravijse, Wellbeing Instructor, Y4PT Mentor

 

As our Y4PT Global Hackathons continue to develop, this integrated practice is growing, with dedicated rooms for physical workshops and treatments in Moscow showing priority of maintaining our fitness; while in the rural mobility hackathon in Menden, group cookery and meditation built awareness of nutrition, and the value of new shared skills and experiences. Participants are creating solutions in nurturing contexts of health and awareness.

 

 

This approach is clearly reflected in the projects created. From “Walkarama” (Dubai) enabling worldwide walking via smartphone, to the piezoelectric tiles of Milan and Dubai winners “Walkee” allowing these active travellers to generate sustainable electricity, this season’s participants have created a powerful network of interconnected projects and ideas across the borders of geography and experience.

 

“My hope is that technology will not become a goal [in] itself, but a tool to give back public space to people and green spaces [..]. This means a balanced mobility system primarily based on walking, cycling, public transport, Mobility as a Service/Sharing Systems for daily use; and that the self-driving car will not look like a car but a comfortable and functional space on wheels!

My fear is that “we” (people/cities/politicians) forget to tell car manufacturers our wishes for how an accessible and liveable city should look in the future, and that they have to come up with solutions contributing to our wishes. If we leave the transition to smart & healthy mobility/cities to the technology & automobile sector and short term political agendas the benefits to society of this transition will be minimal [..].

If we create an appealing vision of what our cities can be in the future from a human perspective, and put this central in our discussion and choices we make, I’m hopeful.”

– Geert de Leeuw, Urban Geographer / Lecturer Built Environment / Y4PT Hackathon Mentor

 

To take a lead in creating healthy mobility for all requires the courage to act, and the sensitivity to listen. The welcoming exposure to diverse perspectives and needs during a Y4PT hack builds a deep understanding that different people have different mobility requirements. Everybody must be able to experience their healthiest mobility, whoever and wherever they are.

This means supporting projects in challenging locations, such as the Syrian demand-responsive transport project “SPNR”, pitched in Berlin, providing adaptable travel where access to health requires access to a vehicle. And it means making accessibility standard rather than an annoying add-on; not everybody is able to walk the last mile, or ride a bike. Rightly celebrating walking and cycling as healthy transport options does not mean shaming or ignoring those of us with other needs. A truly healthy mobility ecosystem should always make the most appropriate mode readily available, safe, and welcoming.

Y4PT Hackathon teams, as always, rise to this challenge. The autonomous pods of “Independent Rapid Transit”, pitched in Menden, were designed to be fully accessible and included bathrooms. A simple addition, yet left out of so many proposals for autonomous transport. The moving walkways of Dubai winners “Namshi” make journeys on foot easier and faster for many, including opening up this mode to those with limited ability to walk long distances. For this team, consideration is second-nature:

 

“Whenever you have the choice to be nice to another person, please do make that choice.” Mariam Khalifeh, UI, Designer, Project Manager, Biz Dev, Communicator. Y4PT Hackathon Participant and winner

 

Considering diverse needs builds better, more scalable, more sustainable and more adaptable products. Without this consideration, any change will be shallow and fleeting.

 

“I hope that active mobility will be the predominant mode of transport in city. I fear that electric and autonomous vehicles will simply replace diesel vehicles, but the attitude of the people will not change…” – Riccardo Scarinci, Algorithm Designer, Project Manager, Biz Dev. Y4PT Hackathon Participant and winner.

 

 

And this attitude must change. We cannot continue to live, work and create at the expense of our own health and that of our planet. As we learn to prioritise respect for ourselves and each-other, that respect and care naturally extends to the environment we are an integral part of. Whether measuring pollution (“Air4”, Montréal), incentivising sustainable travel (“BeMyGuide”, Dubai), or creating it (“2MyPlace”, Milan), Y4PT Teams are consistently creating projects that put the health of our planet first, without compromising on quality or business potential.

 

We do not need to repeat the mistakes of previous generations. We can build better.

 

“There is [a] statement that children are smarter than their parents, and this also happens with young generations. New generations might solve current problems by learning from the mistakes in the past years or decades, and for humanity there is a big opportunity to make a greater world!” – Marija Satibaldijeva, Spatial planning student, Artist, Y4PT Hackathon participant and winner.

 

True to their potential, Y4PT Hackathon Participants are not only creating their own chosen futures, they are also inspiring and laying the trail for the generations that follow. Many Y4PT Participants, such as Urban Geographer Geert de Leeuw go on to become mentors, or to set up their own hackathons. And many create projects incentivising future generations to take action and choose Healthy Mobility from the start.  As we choose and share a healthier way, we make it easier for others to follow.

 

2017 Global Finale Winning app, “Ditch”, inspired children to take the lead in encouraging their parents to make the modal shift towards healthy and sustainable transport, by putting the choice in their hands.

 

The app’s youngest creator, Kim Smulders, pursued her own education journey following the Summit, with new understanding that her voice already has power and relevance; her skills and work can make a difference in the world right now; for her own, for younger, and for older generations with the vision to pay attention.  

 

“I received a super rare 10/10 (straight A) score for this paper and am super proud of it 😊. We have been thinking about sending this paper to our government to help improve our highways.” – Kim Smulders, Student, Design, Y4PT Hackathon Participant and Winner.

 

Have those of us with the power to act welcomed this paper? Are we active enough in seeking out the insights of our youth?

 

Do you feel the pull to learn alongside these young voices? To share the power of hope assembled into action? You are welcome on this journey. We must travel together: those who will create our future, and those who are providing the platforms, tools, technologies, resources and opportunities of today.

 

We do not yet know what will be created during the 2019 Global Finale at the UTIP Global Transport Summit, Stockholm, but we invite you to be among the first to experience the next generation of Healthy Mobility, and to share your own knowledge and experience with our unique, brave, thoughtful and talented teams.

 

 

“Many positive and innovative things are happening around the globe. We have to keep sharing them, learn from them and apply them in our daily practice! More and more people start realising that improving your street, neighbourhood, city, country or world starts with yourself, by the choices you make!” – Geert de Leeuw, Urban Geographer / Lecturer Built Environment / Y4PT Hackathon Mentor

 

This better world we are seeking is our world, in our time. We do not have to wait; in fact, we cannot afford to set this as some distant destination. We must step into our hope, right now, and make it real. In undertaking this journey together we are already travelling through this landscape of possibility, shaping it with boldness, kindness, cleverness and togetherness. This journey is that better world; move with us.

 

– Laura Trevail; Berlin, Brussels & Southend. March 2019

 

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Team “Walkarama”, Dubai: Ignacio O’Mullony [Designer, UK, Spain], Vreixo Gonzalez [Software Developer, spain]

Team “Walkee”, Milan, Dubai: Giuliana Maugeri [Project Manager/Business Development, Marketer/Communicator, Italy];Pietro Percudani [Project Manager/Business Development, Marketer/Communicator, Italy]; Ana Lombard [User Interface/Graphic Designer, Argentina]  

Team “SPNR”, Berlin: Ahmad Houri [Software Engineer, Germany, Syria], with UX Consultant Falk [Germany].

 

Team “Independant Rapid Transit”, Menden: Tristan Helmstaedt [Idea Generator, Germany] Lara [Technical drawing, Idea Generator, Germany], Max [Presenter, Idea Generator, Germany].

Team “Namshi”,  with Alessandra Gorini – Dubai: Facundo Di Giacomo [Software Programmer/Coder, Project Manager/Business Development. Argentina], Simon Carpman [Software Programmer/Coder, Hardware maker. Argentina], Riccardo Scarinci [Algorithm Designer, Project Manager/Business Development. Switzerland], Mariam Khalifeh [User Interface/Graphic Designer, Project Manager/Business Development, Marketer/Communicator, Mentor, Dubai]

Team “Air4”, Montréal: Massimo Santi [Mechanical Engineer, Italy]; André Borges [renewable energy engineer, Portugal]; Julius Mugaga [Biomedical Engineer, Uganda]; Marco van Nieuwenhoven [software/electrical engineer, The Netherlands]; Seydou Konate [software developer, mali]

Team “BeMyGuide”, Dubai: Dafne Medina [Software Programmer/Coder, Mexico]; Diego Cardenas [Mexico]

 

Team “2MyPlace”, Milan: Thiago Soares Figueira [Innovatore, Italy]; Maddalena Boscolo [Architecture Student, Italy]; Monica Giordano [Mathematical Engineer, Italy]; Enrico Gallo [Engineering Student, Italy]; Alberto Gerri [Engineering Student, Italy]; Roberto Monti [Urbanist, Italy]  

 

Team “Ditch”, Montréal: Maria Kaimaki, [Nanotech, UK]; Thomas Hepner [Software Engineer, Chile]; Igor Georgioski [UX/UI designer, business modeler, Macedonia]; Kim Smulders [Design, The Netherlands]; Juan Sebastian Canavera Herrera [Designer, UK]; Thomas Michem [Information Architect, Belgium]