Shaping the Future of Society and Cities Worldwide: in Conversation with Andrea Gorrini

Shaping the Future of Society and Cities Worldwide: in Conversation with Andrea Gorrini

Dr. Andrea Gorrini is an environmental psychologist with over 10 years experience in the empirical investigation of pedestrian mobility, walkability, and crowd dynamics. His research work is aimed at supporting the design of architectural solutions for enhancing the comfort and safety of people navigating both outdoor urban scenarios and indoor facilities. He is particularly skilled in the design and execution of large data gathering campaigns, and he is expert in using different software for data analysis and statistics. Since 2019 he has collaborated with Systematica for the Horizon 2020 DIAMOND Project, and he currently acts as Head of Research at Transform Transport.

Q: What prompted Systematica to launch Fondazione Transform Transport? 

AG: As a result of the success of its research unit Transform Transport, Systematica launched Fondazione Transform Transport ETS, a non-profit foundation that will oversee its current research initiatives and provide innovative, inclusive, and sustainable mobility solutions for shaping the future of society and cities worldwide. The foundation comes as part of a larger strategy aimed at augmenting the number and size of its self-financed and externally funded projects in order to increase the impact of the research findings on sustainable urban mobility and social inclusion in the coming years. The foundation, one of its kind in the field of transport planning and mobility engineering, grounds on 30 years of Systematica’s work and explores how disruptive technologies, increasingly and rapidly influencing urban mobility, can have a positive impact on cities, neighborhoods, and buildings, collaborating closely with municipalities and companies, and using Big data for greater insights.

Q: Which methodological approach are you following to collect and analyze data about urban mobility patterns?

AG: The investigation of urban mobility is a complex field of study that requires multidisciplinary knowledge considering the variety of relevant skills (e.g., urban planning, traffic engineering, computer science, social science, etc.). In this framework, the research of Transform Transport is based on the application of technology-enabled spatial analysis methods, commonly known as Urban Informatics. This discipline is an evidenced-based approach that, thanks to the recent development of advanced ICTs and the increasing availability of digitally widespread data sources, has led to innovative assessment tools and metrics that can provide valuable support to city decision-makers by unveiling hidden mobility patterns. Moreover, our research is based on a user-centric approach that focuses on the design and management of public transport services and infrastructure by considering the needs and expectations of the city users. As highlighted by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN’s SDG 11-Sustainable cities and communities), urban mobility should be designed to be inclusive for women, children, the elderly, and people with impaired mobility.

Q: As a foundation, what are Transform Transport’s plans to stay aligned with the strategy aimed at increasing the impact on sustainable urban mobility and social inclusion?

AG: This year, Transform Transport will be submitting over ten proposals to the European Union scientific research initiative ‘Horizon Europe’ and other European/ national institutions that would be funding the projects in the following years. It will also continue to actively participate in lectures, talks, and hackathons in partnership with Universities, mentoring and sharing methodologies with students. The foundation will keep promoting and developing research studies, disseminating them through books, publications, conferences, public talks, and events. One of the most recent books, Shifting Paradigm, is a structured collection of the most insightful investigations since the Covid-19 outbreak. Moreover, around 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers revolving around sustainable mobility topics in open access International Journals and Conference Proceedings were recently published, and the foundation will pursue these endeavors. With its team of experts, Transform Transport will continue to create new paradigms to tackle complex mobility challenges, placing sustainability and social inclusion at the core of its research as it always has.