What is Harmony?
Harmony is a European project funded by the European Commission within the programme Horizon 2020. Its name stands for “Holistic Approach for Providing Spatial & Transport Planning Tools and Evidence to Metropolitan and Regional Authorities to Lead a Sustainable Transition to a New Mobility Era”. Its consortium gathers 21 members from 9 different European countries that will be working together for the three and a half years to come.
Against the background of expanding urbanisation and evolving transport challenges, Harmony will support public authorities and service providers in transport and spatial planning. It will elaborate a model suite, i.e. a platform bringing together not only transport and spatial planning models but also regional community growth models. For example, it will address challenges related to land use, passenger and freight transport, multimodal mobility and so on.
Consequently, these models will inform suitable recommendations to be implemented in different urban scenarios. Harmony will test its solutions in 6 different cities and metropolitan areas, namely Rotterdam – NL, Oxfordshire – UK, Athens – GR, Turin – IT, Trikala – GR, Katowice – POL. Real-life testing will include demonstrations with drones and autonomous vehicles at the service of citizens needs. In addition, Harmony will provide a platform for multi-stakeholders partnerships and appropriate training for public officials in order to close the gap between understanding and planning the mobility of the future.
Kick-off and launch event
The whole consortium gathered for the kick-off meeting at UCL in London, UK, on 5th and 6th June. After a general overview of the project by the coordinator Dr Maria Kamargianni, each member of the consortium introduced its work package and explained its role within the project. Furthermore, the consortium had the pleasure of hosting the project officer from the European Commission, Dr Octavia Stepan, who underlined the meaningful impact Harmony will produce in addressing travelling demand and CO2 reduction at a regional level.
The meeting was followed by the public launch event on 7th June. It was structured in three main panels of experts, each one focusing on a different aspect: innovation proposed by industries, challenged faced by urban authorities, spatial and transport planning. Finally, a cross-session discussion co-moderated by Enide wrapped up the event and shed some light into future developments.
What is the role of Enide?
Enide will lead the activities related to communication, exploitation and innovation management. In other words, it will
- promote Harmony actions and results, by providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public) in a strategic and effective manner;
- transfer the research results to the ones that can best make use of it, e.g. through scientific articles and conferences;
- ensure the usability and exploitation of the results beyond the lifetime of the project.