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Innovative mobile app to make cities more bikeable

An international group of researchers led by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) have launched a new mobile app designed to make city regions more bikeable and enhance the cycling experience for urban cyclists. 

BiciZen is an open and collaborative platform that crowdsources data about everyday cycling experiences, providing invaluable insights to improve cycling infrastructure and promote a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. 

As an innovative solution, BiciZen empowers cyclists by enabling them to share information about bicycle parking, theft, safety, conflicts with other road users, and obstructions in cycle paths. Additionally, the app allows users to suggest improvements to cycling infrastructures and report positive cycling experiences, fostering a strong cycling community. 

BiciZen was developed through a research collaboration between five universities of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), funded by the ECIU SMART-ER seed program for citizen science. 

By participating in BiciZen, users contribute to a larger dialogue on the future of bicycle infrastructure in their cities, and also to a broader research project that helps city officials understand patterns and problems related to urban cycling. The data collected on the BiciZen platform offers a historical record of cycling incidents, events, and commentaries, which can be consulted by all stakeholders, including activists, city planners, and researchers. 

The BiciZen app is now available for download on both iOS and Android platforms. As a testament to its commitment to openness and collaboration, the anonymized datasets collected through the app will be shared as open data for research use.  

To carry out this project, the BiciZen team includes the participation of CUBIC, ICTA-UAB’s City Lab Barcelona, the Dublin City University, the Tampere University, the University of Twente and the University of Aveiro. The organisers encourage everyone to join this project to enable an urban cycling revolution and the creation of more bicycle-friendly urban regions. 

BiciZen is an open and collaborative platform that crowdsources data about everyday cycling experiences in city regions around Europe. The platform aims to empower cyclists with information that can improve their everyday cycling experience while also contributing to a broader research project and helping city officials understand patterns and problems related to cycling. 

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The ECIU University Research Institute for SMART European Regions (SMART-ER) is an alliance in research, innovation and education, enabling all member universities to jointly address complex societal challenges under the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). The objective of the project is to give support to the research and innovation sector of the ECIU University by developing a shared, comprehensive and long-term strategy in synergy with its educational dimension. There are currently 17 SMART-ER research projects underway, all funded by the Seed Programme and the Citizen Science pilot programme, and seven of these include the involvement of the UAB: BiciZen, CARE Citizen Arenas, ECIU-UTC, EASEM, INSCE, BrownBin, and RN4EUHEALTH. 



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