How can footfall and transport be used innovatively to generate income and improve environmental sustainability in the City?
The Challenge 4 team would like to say heartfelt thanks for all the fantastic contributions that were received on this Challenge. We knew from the wide and varied responses that whittling down the ideas for our first workshop, held last Thursday would be a challenge in itself. The ideas which were initially shortlisted down to 10 led to fabulous presentations from the idea generators themselves and a real chance for us to start visualising some of these ideas in and around the City!
If choosing a shortlist of 10 ideas was difficult, then narrowing these down even further has become near on impossible. So now we need your help! Of our 10 shortlisted ideas we would like you to vote for your top 3. You will find further information on the 10 below, which we hope will give you a further insight into what the ideas are about and how they will work.
The closing date for the vote is Friday 6th April.
Once the closing date has been reached and the votes have been counted, the top 3 will then be taken forward for further consideration, with the aim of bringing these ideas and solutions to life. A workshop will be held to refine the preferred solutions and explore any possible challenges that may prevent the solutions development. With the help of the original idea generator, and those interested parties who can assist us, we hope to implement the ‘winning’ solutions in the next stage of this exciting journey.
The Shortlisted Ideas
Based on an initial evaluation of all submitted solutions the following 10 solutions were shortlisted (for more details on the shortlisting process visit the Challenge 4 workshop presentation attached).
To take the challenge to the next phase of development (detailed project feasibility, deliverability and resources needed), we need you to vote for your top 3 solutions to challenge 4.
Here are the ‘top 10’ ideas for you to choose from:
1. Sponsor a street
This solution is about increasing the number of pedestrainised streets in York and paying for it through sponsorship opportunities – similar to sponsored roundabouts. The pedestrianisation of a street is paid for by sponsorship from individuals, tourists and local businesses with some visual recognition of this contribution – i.e. paving slab with names on. It would be supported by a website.
Pros: Promotes ownership of a street; Could support the financing of more pedestrian streets in York;
Cons: Possible maintenance costs of the scheme after the initial work is carried out; Vandalism;
2. Energy generating pavements
This solution identifies innovative technology that can capture and generate renewable energy from the motion of walking in busy areas. The technology, embedded in pavements, can harness energy as you walk over it walk to generate electricity to light up local street lights, pavement lights and even information boards – perhaps with data that makes energy and environmental sustainability more visible. It can even save on lighting bills. In Parliament Street alone footfall was 8.4 million in 2011 – think of all that wasted energy we could use.
Pros: Powerful and visual education tool to highlight the need for renewable energy sources in a fun way with added health benefits; Trial-able, and if successful could link to planned regeneration works and new developments across the city;
3. Cycle counters and Air Pollution real time displays
This solution is about visually highlighting information to demonstrate the impact of 'journeys' in the City. The proposal contained two ideas, signs to show many people cycle in the city, and signs to show the air quality at certain points in the City (using green if below 30 mgm3, amber if 30-40 mgm3 and red if over 40 mgm3, the EU limit). These are not currently instantly visible across the city and such displays will raise awareness of these important environmental sustainability issues and encourage people to take action.
Pros: Powerful, visual and positive educational tool; Trial-able way of changing behaviours through positive ‘nudges’ such as celebrating the number of cyclists in York or air quality improvements;
4. Energy generating exercise bikes
This solution is about using people to sit on exercise bikes and generate electricity that could generate income and help improve health across the city. The solution could also utilise an existing asset (see challenge 1) and provide a lower cost alternative to private gym memberships.
Pros: Straightforward, energetic, good for all, cheaper to use than sports centres and with a social aspect; Pilot-able in energy bikes but could be applied to libraries, schools, internet cafe and to power laptops / other electronic devices;
5. Open Data Sharing
This solution is about a website to collate and publicly make available detailed information on transport, air quality and carbon emissions across the city so that we can use this data to highlight, target and solve issues. It can also be used identify cost effective improvements to change local behaviours across the city.
Pros: Data is good in order to understand a problem and solve issues; Like the web site idea as a tool for educating people on environmental issues (could link with solution 1 - counters and displays above);
Cons: Difficult to coordinate; Management of the site and data quality;
6. Low emission Mini-Bus fleet for schools and community groups
This solution reflects a current problem for schools, which have to sometimes use many private cars or old, highly inefficient, polluting vehicles to transport children on field trips and visits. The idea is to have a low emission minibus that could be hired (for a charged) to ensure school travel is easier for teachers and parents and it is environmentally friendly. As there is a charge, the scheme may create revenue to support itself and to be financially sustainable. When schools do not need it, it could also be offered to communities for use.
Pros: Council could operate as a company enterprise and could centrally manage this and the maintenance; Sharing a bus is a good thing economically and will save schools money;
7. Road Trains
This solution relates to an environmentally friendly road train system linking the city’s major attractions and key services such as the rail station. The modern, lightweight road train, inspired by the NRM’s road train, would be powered by electricity or other sustainable fuel and be a fun and practical service for residents, tourists and people with limited mobility to use. The idea suggested could be branded the Little Green Train and it would offer an enjoyable and people-friendly alternative to the car/large buses, capitalise on York’s railway history and acumen and has the potential to deliver an transport solution that would be economically and environmentally sustainable.
Pros: Keep big buses out of the city; Road train (perhaps entitled Little green trains) – is very appropriate to York. York is a railway city and this is a fun way for people to get around. It could create a tourism brand and is suitable for the small narrow streets in York;
8. Digital Display signs
Similar to idea 3 (above), this solution is based on the use of ‘smart signage’ to influence the behaviour of the City’s residents. Information that could be displayed for this purpose at various locations across our transport network includes vehicle counters (by type), countdowns to traffic light changes, journey times and alternatives, and ‘promotional’ messages for more environmentally friendly transportation.
Pros: Powerful , visual and positive educational tool; Trial-able way of changing behaviours through positive ‘nudges’ such as promoting quicker transport methods/routes.
Cons: Lots of signs can be confusing; Advertising congestion levels could have a negative impact on the city and local businesses;
9. Free City Centre Shuttle Bus
A frequent, free, low emission bus service linking the main rail station, car parks, shopping areas, businesses, hotels, York Hospital and any other appropriate and notable city locations. Cities such as Manchester, Bradford & Cardiff already use a version of this solution which would include low floors and easy access for wheelchairs, pushchairs etc.
Pros: Free travel throughout the City Centre area; Reduction in city centre congestion if becoming a preferred method of transport.
Cons: Costs to run; Negative impact on current bus provider(s);
10. Smart Parking Tickets
The introduction of ‘smart’ parking tickets which would be used to gather user information such as postcode travelled from, reason for visit and number of passengers. Along with derived data such as arrival & departures times the information can then be used to optimise car parking provision, predict parking revenues and predict traffic patterns.
Pros: Easy method of capturing data; Increased intelligence to be used when making traffic/city centre policies.
Cons: Increase in time to obtain parking tickets for customers; Perceived ‘big-brother’ intrusion.
How To Vote
We would like you to vote for your top 3 solutions.
To vote for your favourite ideas please reply to this discussion below and rank the ideas in order of preference (i.e. 1 = Favourite, 2 = 2nd Favourite, 3 = 3rd Favourite). An example is shown below.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
1st preference goes to 3 - we have a real problem with air quality (3 deaths a week, remember?) and I put this on a ward budget proposal once so I'd be reet chuffed to see it actually happen.
2nd preference goes to 6 - could make a massive difference, just a bit sceptical that the Council will be able to run it well!
3rd preference goes to 9 - but TBH this (and all the other ideas) don't seem very plausible/practical or worth the hassle/money! Except 1, but that's too mundane to bring myself to vote for!
The complicated bit is for the person who has to add this lot up! And maybe people are missing a secret ballot? I can't resist seeing what other people I know have voted for...
Given the thousands of pounds of taxpayers money spent on this setup Ive no idea why a survey monkey setup with click buttons for the options wasnt considered from the outset! The traffic congestion survey got thousands of responses to ideas for tackling transport issues and even the Press website can get a bigger response than this will.
The setup for this platform cost £500 and it was NESTA money that funded it not City of York tax payers. Survey monkey is a great tool - but would have added another link and few steps to the process which, based and your and your colleagues earlier comments would have probably caused additional complications for voting. The team agreed that simpler was better.
Wow! I know there is room for adding extra features in the future and making improvements to how the web platform works in some areas, but to get all this setup for 500 quid is pretty amazing.
Fantastic value for NESTA.
Anyone having trouble voting on the platform is welcome to use our online voting tool, here:
You just fill in your name and email address, select your options and click the 'Cast Vote' button to send it through to the GeniUS team.
1st = option 2
2nd = option 4
3rd = option 9
I agree with a previous comment - voting process is too complicated - I expect many people will have given up
My choices are:
1. Number 3, Cycle & air pollution counters . Poor air quality has a negative effect on everyone - it isn't something we should be hiding . Counters would help to raise awareness, whilst cycle counters would be part of a postive strategy to encourage more people to join in.
2. Number 5. Open data sharing - a great deal more effort should be put into promoting car sharing in York, as well as the Car Club A website rich in York specific information could be a very powerful tool.
3. Number 9. Free city centre shuttlebus - these buses are extremely effective in other cities - perhaps York could pioneer a type of bus particularly suited to a small historic city eg innovative design, especially easy to get on and off, easy disabled access etc.
Re the proposal for moving pavements to generate energy, I would like to know exactly what the costs are (capital and revenue including maintenance) vis a vis the amount of energy (in money terms, as well as CO2 savings) that can be generated. I would also like to see any proposal to implement it being as part of a whole street approach ie. on any street where it might be implemented all shops should be required to have and impement full energy audits to identify how much energy they could save through their own efforts eg. keeping doors shut, turning off escalators and at least some lights at night etc. Since I suspect the amount of energy generated by footfall would be limited and largely symbolic it would be crucial for shops to match the investment with their own substantial energy saving measures.
Apologies - my partner sent this not realising that you need to register and that she was in fact entering her comments using my log in! Andy
Not really sure that we should be calling this a 'FREE' shuttlebus here? Nothing is ever really free!
Whilst it may not charge you to ride on the bus, in fact, this will cost an awful lot of money to finance which will no doubt end up being paid by increasing the council tax of ordinary York residents.
It's kind-of like asking everyone in York to subsidise the travel of a few people that actually use it even if they don't themselves.
Since Denise Craghill from the 'Green Party' (or ahem Andyd in disguise) brought up the question of finances:
Are there any financial projections available for how much this option will cost the public purse?
Also Just to add:
Places like Leeds that have introduced schemes like this previously are now looking to stop them due to the costs involved:
Should we be copying a failed idea?
1. Road trains
2.Cycle Counters/air pollution displays
3.Digital display signs
1. Option 4 - Energy generating exercise bikes
2. Option 8 - Digital Display signs
3. Option 2 - Energy generating pavements