Submitted by UIA admin on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:36


Stad Gent
Ghent TMaaS project
Challenge addressed

For over 40 years, the city of Ghent has been managing mobility through sustainable urban mobility policies. This resulted amongst other things in further expanding the large pedestrian area in the historic centre. Furthermore, in April 2017 all cross-city traffic arteries were cut to prevent car traffic from passing through the city centre. 

The city now plans to intensify its focus on multimodal journeys. The realisation of a multimodal traffic centre to inform citizens is a key element of the City of Ghent’s latest mobility plan (Strategic Mobility Vision 2030).

A lot of small- to medium-sized cities around the world, like Ghent, want to get a grip on traffic and mobility. Building separate, traditional traffic management centres for all these cities is most likely not the answer. They require huge investments and people watching screens 24/7. On top of that, the majority of trips are not undertaken by car and cities want to encourage walking and cycling in their mobility plans. How can this be achieved when the main focus of traffic management is on cars? And how can cities prepare for disruptive technologies when their traffic control centres haven’t changed a lot since the seventies?

Solution proposed

Ghent developed the Traffic Management As a Service ( concept in order to monitor and manage traffic (for all transport modes). No lengthy investments in  hardware installations are needed, the cloud-based platform processes multi-modal mobility information. The city works with world-class partners to collect and process innovative mobility data.  The Traffic Management as a Service platform automatically analyzes this information and notifies operators and citizens, strongly reducing the need to watch screens 24/7.

The platform will not be built specifically for Ghent, it will allow any city to connect!  Once the platform has been established, the goal is that every small- to medium-sized city can subscribe and immediately get insights on mobility, manage traffic and communicate with citizens.

  • City of Ghent
  • WAYLAY NV - software company
  • NVMB - software company  
  • Tom Tom Development Germy GmbH - private company
  • BARCO n.v - private company
  • Be-MobileTech NV - private company
  • Buro Bloom - private company  
  • Ghent University
  • KU Leuven - education and research institue
  • European Passenger’s Federation
Expected results

The main result of the project is a first realisation of the Traffic Management as a Service concept. The platform will automatically monitor traffic and mobility for the city of Ghent, give traffic operators and end-users insight in mobility and notify them on relevant events.

The project will also prove that the concept is truly flexible and can be used around the world. The platform will be configured and tested for multiple other cities, integrating at least one relevant and qualitative data source for every city.

To ensure that the platform is aligned with real needs, thorough research will be carried out to collect the requirements from traffic operators and citizens. This will result in a report on the current status of traffic management and the needs and visions of operators. A second report will focus on what is rarely asked: what do citizens really want to know in order to plan their journey? Both reports will fill the gap between how traffic management systems are built and what the people using them really expect.

We believe the Traffic Management as a Service concept will be consuming a lot less time and investments than the current practices. In order to subjectively judge these advantages, an industry partner will investigate if there is a business model for the TMaaS concept and how it relates to the costs of ‘old-fashioned’ traffic management.

Finally, it is rare for any urban authority to take the initiative in the field of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), which is dominated by the private sector. A first result of the Traffic Management as a Service project is that we will have the voice of the city - and the citizens - heard in all relevant debates on traffic management. Technology should materialise the visions of cities on mobility, not the other way around. Communities should challenge the automotive and ITS industries to build the best possible products to be used in their communities.

Main milestones
March 2018: Start-up event: Introductory presentation of the project at local networking event for entrepreneurs and creatives in the field of smart cities, smart buildings and sustainable energy.
September 2018: Completion of the TMaaS architecture, a conceptual model that defines the structure and a baseline to build an efficient TMaaS system. 
April 2019: Report on City operators and end-users needs and requirements. Publication of a report detailing the requirements of the city’s traffic operators and end-users.
November 2019:The interfaces that allow users to set their their preferences for the TMaaS platform is available online. The Replicator Cities are selected by the TMaaS consortium and the list is published on the TMaaS website.
March 2020: The final mobility management dashboard is accessible online to be used by Traffic Managers and citizens and the TMaaS API’s are available to the public

"Our strategy to develop an innovative traffic center fits perfectly within our ‘City of People’-strategy. ICT and innovation are very important but they are always means to an end, never a goal as such. In Ghent, local government, academics, companies and civilians together search for solutions to challenges in society. Our final goal is and will always be to improve life for all Ghentians. It is clear that processing traffic data in order to provide real-time information to our residents will do so.”

Daniel Termont, Mayor of the city of Ghent
The project in numbers
of all journeys in Ghent are done by foot
is Ghent's rank in the TomTom traffic congestion index (of in total 390 cities measured worldwide)
open datasets are published by Ghent on the city’s Open Data Portal
of Belgian citizens own a smartphone
cars on average are owned by each family in Ghent
bicycles on average are owned by each family in Ghent
Contact of the project
Sophie Gillaerts
Project Manager
Sofia Taborda
UIA Expert

Project News

Ghent-Lahti: a tale of two cities

On May 24th we welcomed a delegation from the Finnish CitiCAP project, which, like TMaaS, focuses on smart city mobility. We had an interesting and useful meeting with our fellow project leaders from Lahti, which allowed us to compare both projects and to profit from a mutually beneficial knowledge sharing experience.

Getting citizens on board: the first TMaaS citizen research project

We recently launched an online call for citizens to participate in the first TMaaS citizen research project that focuses on the mobility behaviour of people from the city of Ghent as well as visitors. Throughout April and the first half of May, researchers carried out a mobility diary study including mobility tracking and interviews.


Citizens polls

Citizen research project

Civitas award

Civitas award