City of Melbourne

07/27/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/26/2017 21:00

Resilient Melbourne backs innovative travel apps

Resilient Melbourne invited problem solvers from across the globe to find ways to ease transport congestion in Melbourne while also increasing positive social interactions. It received 109 formal registrations from private individuals, start-ups and international companies.

The Challenge Panel that assessed submissions and selected the winners will now offer Freewheeler and Joinwheels the support, expertise and contacts they need to take their ideas to the next level.

Chair of the Transport Portfolio, Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley, said both app solutions met the brief of making travel in Melbourne more socially fulfilling.

'Commuting by car has been shown to not only compound the problems of congestion and pollution in Melbourne but also to be quite isolating, with people spending hours on their own stuck in traffic.

Both of these apps encourage people to think about travel differently, either by making it easier for colleagues and friends to carpool or providing material rewards for those who leave the car at home and try another mode of transport instead.'

Alex Fletcher, creator of Freewheeler, said Melbourne was doing well to look at the big issues that affect the city now, before it is too late.

'Freewheeler will ease congestion and increase social connection across Melbourne by rewarding and supporting commuters for walking, cycling and taking public transport - encouraging exercise and balancing the transport network to keep Melbourne free-flowing and highly liveable.'

Mayank Shukla, co-founder of Joinwheels, said the team was looking forward to making a difference.

'Winning the Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge is a great honour and a huge boost to our confidence. It's great to see recognition for Joinwheels − this is a step in the right direction to make a positive impact on our social connectivity.'

Resilient Melbourne partnered with the City of Melbourne's Smart City Office and New York-based agency Citymart to offer the global challenge. A working team of representatives from councils across metropolitan Melbourne provided strategic guidance throughout the challenge, and played a key role in shortlisting entries.

The Challenge Panel was comprised of leaders from the Victorian State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, RMIT University, Infrastructure Victoria, VicRoads, RACV, Foundation for Young Australians, Committee for Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria, University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne's Smart City Office.

Resilient Melbourne is a collaborative project with input, guidance and support from organisations and community groups across Melbourne, including Melbourne's 32 metropolitan councils.

Melbourne is a proud participant in the initiative '100 Resilience Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation'.

For further information about the winning submissions please visit https://resilientmelbourne.com.au/citymart/.

Quotes attributable to members of the Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge Panel:

'Melbourne's population is growing, which means more and more people are relying on our transport network.

'Congestion affects all of us and this challenge is a great way for the community to be a part of the process of finding smart, long-term solutions to this issue.

'I'd like to thank all participants for their submissions, and congratulate Freewheeler and Joinwheels on this incredible achievement.'

  • Panel Chair John Merritt, Chief Executive Officer, Vic Roads

'Reducing congestion times is not only imperative for the health and sustainability of our environment, but also for the health and wellbeing of individuals, particularly if it involves walking, cycling and public transport.

'It's great to see that challenge received 18 solutions from submitters, including Freewheeler, prioritising modes of travel that encourage more physical activity in our community.'

  • Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director, RMIT University's Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform

'Infrastructure should enhance and support our communities and we should make better use of the existing infrastructure. To do this it requires us all to think differently. So it's pleasing to see so many innovative ideas to address these complex and connected issues.

'By inviting our community to help address issues such as congestion through initiatives such as the Citymart Challenge, we are working towards our vision for a sustainable and connected Victoria.'

  • Michel Masson, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Victoria

Quotes attributable to members of the working team:

'The standard of entries was particularly high, with a strong emphasis on integrated technological solutions. The entries that stood out incorporated a strong partnership approach with clear community benefits.

'The approach of the Challenge, to seek ideas and solutions from across the globe, was bold and audacious. It generated a range of ideas that would not necessarily have surfaced through more traditional policy development methods.

'Participating in the Challenge shortlisting process was a great opportunity for local government representatives to experience a rigorous policy development process.'

  • Grant Meyer, Manager, Integrated Planning, Maroondah City Council

'I've had the absolute pleasure as a representative of local government to participate in the Resilient Melbourne journey since its inception. I am particularly pleased that one of the winning ideas has emerged from the local Wyndham Vale community, which is experiencing first-hand the congestion and liveability issues faced by outer suburban growth areas. Their intellect, enthusiasm and passion for grass roots change augurs well for Melbourne's future and I wish them well in advancing their idea to the point where it is embraced by the broader community.'

Griff Davis, Manager, City Transport