- Systematica used CUBE to explore how an over 60,000-inhabitant, mixed-use campus can be effectively integrated with Milan’s transportation infrastructure with a more sustainable, multimodal approach
- They wanted to help the district model all forms of mobility to create a benchmark for planning and designing future urban development, providing options across macro-mobility (traditional cars and mass transit), autonomous vehicles, and micro-mobility (walking and cycling)
- Final approval of the entire master plan by public authorities is estimated to be six months instead of the normal eight months
- The project is creating a new and effective dialogue with technology providers and mobility operators to explore and identify the most suitable solutions not just for this district, but for other cities moving forward
The Milan Innovation District (MIND) is an urban regeneration project on the site that hosted festivities for the Universal Exhibition Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy. As part of the plan for this campus area, developers are building an urban center within the city that is focused on both redefining mobility within this innovative campus and beyond, using traditional gas-powered vehicles and mass transit to minimize traffic congestion and try to decrease carbon emissions. MIND is planned to act as an international test-bed for pioneering mobility technologies and solutions, including multimodal models that are capable of replicating and assessing the walkability of an area and the attractiveness of all movement in and around the campus.
Systematica was tasked with planning and designing this integrated multimodal transport model in support of the district’s master planning and architectural design. They were tasked with assessing mobility for what would be considered a new city of around 60,000 inhabitants, located in the city of Milan that is 1,575 square kilometers and already has 3.2 million inhabitants. The MIND mobility plan gravitated around the principles of walkable, user-centric development and is shaped by an effective Mobility as a Service (MaaS) model. This model includes the provision of e-mobility and self-driving solutions, demand-responsive systems, intelligent-cognitive infrastructure, and future proofing-adaptive transport assets. However, Systematica needed to focus on the user experience, deliver a pedestrian-oriented public realm, provide intermodal connection, and seamlessly connect to mass transit, including organizing transport around micro-hubs.
Systematica realized that converting the former visitor-oriented space into a permanent community-based district would require exploring and testing new ways of thinking about movement in cities across many mobility options, as well as the integration of these different mobility types. Meeting these goals would be difficult with traditional methods. First, Systematica needed to create a modeling layer that was at metropolitan scale—a GIS-based simulation platform that encompassed the entire metropolitan area of Milan. Second, they needed to create a modeling layer that could replicate and test the expected mobility patterns within the innovative MIND campus.
Therefore, they made it their goal to implement the latest mobility simulation technology to overcome these challenges. Their simulation needed to consider both the effectiveness and attractiveness of the different forms of mobility. The model also had to consider a reliable assignment of people movements throughout the dense and permeable pedestrian network of the district and make it seamless to access all the different forms of mobility within the car-free district.
After searching for the right solution, Systematica selected Bentley’s CUBE to evaluate the accessibility patterns and impact of the induced mobility demand on all available transport services and infrastructure, as well as model and simulate expected mobility patterns for both transport and pedestrian movement throughout the campus.
Using the anticipated number of 60,000 residents, Systematica’s simulation was specifically updated to evaluate macro-level accessibility patterns and assess the impact of the induced mobility demand, which is defined as more than 150,000 all-modes trips per day on all available transport services and transport infrastructure. The simulation included strategic toll-road corridors and complex interchanges, any type of railway connections ranging from high-speed rail to suburban services, subway lines, and a dense local bus network. Additionally, Systematica included an analysis of the innovation campus with their tailored multimodal model, which was capable of replicating and assessing the walkability potential within the campus, as well as the ease-of-use of all innovative mobility services and last-mile transport solutions. These solutions included e-bus services, an autonomous shuttle connection, and micro-mobility solutions.
Systematica also considered driverless mobility. Using CUBE, they proposed a highly efficient group rapid transit (GRT) system operated by autonomous shuttles to connect the main transit hub of Milano Rho Fiera, West Gate with MIND, East Gate. This GRT system is expected to provide effective and convenient last-mile connections, as well as facilitate an internal transport system within the MIND Park district. Over time, this system will have the potential to evolve into point-to-point on-demand mobility service operated by robotaxi.
They also analyzed electric mobility, which included recharging for public and private car parking and facilities for external e-bus services. Electric mobility, represents the overall mobility concept of MIND, including internal public transport services, on-demand services, micro-mobility solutions, and last-mile logistic systems. Moreover, Systematica’s zero-emission mobility model reinforces the gradual shift of traditional public transport services to electric solutions.
“The suite of transport simulation codes that CUBE provided advanced [our capability] to model complex mobility as a service (MaaS) paradigms based on walkability—a crucial dimension to ensure the actual sustainability of any urban development. Modeling the MaaS paradigms was also based on the public’s response to current and future mobility patterns, which allows us to deliver a high-quality built environment, now and in the future,” said Diego Deponte, partner and managing director, Systematica.
This integrated, multimodal transport model of the campus supported the master planning and architectural designs and is anticipated to speed adoption for the master plan. Already, by using CUBE to validate the effectiveness and sustainability of MIND mobility strategies, Systematica accelerated the master plan approval by six months. Additionally, their model has resulted in creating an effective dialogue with technology providers and mobility operators to explore and identify the most suitable solutions.
Leveraging the flexibility of CUBE helped Systematica model a more integrated and sustainable mobility solution—one that works within the campus and beyond, creating a benchmark for planning and designing future urban developments.
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