German scholars and local experts discuss Urban Mobility and Transportation Networks
On February 17, 2017, the Ateneo School of Government in cooperation with the Ateneo Department of Economics and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network hosted a forum titled "Urban Mobility and Its Interconnection with Transportation Networks" in San Alberto Hurtado Hall, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City. It was a leg of the Asian--German Knowledge Network for Transport and Logistics (AGKN) third traveling conference. The AGKN regularly holds such conferences for speakers from German institutions to share ideas on logistics, mobility, and transport, and to further German cooperation with the host countries on such issues.
Ateneo School of Government Dean Ronald Mendoza welcomed the participants to the conference. Dr. Mendoza stressed that this year's tour was especially relevant to the Philippines, with the country being the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia amid the worsening traffic woes in Metro Manila.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Deitrich Haasis of University of Bremen discussed the future possibilities of smart city living. He showed how everyday life is already being changed in Germany and in other countries by smart technologies. Furthermore, innovations such as self-driving cars, parking management, and 3D printing stations are seen to become part of everyday life in the near future. Prof. Dr. Haasis emphasized that the ideas towards this future will come from students, as they are now the generation most adept with technology.
Prof. Dr. Dirk Sackmann of Merseburg University of Applied Sciences presented his work on solving vehicle routing problems with constraints in waste collection. His solution was shown to work well, saving on costs and time for waste collection operators in Germany.
Prof. Dr. Carlos Jahn of Hamburg University of Technology presented his work on optimizing traffic in the maritime sector. His work is towards a vision of a 72-hour traffic forecasting system that will greatly boost efficiency and inform decisions on logistics and manpower in Germany's maritime sector.
Dr. Kardi Teknomo of Ateneo de Manila University proposed using results in queueing theory for analyzing traffic congestion in Metro Manila. He showed that a model of "ideal flow" has interesting mathematical properties beneficial for guiding actual traffic flow in Metro Manila.
Executive Director of ImagineLaw Atty. Sophia San Luis gave information on road safety in the Philippines. She showed statistics on road crash fatalities and pointed out hindrances to promoting road safety in the country, such as outdated legal definitions, legal loopholes, and poor data collection.
Land Transportation Office Intelligence and Investigation Division Chief Mr. Roberto Valera talked about the current state of enforcement of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 (RA 10586). He discussed what the government has done, is doing, and still has to do to keep roads safe from the dangers of drink-driving.
The last speaker, Prof. Dr. Stefan Voss of University of Hamburg, discussed his work on optimization for smart grids. He stressed that smart grids are best kept small, as optimization for supply and demand on a large scale is very difficult. He used Sudoku as an analogy for such problems, emphasizing that through practice, we can get better at solving them.
The forum was attended by government representatives and civilian stakeholders. It was an avenue for discussion on commuters' and motorists' issues in Metro Manila as well as the way forward to better systems, both in the legal and scientific realms.