Trikala is a city in northwestern Thessaly, Greece, and the capital of the Trikala regional unit. The railway Palaiofarsalos–Kalambaka crosses the region as part of the TEN-T Corridor Orient/East – Med. One main concern is to reduce traffic congestion within the city centre of the city by providing better public connection to the surrounding and rural areas. Trikala envisages releasing their SUMP based on Harmony results.
HARMONY in Trikala
The pilot in Trikala is focusing on urban air mobility systems and services. It consists of a drone delivery service for medicines from the city centre to the pharmacies in the surrounding rural areas, serving primarily the urgent needs of elderly and other vulnerable social groups with limited access to mobility services.
- Engage stakeholders and citizens to investigate their requirements in terms of urban, suburban and rural mobility;
- Demonstrate drones for transferring medicines from the city centre to the surrounding areas and villages;
- Collect data to explore the impact of new mobility technologies and services;
- Transfer results from the Harmony model suite application to assist the authority to deliver the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP).
This pilot will improve the everyday life of citizens, decrease the delivery time (since no traffic congestion is confronted in the third dimension), reduce operational costs and operate in a safer way promoting social distancing if needed, like in the context of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Not to mention the technological benefits of testing and deploying new urban air mobility technologies.
In the short term, HARMONY will collect the opinions, requirements and experiences of citizens and involved actors to co-create the service and evaluate it. In the longer term, HARMONY’s pilot in Trikala could turn into a feasibly permanent service to be implemented by the city. In addition, HARMONY will contribute to developing an urban air mobility ecosystem that enables new jobs, tests and investments in other local ecosystems in Greece and worldwide.
The key stakeholder engagement moments so far have been:
- Identification of stakeholders of the local and national mobility ecosystem (mobility authorities, urban transport providers and users, elderly people, people with disabilities, pedestrians, cyclists).
- Public survey through the social media of e-Trikala, that aimed to collect interest from local pharmacists and received mixed reactions.
- Co-creation of the pilot demonstration with the local ecosystem: namely the Union of Pharmacists in Trikala and the National Union of Pharmacists has been initiated by e-Trikala and some potential routes for the drone flights have emerged.
- Continuous communication with the Civil Aviation Authority (informally structured) for their constant engagement, since it is regarded as a key stakeholder.
- E-Trikala facilitated initial liaison between GRIFF and University of Aegean and the Greek Aviation Authority for the drone equipment.
- Continuous bilateral contacts and consultations with several stakeholders have taken place in order to co-create the pilot and have public acceptance.
- The Union of Pharmacists has identified the villages (Megalo Kefalovriso, Leptokaria, Raksa) as potential targets.
In the next months, qualitative interviews will take place with stakeholders and citizens.
Also, online surveys will generate quantitative data. This data collection processes will be conducted before and after the pilot demonstration so that comparisons are able to be made.
In addition, virtual workshops with multiple stakeholders will be conducted and they will be asked to provide opinions and preferences to structured scenarios.