Professor Urban Intelligence

Paul van de Coevering

About me

I am energetic and have an unlimited eagerness to explore new avenues both in my private life and my career. When I am training on my road bike, I mostly do not have a specific route or destination. I go where the road takes me. If I would have the freedom to go wherever I want, I would go to the mountains and do some multi-day hikes. Preferably somewhere remote in Eastern Europe or Asia. Love to explore nature and new cultures. I live together with my three kids and I have a girlfriend. Mobility wise, I have a multimodal profile. I use one of my four bikes wherever and whenever I can. For longer distances I often use the combination of bike and train. I also love driving and own a private car. At the same time I feel that our society has become obese when it comes to mobility. Families owning three or more cars is not an exception anymore. It is with sorrow that I look upon its negative effects on our residential environments and urban areas. Squares and streets where our generation (I am in my early 40s) used to play are now jam- packed with cars. The tension between individualism and the wider community/society intrigues me as it shapes our built environment and our transportation networks. Therefore, I love the international perspective. Mostly we cannot just copy-paste solution from other world-regions because of cultural differences. However, we can learn and get inspiration from solutions around the world.

Personal Motivation

In the past I have been working as a consultant and as a scientific researcher. As a consultant I loved getting the best out of a project within the financial resources available. However, I disliked the quick-and-dirty approaches and lack of depth. As a scientific researcher, it was the other way around with great depth and solid approaches but a lack of direct societal impact. Therefore, I started working at an applied university many years ago and contributed to the development of applied research. This is where I feel like a fish in the water. One day collaborating with academic collogues talking about fundamental questions regarding (reverse) causality, the other day collaborating with policy advisors to get things done in practice. This is also where my professorship of Urban Intelligence will contribute to the NEON research.

multimodal travel behaviour and mobility hubs

In the NEON project we focus on multimodal transportation and smart hubs/MaaS. The professorship of Urban Intelligence is a collaboration between the province of North Brabant and Breda University of applied sciences. It specializes in the translation of empirical (BIG) data into (policy) information and value. We are one of the driving forces behind the National Bike Counting Week (Fietstelweek), the biggest GPS-based bicycle survey in the world. We developed CyclePRINT where GPS data is used to assess bicycle network quality indicators. Furthermore, we work with partners in the industry to analyze cellphone and Public Transport Smart Card data. In the NEON project we will focus on the valorization part and will use our excellent connections with the province to enable our NEON-partners to get things done in practice.

Link to other neon research

Within the consortium our scope is on smart hubs/MaaS. The province of North-Brabant has innovative policies when it comes to shared mobility, mobility HUBS and MaaS. The link between the (recalibration of) the Albatross model, provincial policies and the development of local Smart Hub will be a great challenge.