Press ENTER to search or ESC to close


Searching for a better quality of life through mobility management

An innovative vision of the urban environment by Paula Teles, CEO of mpt®

As part of European Mobility Week, Ubiwhere spoke to Paula Teles, CEO of mpt®. Mobility led us to this conversation. A conversation in which we sought to find out about mobility trends, the importance of this sector in a city and how technology can positively help and support mobility management in an urban environment. One conversation guided by Paula Teles’ innovative vision.

As Ubiwhere, mpt® aims to design cities with mobility for all. Making territories accessible is the focus of Paula Teles, CEO of mpt® - Mobilidade e Planeamento do Território. With an entrepreneurial nature, Paula Teles seeks to optimise cities without neglecting the mobility of all those who work, live and visit them. Ubiwhere identifies with Paula Teles’ outlook, as our technological solutions are created with a vision of the future to improve citizens’ lives.

’’Studying mobility means looking at people as they go about their daily lives, their lifestyles and ways of life and, above all, their public health.’’

Ubiwhere: More and more people and organisations are showing concern for Mobility. Why do you think Mobility is such a hot topic these days?

Paula Teles: For various reasons, Mobility has become one of the biggest concerns in today’s world. On the one hand, because of climate change and global warming. We know that cities are getting hotter and that climatic phenomena have stabilised many territories with different temperatures, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and cyclones, among other meteorological events never seen before. If around 1/3 of the world’s emissions come from Mobility and transport, how can we not have this as a significant concern? On the other hand, and directly linked, is the public health issue. We now know the direct link between Mobility, its emissions of harmful gases into the atmosphere and public health. In Porto, for example, we’ve been studying for years the phenomenon of patients coming to St John’s Hospital with allergies, rhinitis, lung problems, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms, and the ozone flows that exist on the VCI. And as the fumes on Porto’s inner ring road increase, so do the number of people admitted to hospital in serious condition.


UW: What do you think will be the main trends in mobility?

PT: The primary trend will be the practice of more sustainable modes. The so-called soft modes: more walking and cycling. Taking public transport will also be one of the biggest challenges for public policies and the modal shift from cars to this type of vehicle. But for this to happen, local authorities and governments must invest in building exemplary interfaces and multimodal platforms. Otherwise, no one will want to give up the comfort of driving to use public transport. Therefore, one of the challenges and trends will also be redesigning public spaces, providing cities with more prominent, inclusive, comfortable and safe pavements and reclaiming space from the car for this type of new mobility.


UW: Can data science and the digital transition also be seen as new trends in the mobility sector?

PT: Absolutely. We will increasingly have to manage cities more efficiently. They are like living cells. They need to be activated, they need to work, but they need to be monitored as they go about their business. In other words, they must be correctly diagnosed and carefully prescribed for maintenance. Only through data will we know the exact pulse of mobility and the city and monitor it accordingly.


The digital transition in mobility will become a reality, as it will prevent system failures and allow the integration of different modes of mobility.


The existence of serious and credible information will be the only way to bring about this cultural change so that we don’t all have to drive just 200 or 300 metres. Let me remind you that 60% of journeys in cities are less than 3 kilometres. This means that digital platforms capable of providing information on existing public transport, its frequency and routes, among other helpful information, will undoubtedly allow for new modes of mobility in the future and less use of the car. In other words, decarbonisation will also happen here.


UW: From the extensive fieldwork you’ve been doing, do you think that town halls and cities are awake to this new reality of technology and digitalisation?

PT: There is still a long way to go. But I also believe in the capacity that municipalities have for change, and the relationship focused on the problems of the people and the land has always led them to build muscle throughout history to overcome the greatest adversities.

This will happen when it comes to technology and the digital world. City councils will quickly, almost by contagion, invest in this area. This is where the future will lie, in the greater efficiency of an increasingly complex territory and the shorter time it takes to make big decisions.


Technologies will undoubtedly monitor smart cities, and it will be easier and safer to make decisions.


One of the most complex jobs, in my humble opinion, will be integrating all the apps, technological systems and data within the same municipality and then on a larger scale, but I also believe that young, innovative technology companies like Ubiwhere will be able to help us solve problems!


UW: And finally, what work can companies like us, mpt® and Ubiwhere, do to prepare cities for the future challenges in this area of Mobility?

PT: Everything. We have a world full of dreams ahead of us that have yet to be realised. Helping to plan Mobility and better design cities is one of the competencies of mpt®, which, in turn, needs the technological knowledge and intelligence that Ubiwhere is so good at developing to help us plan better make better projects with direct implications for citizens’ quality of life.

In short, I firmly believe that in a few years, a mobility planning and management company like mpt® will no longer be able to work without online and just-in-time data, capable of integrating the various mobility planning and management options in cities that will be increasingly complex, will have fewer resources, and where sustainability will always have to be at the heart of decisions!

We have a world ahead of us to work with on a national scale and an international scale because we are two companies with know-how way forward of our time, as the history of both companies has shown. Both started missions that, at the time, were dreams for many. Today, our dreams will become great missions to help improve our planet!