Co-creating urban mobility: Collaborative solutions for Fredrikstad’s electric ferry link

Co-creating urban mobility: Collaborative solutions for Fredrikstad’s electric ferry link

Achieving seamless urban mobility requires taking into account the diverse needs of different stakeholders to create a system that works for everyone. The SUM project uses a co-creation methodology that involves four key steps: identifying problems, co-designing solutions, analysing results and deciding together on next steps. This approach ensures that solutions are pre-negotiated, widely accepted by users and beneficial to all stakeholders.

A prime example of co-created mobility solutions is in Fredrikstad, where the city and Chalmers University of Technology are holding workshops to develop a new electric automated ferry link. This link will connect the island of Kråkerøy with the south bank of the river Glomma, linking the old, fortified city with the industrial area of Øra and making commuting by bike, foot and shared micro-mobility more attractive.

Commuting is more than just travelling from home to work. It includes activities such as shopping, picking up children from school and personal time to relax. These aspects are often overlooked when designing new mobility solutions, leading to sub-optimal outcomes that may look effective on paper but are less practical in reality.

The workshop series begins with sessions where citizens, city representatives and the local ferry operator discuss current commuting patterns. Questions explored include What other activities are included in the journey? Which routes are used? What parts of the journey are considered positive experiences and why? The impact of the new ferry service on commuting is then explored. What activities and experiences will change, positively or negatively? Armed with this knowledge, the SUM project will involve local businesses and service providers in further workshops to co-create solutions.

The primary goal is to make the new route more attractive to a wider audience by incorporating as many positive experiences and activities from current commuters as possible, thus encouraging more people to use this sustainable transport option. Another aim is to create new business opportunities. Potential services and products include a walking school bus to the ferry, allowing parents to pick up their children at the ferry on Kråkerøy instead of at school; local restaurants offering ready-made meals to be picked up at the ferry terminal on the way home; and pick-up points for groceries and parcels. User needs will drive the solutions that emerge from this process. Finally, some solutions will be tested and evaluated.

The end result will be a more attractive ferry service that considers the whole commute, with solutions that are likely to be adopted and sustained beyond the life of the project.