Finding the flow in Boras

The City of Boras in Sweden had the honour of hosting the first Surflogh partner meeting and Innovation Lab on 18th – 19th April. The location – the Textile Fashion Center* – was the perfect setting for an energizing, inspiring and co-creative two-day gathering.

WP Market Place

Following an introduction by Sophia Strandberg to Boras, its textile inheritance and a movie on this ‘city of curiosity’, the partners got down to work to define expectations and contributions within the scope of the Surflogh project. This was a question of ‘give and take’ during a Work Package Market Place - an interactive exchange on content and the translation into practical activities, expertly led by the project management team. “By defining and combining the activities in various WPs, we aim to match them with the core objectives and work practices of the various partners,“ according to project manager Arjen Donkersloot.

 Innovation Lab

Day 2 kicked off with a number of guest participants and our first Innovation Lab, organized by team Groningen in cooperation with Boras. Theme of this Innovation Lab, which was chaired by Professor Paul Buijs from the University of Groningen (RUG), was the analyses of freight flows. Using presentations from graduate students Fleur Moorlag and Roos Teunissen (both from the RUG) on the analyses of flows in a shopping street and a model for hubs to spark discussions, a lively exchange ensued. Representatives from Boras (municipality, transport organization and knowledge institute) added their expertise in helping the partnership to define a suitable model (and the how and what of data gathering) and what the next steps should be within the project.

 Bikeable Scotland

Closing the final session, Peter Jackson of Sestran was invited to inspire us with his presentation on the Cycling Scot and his passionate plea for cycling - even in hilly Scotland. He shared stimulating stories about Bikeability Scotland** and the ‘Quick Guide to Essential Cycling Skills’ used to encourage groups of all ages and from all backgrounds to advance their biking abilities and opt more often for this healthier and greener form of transport.  “Cargo bikes in Scotland are still a rare sight but we’re working on it,” said Peter enthusiastically.

With an invitation to all to join the consortium again during the International Cargo Bike Festival*** in the City of Groningen next year, it was time to wrap up. The first steps have been taken. Surflogh is on its way!