The Malaga City Council´s Town Planning, Works and Infrastructure Department is organising the 1st International Innovation Forum – 6th Road Conservation Conference
The 1st International Innovation Forum – 6th Road Safety Conference, held on 27th and 28th October, has focused on two fundamental aspects to guarantee the viability of road safety: increasing investment to facilitate habitability in cities and innovation.

The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, attended the opening ceremony of the 1st International Innovation Forum, organised by the Malaga City Council´s Town Planning, Works and Infrastructures Department in collaboration with the companies Conacon (Sando Group), Eiffage Infraestructuras and Itafec. During his appearance he referred to how applying new technologies to the city environment has increased the quality of life of the people who live in the city.

In this regard, Jorge Gámiz, Sando’s Infrastructure Conservation and Maintenance Director, described conservation as an essential service: “the innovative projects carried out in Malaga’s road maintenance service have optimised the quality of service for citizens”. This aspect was continued by Raúl López, Malaga City Council´s Territorial Planning Councillor, and related to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic: “It would be important to link this economic and social situation with the world of conservation”.

First session

The forum began with a round table on transparency models applied to urban conservation, moderated by journalist Luis Carlos Ramírez. During the opening conference, David Giles, Director of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, stressed the added value of preventive management: “We are calling for investment in road conservation now to stop spending money on reactive conservation”.

Juan José Potti, President of the Spanish Association of Asphalt Mix Manufacturers, then presented the results of the Vuelva 2020 report: “23% of urban accidents could be attributed to the urban state of conservation”. This aspect was clarified by Javier Pérez de la Fuente, head of the Infrastructure Projects and Works Department of the Malaga Town Planning Department: “Conserving is not maintaining, it is providing added value".
During the second round table, University Forum, Research Applied to Cities, moderated by the journalist and writer José Antonio Sau, Raquel Barco, Vice-Chancellor of Smart-Campus of the University of Malaga, explained the project to convert the Campus into an “Urban-Lab” where researchers, students and external companies can test prototypes that can be replicated in other parts of the city.

In this regard, on how to transfer the knowledge generated in research, Mayca Rubio, director of the LabIC.UGR group at the University of Granada explained one of her projects to implement intelligent pavements in urban infrastructures: “The results obtained have highlighted the potential of codified pavements”.

From the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, Professor Álvaro García continued to present the research undertaken by the Transportation Engineering Centre, which specialises in computerised design of asphalt mixtures. While the professor of Road Engineering at the Alfonso X El Sabio University, Ángel Sampedro, has talked about the concept of innovation with the development indicators of the countries.

Finally, in the third table, Forum of SMART cities – real experiences, the different ways of approaching the development of a smart city were contrasted through the testimony of town councils from national and international cities.

The first to participate, Paloma García, Works and Equipment delegate from Madrid City Council, listed the actions carried out in each of the areas In contrast, Nicolas Pezas, Infrastructure Director of the Gironde Regional Council, described the model they use in this region of France.

Along the same lines, Antonio González, Infrastructures and Citizen Participation Councillor of the Fuenlabrada Town Council, and Francisco Ontiveros, Public Works Director of the Guadalajara City Council (Mexico), highlighted the role of the intervention: “We have implemented the Lighting with Pedestrian Sense programme in order to respond to the demands of the community, as well as to reinforce security”, said Ontiveros.

Second session

The conference began with a talk by Sergio Muñoz, project manager for the Malaga City Council´s road conservation contract, who explained the innovations being made in the city. This aspect was completed by Pilar Vila, head of the Projects and Infrastructure Works Management service, who focused on innovation in asphalt plans.
The point of view of the application of new technologies by the companies was completed by Francisco Martín, head of the Conservation Service at Sando, with the presentation of a “smartization” strategy for Malaga and Elena Hidalgo, director of the R&D&I Area of Eiffage Infrastructures.

The next round table, moderated by the journalist Ana Pérez-Bryan, had a markedly social character as it debated the innovations that cities should adopt to make the life of citizens more adaptable after Covid-19. In his intervention, Alejandro Pérez from HCP gave his opinion on the size of urban spaces: “Correctly sized, they can respond more quickly to possible confinements or facilitate the traceability of contacts”.

The last round table, on funding for innovative projects, was of a very educational nature, with clear examples of how to participate in the different calls. Jorge del Pozo, the CDTI0s R&D project monitoring technician, described the lines of funding available nationally, while Carlos García, the technical manager of the Building and Civil Works Sector of the Andalusian Technological Corporation, presented the model in this region.
The 1st International Innovation Forum – 6th Road Conservation Conference, developed in on-line format, concluded with the presentation of the event’s monitoring figures, with more than 173,000 people as a global audience on Twitter and with the commitment of Malaga’s Territorial Planning Area Councillor, Raúl López, to launch the second forum next year.

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