Patrícia Baptista developed the concept of an assessment tool that vulnerable users can use to choose the more accessible and sustainable routes.
Elderly, pregnant women, children and people with reduced mobility, are more susceptible to high risk events and are the groups which will benefit the most from the proposal presented by Patrícia Baptista, Researcher at Instituto Superior Técnico and MIT Portugal Program alumna in Sustainable Energy Systems, recognized with the the L'Oréal Portugal Medal for Women in Science and a 15 000€ prize.
The main objective of this work is to improve urban mobility, by developing an assessment tool to compare relevant trip indicators (such as travel time, human effort, local pollutant inhalation, energy consumption and emissions, etc.) for the same journey. This innovative approach is relevant and adequate for all types of users, but will be particularly helpful for people with reduced mobility by allowing them to choose the best route and transportation to minimize time, cost, effort or inhalation of pollutants, and also avoid risk events such as traffic hot-spots, slippery sidewalks or accentuated slopes. The use of such a planning tool will allow all users to make more informed decisions regarding trip arrangements.
In addition, the transportation sector is a major contributor to energy consumption and to air pollution, so the development of this platform will permit the correct quantification of urban trip energy, environmental and health impacts which has a crucial importance in a context of ambitious EU targets for reducing emissions in urban centers.
The 14th edition of the L'Oréal Portugal Honor Medals for Women in Science recognizes and supports the work of some of the most promising young Portuguese scientists working in national institutions, in a partnership between L´Oréal, the Portuguese National Commission for UNESCO and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). This year the Award Ceremony was presided by the Portuguese President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the former First Lady, Maria Cavaco Silva who honored the four researchers with a L´Oréal Medal and a financial prize of 15 thousand euros each.