Go Green mobile app promoted in Skopje

September 19, 2014
APP'S HOW IT'S DONE! Traveling in Skopje is about to get a whole lot greener. Photo: moepp.gov.mk

The City of Skopje was the scene of another exciting event during European Mobility Week 2014 -- namely, the presentation of a new, innovative mobile application called 'Go Green'. The application is the result of cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the City of Skopje, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering (FINKI). On hand to officially promote 'Go Green' were Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Nurhan Izairi, UN Resident Representative in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Luisa Winton, and Dean of FINKI Dimitar Trajanov.

The application provides an opportunity to the citizens of and visitors to Skopje to receive all the information necessary to plan their movement to different destinations throughout the city in the fastest, cheapest and "greenest" way. Data on carbon dioxide emissions helps travelers to make the "greenest" choice.

The 'Go Green' application brings Skopje and FYR Macedonia closer to Europe and the world in that it uses Google Transit (part of Google Maps), which enables users to plan trips in the city aboard public transport by providing information on the nearest bus stops and most favourable lines.

"With this application, Skopje has become the first city in the Balkan region to integrate its public transport schedule with the Google web service," said Mayor Trajanovski. "This application will enable citizens and tourists to easily navigate their way through the city." The Mayor added that Skopje is working constantly towards improving its transport infrastructure, while reconstructing key streets and boulevards and developing several bicycle lanes.

'Go Green' not only offers information on bus stops, bike rental sites and adequate parking; it also provides information in real time on traffic jams and air pollution. This data is accessible through sensors positioned at the city's main crossroads.

Pointing out that the new application is an excellent real-time tool for individual users, Minister Izairi added that "by selecting a 'smart' mode of transport, everyone can contribute to a cleaner environment, reduced noise levels, improved health status and savings in family and public budgets. This is a tool enabling us to fulfil our daily duties while being responsible towards the environment and towards ourselves."

Winton from the UNDP praised the innovative use of large databases. "This project indicates that climate solutions based on analyses and data can help everywhere in the world, and leaders in all sectors can work together to build safer, healthier and greener future," she said.

"The application is an excellent joining of modern technology and modern transport," said FINKI Dean Trajanov. "This useful interactive application allows citizens to be better informed when choosing a mode of transport. Furthermore, it could be easily replicated in other cities throughout Macedonia."

The 'Go Green' initiative was selected as one of the "seven best" projects in a UN-sponsored global contest on innovation aimed at demonstrating possible uses of large databases to combat climate change.

The application will be presented in front of the representatives of governments and public and private sectors during a series of events related to United Nations Climate Summit, which takes place in New York on September 23, 2014.