MOBILITY TALKS

Jaime Ruiz Huescar
Co-founder at Cities Forum

Jaime Ruiz Huescar, Co-founder at Cities Forum, tells us how they help cities to build a more digital, green and sustainable future.  

The interview was filmed during Global Mobility Call 2022.

A few words from...

Hi, my name is Jaime Ruiz. I’m one of the three co-founders of Cities Forum.  

What is Cities Forum?

We are an international organization of experts and consultants in the sustainable urban development and the smart city sector. We mostly provide strategic advice and consultancy services to cities across the globe and also to multilateral organizations like the World Bank or the GIZ. 

What projects are Cities Forum currently doing?

We take advantage of our expertise in different verticals of smart cities. We supported the Canadian Embassy to Spain in mentoring ten smart city companies, Canadian companies.

Our role was to give them advice about how to better shape their market strategy, or marketing strategy to entering into the Spanish smart city market, to act as matchmakers between these companies and potential clients in Spain.

We work for municipal governments, or regional governments, or even the ministries. So we have a profound knowledge of how things work in the local administration only. 

What are the challenges for Cities Forum?

Probably the tough thing of our work is to connect with these suitable actors or people in the public administration. City officials have limited access to knowledge and proper advice. It’s difficult for us to try and reach to the suitable person to talk with. This process is a very time-consuming process. They have limited access to funding, it is difficult to implement the projects that we need to transform their urban mobility without the required funding. 

How do you tackle these challenges?

Sometimes it has to do with allowing cities facilitate the process of linking to these multilateral organizations. Most of the multilateral organizations are open to receive suggestions o project proposals to fund but the problem is that medium, and especially small cities, don’t have these skills to shape these project proposals. So they need external support, they need people who are capable to help them construct or to build these project proposals and then take that proposals to these multilateral.

This is the role that we are playing. We see that overtime more and more cities are demanding from us.  

What sustainable mobility trends do you see?

We must be aware of what cities are doing, how cities are transforming the urban space. Most of the European cities are investing in cycle lanes, giving back public spaces to citizens. I would highlight that micromobility is going to play a dominant role on the context of urban mobility in the coming years. 

I would also underline the relevance of Mobility-as-a-Service. In some European cities, they are very interested in the initiatives of the Mobility-as-a-Service schemes that is going to be more and more important in the sustainable ecosystem. 

What is your daily mode of transport?

I come to work by walking. I like cycling because I live in a flat city with a very nice weather. So yeah, this is my favorite way of commuting is walking. 

Thank you, Jaime Ruiz!

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