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Urban Paving is Going Places! at the AAAS2020 Annual meeting

Three inspirational talks drove the audience through multiple innovations that will characterize the urban paving of the near future. Visions included a surface of artificial aggregates made of waste materials, of which the engineered texture can provide excellent friction, reducing the risk of collisions, while abating the generated road noise. Then roads with embedded sensors which can monitor the performance development of the paving layers and provide data to the managers that will better calibrate interventions, reducing roadworks, traffic disruptions and queues, while increasing road safety. Finally, an impact absorbing pavement made of a tailored rubberized material that combines softness and durability, allowing full accessibility for young and old pedestrians, cyclists and disabled users.

Viveca Wallqvist

Viveca Wallqvist (RISE) during her talk.

Athina Zampara (European Commission REA) acted as Moderator, while
Daniel Castro-Fresno (University of Cantabria, Spain) was the Discussant of the session. 

Drawing Saving Lives and Ears with High Friction and Acoustic Pavements

Cesare Sangiorgi gave a talk on Saving Lives and Ears with High Friction and Acoustic Pavements.

The urban environment naturally encompasses users of different kind: vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians. These interact at intersections where traffic rules guarantee their safe circulation. Nevertheless, car-pedestrian/cyclist accidents are one of the main causes of fatalities in modern cities and towns. The proposed talk aims to present a novel type of pavement that merges the benefit of reducing breaking distance with high friction and those of reducing pass-by noise of vehicles.

The talk was live-illustrated by the artist of ERCComics!

This research is the focus of the ESR1 project.

Viveca Wallqvist gave a talk on Saving Hearts and Bones with Impact Absorbing Pavements!

As demography predicts an increased amount of senior citizens, global warming calls for less pollution from transport and WHO alerts us that lack of physical activity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality; the need for safe infrastructure tailor made for vulnerable road users is urgent. By replacing traditional stiff surfacing, created for heavy traffic by rubber containing injury preventive pavements, more people will be encouraged to cycle and walk.

The talk was live-illustrated by the artists of ERCComics!

This research is the focus of the ESR3 project.

Davide Lo Presti gave a talk on Saving Money and Time with Automated Road Pavements!

Successful development of transport infrastructure with sensing capabilities could dramatically transform the economics of transport infrastructure preservation/management and ultimately improve the serviceability of surface transport. Many systems are currently being developed, some of them rely on providing sensing capabilities to the infrastructures to develop tailored forms of structural health monitoring, some others instead use vehicles/users to collect the information needed to monitor the asset. Within the H2020 SMARTI ETN programme (, and other projects at the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (, some of these approaches are being evaluated and will be presented in this talk.

The talk was live-illustrated by the artists of ERCComics!

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