Technology helps reduce traffic jams in Batumi

Batumi City Hall installs smart traffic lights with UNDP and Poland support

October 10, 2022
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Mamuka Chkhikvadze
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Mamuka Chkhikvadze

Smart traffic lights were installed at eight of the 35 busiest intersections in Batumi to help the city ease its clogged roads and cope with the growing number of cars.

A modern adaptive traffic control system combines new communications technology with the power of artificial intelligence to crunch vast amounts of data from sensors, cameras and GPS. It detects the volume of vehicles in real time and adapts to their pattern to keep the traffic moving. The system is equipped with low-power and low-consumption traffic lights and up-to-date traffic management software. It can be also upgraded to become more responsive and gain some additional functions, such as tracking emergency vehicles and providing them with movement priority at the intersections.

This innovative and groundbreaking project was implemented by Polish innovator Spinnea and the Batumi City Hall with support from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Challenge Fund and the United Nations Development Programme/UNDP. Technical implementation of the project was carried out by Spinnea in partnership with the municipal “Batumi Autotransport”.

The US$68,000 initiative is part of the Polish-UNDP Partnership – Innovative Solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals, which brings Polish expertise, know-how and innovation to its partner countries in Eastern Europe.

“Batumi is a fast-growing touristic hub, a seaport and a transit route. The city needs a modern traffic management system to cope with the increase in traffic flow caused by its multiple urban functions. Smart traffic lights will help us resolve traffic congestion in the busiest areas and improve both public and private transportation".
Batumi Mayor Archil Chikovani
“Poland is Georgia’s strong supporter in many development areas, including urban innovation. It is encouraging that Polish know-how and technology help regulate traffic in Batumi to improve road safety and environmental care".
H.E. Mariusz Maszkiewicz, Ambassador of Poland to Georgia
“Smart cities are not a distant future. They are a step forward in our journey to sustainable urban development. Through the Polish-UNDP Partnership, we now have an opportunity to share innovative urban solutions with Georgia and help the country’s largest seaport to become smarter and greener”.
Magdalena Kudlicka, Project Manager for Polish Challenge Fund at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub
“UNDP is proud to assist Batumi in realising its vision of a “green city”. We bring on board international expertise to improve urban mobility, introduce sustainable transport and waste management practices, and help explore green solutions."
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia

Batumi is Georgia’s leading city in pioneering sustainable urban development, including in the transportation and waste management sectors.

In 2015, the city received UNDP and the Global Environment Facility/GCF support to study household mobility in 78 transport zones and introduce a sustainable urban mobility plan, that envisioned the introduction of a new parking model, optimisation of public transport and expansion of the biking network. Batumi then used the plans prepared with UNDP support to acquire a fleet of 40 low-emission and 8 zero-emission electric buses from the European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2018-2020. This helped to halve the number of minivans on the streets and launch the dedicated bus lanes for 13 of 19 municipal bus routes.

In 2021 and 2022, UNDP’s Accelerator Lab assisted Batumi City Hall to study public readiness for plastic waste collection, sorting and recycling. The experiment resulted in a 16-fold increase in plastic waste collection, from 50 to 800 kilograms per week. 40 additional bins were placed in the streets and municipal cleaning services were equipped with modern tools and devices. UNDP now assists Batumi City Hall to develop and adopt a municipal waste management plan, which will bring Batumi closer to fulfilling its urban development goals as Georgia’s greenest and most sustainable city.

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