An interview with Harry Evers, Managing Director of ITS Deutschland and the newly established ITS Hamburg 2021 GmbH
Hamburg, the “City of Solutions”, moves forward to play a leading role in the implementation of intelligent mobility services for its citizens. Richard Lemloh, from the press office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation (BWVI), has spoken to Harry Evers to learn more about this smart city, its vision for mobility and the importance of hosting the ITS World Congress in 2021.
Listen to a summary of the interview here:
Q: What does it mean for Hamburg to win this bid?
A: The City of Hamburg launched its ITS strategy in April 2016 which laid the foundations for systematically advancing the deployment of intelligent transport systems. Hosting the ITS World Congress in 2021 is an integral part of Hamburg’s strategy and acts as an important catalyst in the process of applying ITS in an effective and targeted way. Moreover, it is also a unique opportunity for Hamburg to showcase its achievements to the world, not only in the exhibition area or in various sessions, but within the city itself. We are convinced that holding the Congress will provide a great opportunity to present to the world the results of the efforts realised in Northern Germany and nationwide by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), as well as ERTICO Partners’ efforts and the ITS solutions in place that are specific to Hamburg.
Q: Which commercial partnerships did Hamburg enter into for this Congress and what were the reasons for this?
A: Hamburg’s aim is to become a model city for urban mobility. We know as a city that we are not able to achieve this objective all by ourselves, and this is why we have decided to collaborate with different partners. It is important to see the “whole picture”. It is not very effective to develop solutions which work only in the city. We must go beyond city boundaries. So we collaborate intensely with the German Federal Government and with the 15 federal states of Germany to ensure the development of solutions that work nationwide. Moreover, we need expertise from industry and research. We have more than 100 supporters for our application to host the ITS World Congress who are ready to implement new ideas and projects. Besides that, we have set up special partnerships with German automobile manufacturers, such as with our strategic partner Volkswagen, but also with BMW and Daimler. We work together with the mobility and logistics group of Deutsche Bahn, German Telekom’s subsidiary T-Systems and the leading international map operator HERE Technologies. Those partnerships are very important for us since we believe that expertise from all sides – research, industry and politics – helps us to make traffic in Hamburg and cities more efficient in general.
Q: What does Hamburg hope to achieve with this Congress?
The opportunities digitalisation offers for solving mobility challenges have been discussed for many years now. With the Congress in 2021 we want to get beyond the theory-and-lecture stage and present new mobility services that can be experienced for the first time in real life. Thanks to the Congress and the projects initiated in the context of it, the city’s transport infrastructure will be given a new and sustainable future – which will directly benefit the citizens, but also other cities in Germany and Europe.
Q: How will Hamburg fulfil its role as host of the ITS World Congress 2021?
A: The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has created a company responsible for the local coordination of the ITS World Congress which will support ERTICO in the overall organisation of the event. Together, we will make sure that the ITS World Congress in Hamburg will be a great success.
Q: What distinguishes Hamburg from other European cities in terms of transport? How is Hamburg unique?
A: Hamburg is the most dynamic logistics hub in Germany and one of Europe’s growth centres. In total, nine TEN-T corridors, that link the EU member states, run through Germany – and three of them trough Hamburg. At the same time, Hamburg is a home for its inhabitants and the heart of a metropolitan region with more than five million inhabitants, as well as being a prime destination for tourists. Not to forget the port of Hamburg, located in the heart of the city. As a major European city and a crucially important logistics hub boasting Germany’s biggest port, Hamburg thus constitutes a unique venue for the ITS World Congress. All the main means of transport are found in Hamburg, and there is a need to interface the interests of providers of several different modes of transport.
Q: What is Hamburg’s vision for the future of ITS (in Hamburg)?
A: With its “City of Solutions” vision, Hamburg aims to become a pioneer in implementing intelligent transport systems and services as best practice solutions for the people and the environment. Hamburg will evolve into a model city for intelligent mobility and logistics, with the support of industry and research. We will develop mobility solutions for urban areas which can be applied to other European cities, as well as cities and other regions worldwide.