“We want you to talk, be open and be innovative“ was the opening challenge that Eric Sampson, Senior Advisor at ERTICO set before over 110 participants who gathered at the High Level Round Table on 18 September at the 25th ITS World Congress in Copenhagen, last week.
The high level round table has become a tradition at the annual ITS World Congress, gathering company CEOs, city mayors, transport directors and ITS associations to discuss and share ideas and best practices.
“This is an opportunity for people from the public and private sectors to talk frankly to each other about transport concerns. To share information on what’s known and what’s possible and, perhaps most importantly, to identify when there’s something missing or not understood and where we need to do some more work practices on smart mobility” Mr Sampson continued.
In this occasion, participants focused on how new transport technologies can improve the quality of life in cities, reducing noise, pollution, congestion and the number of fatalities that each year are caused by transport.
This year’s high level round table was particularly significant because of the record number of cities and experts that participated, namely 32 countries, 34 cities, over 20 head of ministries and 11 associations, and because of the solution oriented attitude of those present. Topics discussed mostly covered how intelligent and efficient mobility can improve the quality of life for their citizens.
The Round Table discussions were based around three broad themes: making cities more liveable by reducing congestion and improving air quality, helping cities to plan for the deployment of new mobility services and changing roles of Governments, especially regulating and legislating.
Participants noted the proven benefits of ITS for reducing congestion, emissions and energy consumption while enhancing safety and mobility for people and freight and invited the Regional Congress organisations to continue to work with public and private sector stakeholders to encourage the publication of evaluations of completed ITS implementations.
In order achieve sustainable, faster and safer transport, various needs were stressed, such as more large-scale trials of highly automated or driverless vehicles to assess the combined impact on safety, air quality and congestion; more research on the behavioural aspects of transport and on ways to manage city space, including parking and automated vehicles; the need for guides to the potential of emerging ITS technologies for policy development and to the different processes for procurement and finally, more research on the needs of travellers with reduced mobility.
One week after this event, ERTICO’s CEO Jacob Bangsgaard expressed his gratitude and satisfaction for such a successful outcome. “It is not easy to get such important decision makers around the same table. This has been by far the most successful and well attended High Level Round Table in 25 years of ITS World Congress. Important and fruitful discussions and exchanges of ideas and best practices took place, but above all, it is great to see that cities are being more involved in these discussions”.
ERTICO – ITS Europe once again brought together important players with the ambition of building a sustainable future. The ERTICO team is greatly looking forward to seeing the development of concrete outcomes of this annual important meeting.