Jennie Martin, Secretary General of ITS United Kingdom speaks on the role ITS plays in fighting climate change and leading the way for a more sustainable future.
“ITS has an important role in making transport more environmentally sustainable, whether through reducing harmful emissions and noise by managing traffic flows or changing driver behaviour”
Using ITS to reduce the environmental impact of transport has become an increasingly main stream activity over the last ten years. When Professor Margaret Bell set up ITS (UK)’s Smart Environment Interest Group back in 2001, this was a niche interest and not taken very seriously by “mainstream” ITS practitioners working in fields such as traffic management and passenger information. That has all changed now and it is generally accepted that ITS has an important role in making transport more environmentally sustainable, whether through reducing harmful emissions and noise by managing traffic flows or changing driver behaviour, through using information and payment technologies to achieve change to less polluting transport modes, or any of the many other applicable ITSs.
Now we move forward to thinking about how ITS can help with resilience when exceptional weather events occur, and how the ITS itself can be made more robust to damage by storms, floods etc. The combination of ITS with meteorology, geography and geology has much to offer in making our societies more climate resistant. This is an excellent example of how ITS works best when transport engineering expertise is allied to other related disciplines.
ITS and Climate topics are relevant to everybody who works in ITS and to many professionals who may not consider themselves as ITS workers – transport planners, public health officials, emergency planners and many more. Climate events affect all areas of society and minimising their impact require a team approach by different disciplines. The climate related sessions at the Congress will enable knowledge exchange and the building of important professional networks. This topic will become increasingly important in the future, and everybody who works in ITS needs to have a basic understanding of it and a few good contacts within the international group of experts who will attend the Congress.
Click through to read more about the topics this year’s Congress will cover!
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