European cities leading innovation for urban mobility
In the context of this year’s European week of Cities and Regions, UITP organised a double session entitled 'European cities leading innovation for urban mobility', on October 11th in Brussels.
More than 120 urban development and mobility actors attended this event, which began with speeches from Mohamed Mezghani, UITP’s Secretary General and Nicolas Blain, Chair of the UITP European Division and Head of International Relations and European Affairs Unit, RATP Group. The opening speeches were followed by the keynote speaker, François-Joseph Van Audenhove, Partner, Arthur D. Little, who talked about bringing innovative solutions in a changing urban mobility landscape in Europe.
Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit, Smart and Sustainable Growth, DG REGIO, European Commission followed by presenting Directorate-General REGIO’s vision for the future urban mobility, reminding of the availability of European Funds for innovative urban projects, while Karine Sbirrazzuoli, Senior Project Manager at UITP, closed the first session by presenting the findings of the Urban Mobility innovation index (UMii).
For the second session, participants were invited to share their ideas and expertise on innovation in eight different workshops, which were led by high level experts, who presented the success and challenges of their innovation projects:
- Workshop 1: Rosalía Gonzalo, Minister of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure of the Regional Government of Madrid
- Workshop 2: Katharina Rehling, Legal Affairs Officer at Wiener Linien, & Elisa Schenner, Head of EU Affairs, Wiener Stadtwerke
- Workshop 3: Frode Hvattum, Chief of Strategy, Ruter
- Workshop 4: Maciej Florczak, Senior Transport Specialist, ZTM Warsaw
- Workshop 5: Françoise Guaspare, European Policy Senior Advisor, Ile-de-France Representation to the EU
- Workshop 6: Jos Van Vlerken, Project Leader, City of Copenhagen
- Workshop 7: Sara Boccia - public transport planner at AMAT
- Workshop 8: Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive Officer, Transport for Greater Manchester
Per Als, Senior Transport Specialist, European Investment Bank, shared his takeaways, reiterated that Innovation takes leadership, time and adaptability, which can be facilitated by engaging the different stakeholders.
Ulrich Weber, Chair of the UITP European Union Committee and Head of Funding and EU Affairs Unit, Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG, closed this inspiring day by thanking Ferrovial, the Mobility Champion Community and the European Commission for their support.
Take away message
The challenge regarding innovative, sustainable, connected and safe urban mobility goes far beyond a simple European sector policy. It is a major societal challenge, and a leadership challenge for Europe as well, at a time when competition in cities has become a crucial aspect of globalisation.
As European cities face similar challenges, when deploying innovation for urban mobility, cooperation and knowledge sharing are a crucial aspect of the process.
'Authorities have a critical role to rethink the system, enable and provide a frame to "new mobility"', François-Joseph Van Audenhove, Partner, Arthur D. Little
'Mass public transport (urban rail, metro, tram, bus) is and will continue to be a key element in offering city dwellers an efficient alternative to private car use.' Nicolas Blain, Chair of the UITP European Division and Head of International Relations and European Affairs Unit, RATP Groupe, France
'The UMii framework is a practical tool which cities can use to develop their innovation strategy', Karine Sbirrazzuoli, Senior Project Manager – Urban Mobility innovation index, UITP
'We believe that innovation, paired with changes in customer behaviour, will change the way citizens move in cities. To be efficient, the response needs cooperation from all participants in the mobility ecosystem', Javier Lazaro Gaspar, Director of Digital Hub at Ferrovial