EXCLUSIVE: ITS World Congress closes in Montreal with awards and a look forward to Copenhagen


The ITS World Congress ended in Montreal yesterday (November 2) with a closing ceremony in which awards were presented for best papers and best local governments, and delegates were given the chance to look back on a successful week, and forward to the next congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2018. 

The Local Government Award winners were the Taipei City Government (for Asia-Pacific), the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland (for Europe), and the Colorado Department of Transportation (for America). Representatives of each organization took to the stage to receive the awards.

Europe’s Professor Eric Sampson then gave his report on the conference side of the week, in his role as Chief Rapporteur, and handed out Best Paper awards. The recipients were Ecaterina McCormick; representatives from the UK’s Transport Systems Catapult; Hitachi; ITS Australia; the Universities of British Columbia and Alberta with TrustPoint Innovation Technologies; and the University of Maryland (winners pictured above). 

Toward the end of the ceremony the Mayor of Copenhagen Morten Kabell (below) rode onto the stage on a bicycle and addressed delegates, telling them what they can look forward to at next year’s event, which his city is hosting. 

“Copenhagen is your chance to feel the awesome power of riding a bicycle and not be at the mercy of those car owners who hate you!” he said. “And you’ll get where you are going to faster than the car drivers, most of the time. The 60% of commuters on a bicycle include our Royal Family bringing young princes and princesses to kindergarden and school, and of course everybody from government ministers to business people to kids riding off to school on their own. Join us! Sometimes the weather is even nice in September so if you want to cool down, swim in the clean harbour waters, it’s all yours! So come join us.

“I think we’ve expereinced here in the last couple of days why it’s important for all of us to meet face to face. Real human connections matter. It matters that we know who’s on the other end of the email. And above all it matters that we share and engage with each other. Becuase the solutions that we develop are crucial to a better future for our citizens and for each and every one of us.

“Networks like ERTICO, partnerships between cities, between nations and companies, and congresses like this, they are essential to a more sustainable, a more efficient and a more livable world. Because, as I’ve said a couple of times during this conference, it isn’t about the technology, it’s about livability. Thank you.”

The ceremony then finished with the traditional ‘passing of the globe’ where the ITS World Congress globe was passed from representatives of Montreal, Quebec, to Copenhagen, Denmark, via ITS leaders representing all corners of the globe. 

The representatives were: Claude Carette, chair of the 2017 ITS World Congress; Chris Murray, chair of ITS America; Hajime Amano, CEO of ITS Japan; Andrew Chow, president of ITS Singapore; Jacob Bangsgaard, CEO of ERTICO, and Morten Kabell, Mayor of Copenhagen.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).