At the first event of its kind ever held at an ITS Congress, yesterday (June 8), more than 30 representatives drawn from 12 major European cities gathered at the City Council Chamber in Glasgow to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the field of intelligent transport and smart cities, as part of the main theme of the 11th ITS European Congress: ‘Delivering future cities now’.
Cities account for 75% of the European population and are the engines for the continent’s economy. However, they also contribute disproportionately to greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and consumption of resources. For cities to be successful they need to provide security, good quality of life, and environmental sustainability for their citizens. They need to deliver this in times of austerity, with an aging population and with unprecedented population growth. The participants at the Mayors’ Summit debated these challenges and agreed on the enormous potential of Intelligent Transport Systems to address them.
The cities were welcomed by the Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, and were addressed by: the leader of the City Council, Frank McAveety; Transport Scotland’s director, Hugh Gillies; and Magda Kopczynska, director of innovative and sustainable mobility for DG MOVE at the European Commission. The participants at the Summit noted that ITS can:
Be used to reduce congestion and increase safety; Contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution; Expand transport capacity more quickly, and using fewer resources, than extending existing physical infrastructure; Use the efficiency of both private and public funding for public transport; Provide users with personalized mobility solutions, including those with reduced accessibility or elderly people; Contribute to a more inclusive transport system for people and goods; Be a cornerstone of future transport and mobility policies and services.
The participants expressed their appreciation for the impetus given by previous European and World Congresses that have advanced the deployment of ITS solutions to transport challenges, and thanked Glasgow City Council and ERTICO ITS Europe for having organized the Mayors’ Summit. The participants:
Confirmed their intention to work together in addressing the mobility challenges facing cities today with efficient and sustainable ITS solutions; Invited both public and private sector stakeholders to exchange experience of ITS implementations; Committed to promoting the benefits of ITS deployment for their city to reduce congestion, emissions and energy consumption, while enhancing safety and mobility for people and freight; Agreed to support the organization of next year’s Mayors’ Summit in Strasbourg, France.
“There is a need for European, rather than local, solutions to provide Europe-wide services for the citizens and economies of scale for the industry,” noted Cees de Wijs, chairman of the supervisory board of ERTICO ITS Europe. “After the success of this year’s Congress in Glasgow, and anticipating the next ones in Strasbourg and Copenhagen in 2017 and 2018, ERTICO ITS Europe is officially launching today the call for the tender to cities seeking to host the next ITS Congresses in Europe for the period 2019-2021.”