As operators and designers of public transport services, local and regional
authorities and policy makers have the opportunity to shape and structure
urban spaces. The best way to make the most positive impact on people’s
living conditions, and to influence their daily mobility choices, is to
offer the very best options for movement.
During the joint conference, UITP and the European Committee of the Regions
asked one of the most provocative questions in urban mobility:How do you get people out of their cars? But what practical solutions have proven to be successful
for getting citizens on to public transport? Shared experiences and
transferrable ideas were on offer when UITP and the ECoR joined forces to
bring together more 160 international participants for
this topical Conference.
Opened by UITP Europe Senior Director Thomas Avanzata and Chair of the CoR COTER Commission Isabelle Boudineau, the
gathering brought sustainable urban mobility to the agenda.
In Europe, the road transport sector is responsible for over half of all
NOx emissions and accounts for 72% of the 27% of the EU’s total GHG
emissions, which are attributable to transport. This is resulting in
irreversible damage to our natural environment, with a detrimental impact
on quality of life and the health of citizens in our towns and cities (air
pollution, urban congestion, noise emissions, and more.)
"Emissions from the transport sector continue to rise. The European Union
cannot succeed in its Green Deal if regions and cities are not at the
forefront of efforts to provide an efficient and clean public-transport
service. They are the actors most capable of proposing innovative solutions
that make it possible to stop using private cars", said Isabelle Boudineau,
Chair of the European Committee of the Regions Commission for Territorial
Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER).
The European Green Deal
highlights the need for transport to become drastically less polluting in
urban areas in particular, and emphasises the importance of a combination
of measures aimed at reducing emissions, mitigating urban congestion and
improving public transport options. Therefore the need to move as many
people as possible to shared modes is vital, said UITP President Pere Calvet.
“At UITP, we’re convinced that a shift from private cars to public
transport and active modes, cycling and walking, is the best way to
decarbonise people’s daily mobility, so UITBP President Calvet.
“The Green Deal is a game changer, it’s an opportunity. Its ambitious
objectives in terms of climate neutrality and more generally in terms
of sustainability will not be met if public transport and a modal shift
to sustainable daily mobility are not given priority. A number one
priority. It’s the bus that takes kids to school, the tram that takes
me to the office and the metro that takes you to the movies which makes
”, said Thomas Avanzata, UITP Europe Senior Director.
The Conference began with a discussion on how cars have shaped our cities
and why a modal split is needed as well as how Europeans travel and how can
mobility choices can be influenced.
In the context of the new European Green Deal, which calls for a 90%
reduction in transport emissions by 2050, Sylvie Landrieve and Susan Grant-Muller
of Forum vies mobiles and the University of Leeds presented their examples
and implementations for improving mobility in cities: Behavioural change,
incentivisation and understanding the different measures required for
various locations should always be considered.
The Conference also featured two Urban Mobility Toolbox sessions.
presented a range of best practices and experiences with several aspects of
urban mobility, in particular aspects of seamless travel, urban access
regulations and offer and demand management. BKK Budapest, RATP, Arriva and
the Land Transport Authority, Singapore participated in the discussion on
discouraging the use of cars and answering urban mobility needs.
The second urban mobility toolbox session focused on the
practical experiences in relation to fare policy and multimodality,
including pedestrianised areas, as well as access restrictions and zero
emission zones. Participating in the discussion were SSB, Stuttgart, Wiener
Linien, Vienna, the City of Balbao and Krakow Public Transport Authority.
In the final part of the Conference a panel of experts
discussed on how to achieve a greener, carbon-free urban transport system
in Europe and deliver the urban mobility of tomorrow.
Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham City Councillor and CoR member,Clara De La Torre, Deputy-Director General, DG CLIMA, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg MEP, Member of the Committee on
Transport and Tourism, Miguel Gaspar, Deputy Mayor for
Mobility & Safety, City of Lisbon and Elke Van den Brandt, Minister of the Government of
Brussels Capital Region responsible for Mobility, Public Works and Road
Safety, brought their experience and ideas on how to find the right balance
between the urgent need for a long-term paradigm shift and today’s
short-term mobility need.
, Deputy-Director General of DG MOVE at the European Commission, concluded
the Conference by saying: “To my reading, public transport will become the cornerstone of the new
What has been made clear from the joint UITP and European Committee of the
Regions Conference is this: There is life without the car. There’s also a demand for further EU support in
sustainable urban mobility and the modernisation of public transport in
Europe’s metropolitan areas.
Through examples, incentivisation and investment a modal shift can be made
to encourage more people to leave the car at home and use the many mobility
options available in our cities.
UITP also held a joint Conference with the European Committee of the Regions and UNIFE last September to advocate for urban rail investment.