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This year’s Polis Conference “Innovation in transport for sustainable cities and regions” has started. The international conference for urban transport professionals was opened yesterday by the city of Perugia, the conference host.
The city of Perugia opened the conference to more than 200 urban mobility practitioners from across Europe. Perugia holds the Polis presidency and was re-elected on Wednesday to hold the presidency of the network once again.
On day one of the conference, current urgent transport challenges such as travel monitoring and the use of social media for better transport demand management were discussed as well as how to make mobility safer for vulnerable road users, reducing the impact on air quality, and financing infrastructure and public transport.
Representatives from more than 40 cities and regions from across Europe are attending the conference to share experiences and to meet with researchers and a range of other stakeholders. “I noticed that solutions to the problems we are facing in our cities are not necessarily to be found ‘at home’”, commented Jan Bloemheuvel from the city of Utrecht after the session on ITS and social media. “We need to look at what other cities are doing: So often the solutions are already there, or others are working on them, too.”
“For us, this is THE European expert conference on sustainable innovative mobility solutions”, confirmed Kerstin Burggraf from the city of Dresden. “We can only recommend using the platform to engage at a European level and to benefit from knowledge transfer to finally master the challenges of the future.”
The application of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to better organise transport in cities is playing an important role at the conference. Yesterday’s sessions on pervasive technologies and on tools to aid decision making on network management was complemented by a debate on open systems for traffic management. The current POSSE project for example reflects the need to strongly involve cities in the process: POSSE was born out of a Polis working group meeting with Polis members, UTMC & OCA representatives to extend the benefit of open systems beyond the UK and Germany.
“I always learn something new at the Annual Polis Conference, this is why I come”, explained Paul Curtis from the London European Partnership for Transport (LEPT), newly reappointed member of the Polis Management Committee. “First up this year: The EC-funded ObsAIRve project, in which a smart phone app tells real-time air quality levels and forecasts in your city. This is a means to engender political action on air quality!”
The 2012 Polis Conference will be streamed online:
For twitter users: the hashtag is #polis12.
More information incl. the conference programme: http://www.polisnetwork.eu/annual-conference
Polis Communication Manager
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