Listening to all stakeholders: FIA Region I seminar on urban mobility in Brussels
Published on: 26 September 2013
On 24 September, the FIA hosted a seminar on urban mobility which included the voices of diverse stakeholders. Discussing the needs of users and cities and how to improve mobility, the seminar included European motoring clubs, representing European motorists, Polis, representing cities working to improve transport, the IRU, representing the interests of trucks, busses and taxis, ACEA, representing car manufacturers and ERTICO, representing a public-private partnership to implement intelligent transport systems (ITS). The informal atmosphere allowed all sides to express their views candidly and potentially offers a method whereby common ground can be achieved.
The first topic was stakeholders’ views on ‘What do cities and users need?’ from the perspective of mobility. The panel held an engaging debate, which included assessing the public vs. private transportation and concluding that one is not necessarily better than the other. Just as driving a full car is better than having an empty bus travel into a city, citizens need to use the best option available. Continuing along this subject, the European Club’s made sure to note that when access restrictions are used by cities to control mobility, primarily by cars, this can also cause urban decline and so they must be used with caution.
The second topic was ‘Improving mobility in cities: Experiences and enablers’. The discussion began on the efforts being done Europe-wide to implement ITS by ERTICO in which they strongly advocated cooperation among all stakeholders. Following this, the discussion shifted to open data and how cities are using their data to increase mobility services to citizens. Cities are using different approaches: London believes in open data, meanwhile, cities like Brussels and Berlin have closed data systems based on Google maps and a single official access point. Finally the Club RACC from Barcelona presented their activities locally in integrating electric scooters and roadside assistance for electric vehicles.
Overall, the topics offered engaged participants a lively discussion. It was agreed that the seminar proved to be a good opportunity to exchange opinions across sectors and that for progress to be made on many of these issues, such informal discussions should happen more frequently.