With only one week to go until City Transport & Road Pricing Europe Conference 2021, CiTTi meets speaker Thomas Lymes, policy advisor – project coordinator for mobility at Eurocities, who will discuss how the European Commission’s strategy for smart and sustainable mobility is an opportunity to deliver zero-emission mobility for climate-neutral cities.
Taking place on 11-12 May 2021 via virtual conferencing platform Swapcard, City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021 will explore the latest developments and technologies shaping urban transportation via four key content themes: road pricing and tolling; emissions and sustainability; congestion and traffic management; and transportation infrastructure.
This two-day online event will see over 20 expert speakers highlight the latest road pricing and tolling projects, discuss intelligent transport infrastructures and present urban mobility schemes being implemented in major towns and cities across Europe, from Ljubljana and Oslo to Brussels and Lahti.
Name: Thomas Lymes
Job Role: Policy Advisor – Mobility Project Coordinator
What is the best thing about your job?
Everything is still quite new for me at Eurocities as I only joined the network last February. But so far, what I really appreciate is discovering everything cities put in place to improve urban mobility. There is so much going on at the urban level on mobility: from innovative ways to support walking and biking to smart traffic management, I am constantly amazed by the efforts deployed by local authorities to make cities more liveable by revolutionising transport.
What is the biggest challenge facing those with responsibility for developing sustainable urban mobility solutions in 2021?
I would say that one of the biggest challenges is to get citizens on board on the path towards sustainable mobility. Changing people’s habits does not happen from one day to another. It takes time to convince people to take their bike to go to work instead of relying on their cars. But here again, cities are really developing innovative solutions to consult citizens and the relevant stakeholders. And the results are already visible; in Brussels for instance, regional authorities surveyed Brussels region inhabitants before the publication of the new regional mobility plan to get their feedback. Most of the respondents supported the ambitions of the plan, which shows that when you take time to explain a vision and the way you want to implement this vision, people embrace it.
What’s your best piece of advice for those looking to implement sustainable urban mobility solutions?
As mentioned before, getting citizens on board is key but my advice would also be to look around you for inspiration. There are thousands of cities experimenting new ways to implement sustainable urban mobility solutions on a daily basis and I am sure that they would be keen on sharing their own experience. The exchange of best practices is one key activity within Eurocities and this is one of the key advantages of joining our network. We firmly believe that “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
Does legislation help or hinder development in the sector?
Cities are one of the actors adopting legislation that impacts on the transport sector, so I would not say that it hinders development in the sector. On the contrary! Take the example of low-emission zones in many cities. These measures have been deployed for decades already and companies in the transport sector have already integrated this reality into their business strategies. Car manufacturers know that if they want to keep on selling cars to cities dwellers, they will have to go for zero-emission mobility. Of course, local legislations are not foolproof. That is why local authorities maintain a constant dialogue with all stakeholders to keep on improving them.
What will sustainable urban mobility look like in 2030?
I am always impressed by people that manage to predict the shape of mobility and transport in the years to come. If we look back some years ago, who would have predicted that German OEMs would foresee the majority of their sales to be fully-electric by 2030? Who would have believed that in Brussels – a city that was designed to accommodate car traffic – the number of bike riders would increase by 64% in a year? I am still convinced that it is hard to make such predictions in 2021 but I hope at least that by 2030, city dwellers will be able rely on efficient public transport systems, have affordable zero-emission mobility solutions close at hand and feel safe while wandering the streets. I also hope that the majority of public spaces in cities will be reshaped to move people, not cars!
Why are you looking forward to speaking at City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021?
I am really excited about sharing cities’ views on the smart and sustainable mobility strategy during the conference. 2021 will be a decisive year for EU transport as we expect a lot of new initiatives to be discussed by EU policymakers. I am convinced that the strategy is a unique opportunity to make the transport sector more sustainable and to follow the examples of cities in shaping the future of mobility.
At the conference you’ll also be able to hear from Continental, Transport & Environment, Greenplan, the cities of Stuttgart and Oslo, the European Green Capital 2021 project… and more! You can view the full agenda here. All times are shown in CET (GMT+1). All sessions will be available after the conference on-demand.
For partnership enquiries, please contact Robert Gouge at email@example.com or by calling +44 (0) 20 8065 0465. For speaking opportunities, please contact Claudia Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +44 (0) 20 8037 1777.
Meet some of our other speakers at City Transport & Road Pricing Conference Europe 2021…