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‘EUROFORUM’ sets priorities for urban mobility

The EU-funded EURFORUM initiative held its first plenary session in Brussels on 28 February 2007. Over 60 participants from across Europe came together to discuss the current state of the art in city transport.

London underground
Citizens on the move
© Peter Gutierrez

Funded under the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6) EURFORUM is a Coordination Action aimed at setting up research priorities for the urban mobility sector in Europe.

“EUROFORUM will effectively represent all stakeholders in this area,” explains EU Project Officer Patrick Mercier-Handisyde, “including local authorities, public transport associations, research bodies and even public transport users. The forum will then present comprehensive recommendations for the coordination of European urban mobility research.”

Good start

EURFORUM was launched in April 2006 and is coordinated by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP – Euroteam). Other partners include Italy’s National Association of Local Public Transport (ASSTRA), the Technical Agency of the French Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Spatial Planning (CERTU), the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI), European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA), the European Association of Cities and Regions (POLIS) and the Technical University of Dresden.

The first plenary session featured European Commission perspectives on urban transport innovation, delivered by Director of DG RTD Transport Directorate András Siegler. A keynote address was delivered by Bernard Soulage, President of the transport group of the Committee of the Regions and Vice President of the Rhone-Alpes region (France). Group sessions brought together related stakeholders, assisted by technical experts, who then reported back to the plenary.

Clear goals

Specific project aims, says Mercier-Handisyde, include the identification and development of innovative concepts and tools for proper coordination at EU level of urban passenger and goods transport. This means:

  • Structuring the supply of European research in this field
  • Improving Europe’s position as a global urban mobility player
  • Reducing the overall cost of urban mobility
  • Increasing the attractiveness of public transport, walking and cycling
  • Rationalising motorised traffic

The following public reports will also be delivered:

  • State of the Art and Vision 2020 (presented during the plenary meeting)
  • Report on proposed EU Advisory Structure - Summer 2007
  • Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) - Autumn 2007