The 3rd World Transport Convention (WTC 2019) took place from 13-16 June in Beijing under the theme “Green and Intelligent Mobility for Future Transport”.
The WTC 2019, which was organized by the China Highway and Transportation Society (CHTS), provided a platform to international organizations and academics as well as more than 6,000 participants and 50,000 visitors to debate, share experiences, and to explore collaboration potentials. The programme included various keynote speeches, a transport expo as well as more than 600 technical sessions and 60 forums focusing on topics such as non-motorized and smart transportation, shared mobility, and autonomous driving.
The Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transportation project (CLCT) supported the WTC 2019 with co-organizing panels on the topics of urban cycling, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), green and smart ports as well as Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP).
Urban Cycling – Key to People-oriented Mobility
Mr. Jörg Thiemann-Linden, traffic planner, designated cycling expert and former staff member of the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu), presented the status quo of cycling in Germany during the session Integrative Development of Transportation and Tourism. He introduced Germany’s National Cycling Plan 2020 and stressed the importance of having strategic cycling development frameworks in place on the national level. Already in 2002, the German government published the first National Cycling Plan, the second followed in 2013 and a third edition is currently in preparation. The National Cycling Plan is the strategic document for cycling policy of the German government. It lays out the basic guidelines for the promotion of cycling and the development of respective infrastructure. Mr. Thiemann-Linden closed by stating that cycling is part of an active, sporty lifestyle and a crucial key to people-oriented mobility.
Mr. Pablo Celis, a cycling enthusiast and former traffic planner at the Road Division of the Municipality of the Danish city Aarhus, presented solutions and best practices, from Denmark and Aarhus, showcasing how to improve conditions for cyclists in urban and rural areas. To bring relevant stakeholders around one table, the Danish city introduced a Cycling Action Plan in 2007, guiding the future development of infrastructure and in particular the integration of urban and rural cycling: which has resulted in a 19 per cent increase in the modal share of cycling within the last 4 years. An effort of the Cycling Action Plan is the prioritization of super commuters (long distance commuters). The super commuter’s bicycles are supplied with RFID chips which are being recognized by sensors at street crossings when entering or leaving the city in peak-hours. According to the incoming and outgoing traffic streams, signal controlling is then adjusted in favor of the super commuters – creating green waves for cyclists. Another measure is an established park and bike terminal, the first in Denmark, supporting the efforts of the city trying to provide stronger incentives to people commuting to Aarhus to park their car outside the city center and cycle the “last mile”.
Promoting Cycling and Walking – Joint Implementation of a National Non-Motorized Transport Committee in China.
In a side session to the WTC 2019, together with the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS) and CHTS, Mr. Pablo Celis, Mr. Jörg Thiemann-Linden and experts from GIZ elaborated on the establishment of an envisioned National Non-Motorized Transport Committee in China. The committee will serve as a platform to bundle policy formulation and knowledge accumulation as well as training and capacity building programs for planners and decision-makers on cycling, walking and other forms of micro-mobility and will be the first of its kind in China.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) – A Tool to Foster Climate-friendly Mobility
Mr. Ralf Willenbrock of T-Systems International and Supervisory Board Member of ERTICO ITS Europe provided an overview of the potentials of ITS solutions for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and urban air pollution at the Europe-China ITS Forum, which was jointly hosted by the CHTS, ERTICO, FEHRL, and GIZ. ITS are systems in which information and communication technologies (ICT) are applied in the field of road transport, including infrastructure, vehicles, traffic and mobility management as well as for interfaces with other modes of transport. ITS combine information and communication technologies, sensors, maps, and other data, enabling seamless journeys of people and goods through the use of applications and services. Mr. Willenbrock highlighted the role of ITS within the Air Quality Master Plans in Germany and introduced the ongoing program “Horizon Europe”. Horizon Europe is a scientific research initiative of the European Union, with a planned budget of EUR 100 billion over 7 years, which seeks to tackle climate change and help to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Against the background of increasing passenger and freight transport volumes and emissions, Mr. Sebastian Ibold, Project Director of CLCT, highlighted the urgent importance of implementing ambitious measures to effectively decarbonize transportation by mid-century. Mr. Ibold argued that the focus of emission reduction efforts should lay on the promotion of public transportation backbones, as well as the expansion and improvement of cycling and walking infrastructure, complemented by well-regulated on-demand shared mobility services. Mr. Ibold further stressed the importance of the integration of urban and transport sector development. Only when aligning future mobility concepts with the principles of mixed-use and compact city of short ways, the sustainable transport transition is possible.
Green and Smart Ports – A Key to Sustainable Freight Transportation
During the Green Smart Port Logistics Forum, German approaches in maritime logistics were presented by Mr. Ralf Willenbrock who elaborated on the experiences from the cities of Hamburg and Bremen. In the two German cities Internet of Things (IOT) based data platforms were implemented to increase container handling efficiency and to significantly mitigate emissions. Besides, in Hamburg, a pilot communication platform and a system for slot management with information about the delivery and reloading of goods were introduced. The pilot system should make it clear how the various modes of transport can be better integrated in order to shorten throughput times and to utilize the transport network and terminals more evenly.
Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) – Shifting from Transportation towards Mobility
Ms. Wu Yingjie, Technical Advisor of CLCT, presented the concept of SUMP during the 23rd China Engineering Science and Technology Forum – Forum on Transportation Power, hosted by the China Academy of Engineering (CAE). SUMP is a planning concept applied by local and regional authorities for strategic mobility planning. It encourages the shift towards more sustainable transport modes and supports the stronger integration of urban and transportation planning. CLCT aims at implementing SUMPs in pilot cities in China and at elaborating a China-SUMP guideline for local level decision-makers and planners. SUMPs can support Chinese cities in the effective and systematic implementation of their green transportation strategies.