Forum 2008, Bologna, Italy
"Cities and Mobility: Change is possible"
Hosted by the city of Bologna (Italy), from 9 to 11 of November, the CIVITAS Forum was attended by more than 400 representatives, including 50 politicians, from European local and regional authorities and counted with the participation of the Mayor of Bologna, Mr. Sergio Cofferati, and the Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Antonio Tajani.
The various plenary sessions, roundtables and technical sessions were articulated around important urban transport themes from all over Europe, and gave the cities and its representatives the opportunity to share and exchange their views on concrete mobility issues such as green public procurement or integrated urban transport planning.
Moderated by Professor Ennio Cascetta, the conference plenary session started with a welcome speech by the Mayor of Bologna, Mr. Sergio Cofferati, a presentation of the EU policy and initiatives in the field of urban mobility carried out by Ms. Anne Houtman, Director for internal market and sustainability in DG Transport and Energy of the European Commission and a welcome and introduction to the CIVITAS Forum 2008 by Ms. Jean Yates, County Councillor of Lancashire and Chair of the CIVITAS Policy Advisory Committee. The Plenary session was then followed by an open discussion where politicians in charge of urban transport from Bologna, La Rochelle, Bremen, Fuchal, Craiova and Venezia shared best practices, ideas and visions on how to make ‘change’ a reality.
Within the framework of the CIVITAS Forum, eight technical sessions and eight roundtables were organised. Technical Sessions included presentations which addressed concrete matters covering a wide range of mobility issues from alternative fuels and energy efficient vehicles to urban mobility in time of demographic change or urban freight and logistics. Roundtables provided the delegates with a unique networking opportunity to meet and discuss key transport issues relevant to cities as well as themes of vital importance within CIVITAS such as transferability and exploitation of best practices, including finance.
While practitioners attended technical sessions and roundtables dealing with the practical side of transport, political representatives took part in a special session to discuss their expectations on EU policy and its initiatives on the field of urban mobility.
Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Antonio Tajani took part in the closing session by giving a speech about the Green Paper on Urban Mobility and the forthcoming Action Plan which is aimed to fulfil the requirements and needs of European cities. At the same time, he thanked the city of Bologna for hosting the CIVITAS Forum 2008 and thanked all participants for bringing the EU and the CIVITAS Initiative closer to their citizens.