Urban Transport 2012

18th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment


15 - 17 May 2012
A Coruña, Spain

 Overview & Opening Addresses


The 18th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment took place in La Coruña, Spain organised by the University of the West of England, represented by Professor Jim Longhurst, and Professor Carlos A Brebbia from the Wessex Institute of Technology.

The meeting was opened by Jim who stressed the importance of transportation in urban areas and its related environmental and social impacts.  These are topics of significant concern for policy makers in both municipal and central government departments for the development of effective and efficient urban transport systems.

Urban transport systems require considerable studies to devise and then safeguard their operational use, maintenance and safety.  Transportation systems produce significant environmental impact and can enhance or degrade the quality of life in urban cities.  The conference proposed transportation systems that contribute to a sustainable urban environment by minimising negative impacts whilst enjoying the socio-economic and cultural development of the urban environment.

Following Jim’s address, Carlos A Brebbia explained the future of Wessex Institute of Technology and its aim of being a medium for the distribution of knowledge in different fields, with emphasis on those of an interdisciplinary nature.  Carlos ended by inviting the participants to visit the WIT campus in the New Forest, where most of its research and publishing activities takes place.

Hercules Tower, A Coruna

The depth and breadth of the topics covered by this Conference allowed for robust academic analysis of the complex interaction of urban transport and the environment and provided opportunity for establishing practical action strategies for resolving urban transport problems.

A distinctive element of the Urban Transport and the Environment conference series is the interaction between academic and practical perspectives where theories and ideas are debated and then practical applications rigorously tested.  The challenge of finding effective and efficient transport systems in urban settings remains an acute challenge with financial, political and environmental constraints limiting the ability of transport systems, planners and operators to deliver the high outcomes expected by the public.

This International conference has successfully established itself as the most important annual event of its type in the urban transport world.  It has always attracted a distinguished international audience and provided opportunities for academic and public discussions.  The Conference series started in Southampton in 1995, continuing in Barcelona (1996); Acquasparta, Italy (1997); Lisbon (1998); Rhodes (1999); Cambridge, UK (2000); Lemnos, Greece (2001); Seville (2002); Crete (2003); Dresden (2004); The Algarve (2005); The New Forest (2006); Coimbra (2007); Malta (2008); Bologna (2009); Cyprus (2010); and Pisa (2011).  The importance of all these meetings is reflected in the papers published in the corresponding volumes of the Transactions of Wessex Institute series which are archived in the eLibrary of the Institute at http://library.witpress.com/, where they are permanently and easily available to the international community.

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 Conference Topics

The conference series and the resulting books, presents papers covering a wide range of contemporary concerns and issues within the sphere of urban transport and the environment.  Topics covered included:

  • Environmental Impact
  • Environmental Friendly Transport Modes
  • Transport Strategies
  • Public Transport Systems
  • Transport Modelling and Simulation
  • Urban Transport Management
  • Transport Safety and Security
  • Infrastructure
  • Land Use and Transport Integration

 Invited Presentations

C Borrego
Prof. C Borrego
There were a series of invited presentations by well known colleagues ie

Managing transport induced urban air quality – A review of British experience
J W S Longhurst, University of the West of England, UK

Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from different vehicles covering the entire life cycle
J Lumbreras, Technical
University of Madrid, Spain

Modelling of tree-induced effects on pedestrian exposure to road traffic pollution
C Borrego,
University of Aveiro, Portugal

Analysis of the interaction between travel demand and rail capacity constraints
L D’Acierno, Federico II,
University of Naples, Italy

Online monitoring of essential components helps urban transport management and increases the safety of rail transport
J Rosinski, Transmission
Dynamics, UK

Transformation within transportation planning in South Africa: Implications of the new transportation policy and legislative framework and the implementation of National Transport Master Plan
C B Schoeman,
North West University, South Africa

Estimation of gap acceptance parameters for HCM 2010 roundabout capacity model applications
A Pratelli,
University of Pisa, Italy

 Social Events

Delegates during lunch
The Conference programme included many occasions for the delegates to interact in a friendly environment and many productive discussions took place outside the conference room, during coffee and lunch breaks, dinners and other social occasions.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner to discuss how to improve the meeting and to put forward suggestions for 2014. (The next conference was already arranged to take place in the Greek Island of Kos from 29-31 May 2013.)  The Committee discussed the topics to be included in the 2014 call for papers, including having more influence on interdisciplinary contributions and non-technical issues.  They also considered various suggestions for holding the conference in different locations, including some that could attract more participants from the Middle East.  WIT will investigate those locations to decide on the most suitable.

Bagpipe Ensemble
The Conference dinner took place in the restaurant hotel in the Museo del Hombre (The Mankind Museum) which contains 200 interactive displays to study the human body.  The restaurant within the impressive building has outstanding views of Orzan Bay and its unique beach and promenade.  The menu consisted of a series of Gallician specialities, starting with several fish dishes, followed by a main course of excellent Gallician steak.  The food was accompanied by a selection of wines, including the well-known regional ribeiro white.

The final attraction was a performance by a bagpipe ensemble from Santiago de Compostela which played a series of classical Gallician pieces.  The bagpipes are very much part of the regional culture, their sound being more melodic than that of others, such as the Scottish ones.  The music was very much appreciated by the international audience, many of who were unaware that such instruments were also part of Spanish music.

 Closing of the Conference

The conference was very successful and will be reconvened in Kos, Greece from 29-31 May 2013 (see http://www.wessex.ac.uk/13-conferences/urban-transport-2013.html).

Carlos ended the meeting by thanking all delegates for having participated in the conference and wishing them a safe trip home.  He also invited them to visit the Campus of Wessex Institute next time they are in the region.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Urban Transport, 754pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-580-9, eISBN 978-1-84564-581-6) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 128 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1746-4498, Digital ISSN 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com