Urban Transport 2017
17th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment
5 - 7 September, 2017
The 23rd International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment was held in Rome, Italy, organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia, and The University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy, represented by Prof Stefano Ricci.
The meeting was sponsored by WIT Transactions on the Built Environment and the International Journal of Transport Development and Integration.
This is the latest of a long and successful series of conferences that started in Southampton, UK, in 1995, and they have been held every year in different locations, the last being in Crete in 2016.
The continuing requirement for better urban transport systems and the need for a healthier environment has added to the increasing success of this annual meeting which attracts international delegates from many different countries. Innovative systems, new approaches and original ideas need to be thoroughly tested and critically evaluated before they can be implemented in practice, which highlights the importance of the meeting. Moreover, there is a growing need for integration with telecommunications and IT systems in order to improve safety, security and efficiency.
The meeting also addressed the need to solve important pollution problems associated with urban transport in order to achieve a healthier environment.
The variety of topics covered by the conference reflected the complex interaction of the urban transport systems with their environment and the need to establish integrated strategies.
Opening the Conference
The conference was opened by Giorgio Passerini, Professor and member of the Board of Directors of WIT, who welcomed the delegates on behalf of Carlos A Brebbia, who was unable to attend, and spoke of the importance of the Conference series for the Institute’s activities. Conferences provide a continuous stream of new ideas which give rise to further research and development at WIT and elsewhere.
Giorgio described some of the research the Institute is carrying out to support industry, including major companies in the field of energy and aerospace. These activities are based on the software tools developed by WIT over the years, which have resulted in close collaboration with industrial users. Research and Development in these tools continues to be carried out in the New Forest campus of WIT.
Another important activity is the publishing of specialised literature, including many books and monographs other than conference volumes. Publishing nowadays is basically a digital activity which gives greater dissemination to the material published by WIT Press. In addition, the Institute has developed an eLibrary containing all conference papers presented at WIT meetings since 1993 (www.witpress.com/elibrary). Hence the papers presented at UT 2017 will be archived in this eLibrary.
Giorgio ended by thanking the delegates once again for their support of the Conference and to the authors for the quality of the many papers at the Urban Transport meeting. He hoped that they would continue to support WIT activities, including other related conferences. WIT carries out training and research activities with many other institutions around the world and is always happy to expand those programmes.
Rome is an ideal location for the conference, as it boasts an unrivalled 3,000 year heritage of globally influential art, architecture and culture. The city is home to iconic historic landmarks, including the ancient ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and abounds with world-class museums such as the Vatican Museums and Borghese Gallery. As well as substantial Roman remains, significant Baroque and Renaissance buildings pepper the city centre. Today, Rome is not only a cultural centre, but also a commercial, financial and education hub that has successfully retained its traditional culture and regional cuisine.
Prof Ricci gave a brief speech about the Conference topics, the importance of the Meeting as confirmed by the number of conference topics and the success of the series over the past 25 years. Then he introduced “La Sapienza” University, the venue and the famous surrounding monuments including the ancient cloister and the adjoining church with the statue of Moses by Michelangelo. He hoped that the delegates would have time to visit other sites such as the Roman Forum, at a short distance from the University.
The papers presented at the conference were grouped in a series of sessions, ie:
• Public transport systems
• Urban transport planning & management
• Public policies and planning
• Eco-mobility transport systems
• Railway Systems
• Travel behaviour studies
• Mobility and public space
• Infrastructure development
• Safety and security
• Traffic accidents
• Urban strategies
• Transportation modelling and simulation
• City logistics
• Travel behaviour studies
• Infrastructure development
• Environmental impact
There were a series of invited lectures which helped to enhance the meeting:
• “From car to bike: marketing and dialogue as a driver of change”, by Stefano Ricci, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy.
• “Spatial relationships between mobility opportunities and constraints of transport disadvantages. The case of Santiago de Cali, Colombia”, by Alejandro Grindlay, University of Granada, Spain.
• “Effect of passengers flows on regularity of metro services: case studies of Rome Lines A and B”, by Luca Rizzetto, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy.
• “Assumptions and simulation of passenger behaviour on rail platforms”, by Luca D’Acierno, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.
• “Strategies to reduce traffic accident rates in developing countries: lessons learned for assessment and management”, by Ilse Schoeman, North West University, South Africa.
• “Conventional and unconventional roundabouts: A review of geometric features and capacity assessment models”, by Antonio Pratelli, University of Pisa, Italy.
• “Management of sidewalk maintenance to improve walking comfort for senior citizens”, by Maria Vittoria Corazza, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy.
In addition, a Special Session was arranged by Prof Fabrice Jubert from the RATP Group, France, on Human Factors and Railway Safety, which included the following papers:
• Feedback on the human factor awareness campaign related to railway safety at RATP.
• Human factors for cybersecurity for transportation systems.
• Generational effects on railway safety: a case study.
The conference dinner was held at Al Boschetto in the heart of Rome, just a few steps from the Via Nazionale. Its cuisine is inspired by the Roman tradition, using fresh and natural ingredients, with specialities based on porcini mushrooms and a rich variety of fish dishes.
The Dean of Engineering, Professor Antonio D’Andrea, gave a brief speech at the end of the closing session. He stressed the importance of the Urban Transport issues and stressed the significance of the UT/17 Conference, which attracted such a large number of delegates from 40 different countries.
Closing the Conference
Professors Passerini and Ricci closed the Conference, announcing that Urban Transport/18 will take place in Seville from 19 to 21 September 2018.