21st ECOMM 2017 in Maastricht

The 21st ECOMM took place in Maastricht, a city of culture, learning and business … and sustainable urban mobility!

Yes, we team up!

More than 400 participants from Europe, Asia and Africa gathered at the annual European Conference on Mobility Management.

With the main theme 'Teaming up for liveable cities', the conference provided insights on how public and private parties can work together to reflect on the future of smart and sustainable travel to increase accessibility, safety and liveability in cities. In more than 80 inspiring presentations, discussions, demonstrations and pitches, questions were raised as: ‘how can we cope with the ever-increasing mobility in Europe’,  ‘what do we know about the behaviour of travellers’ and ‘what kind opportunities can (technical) innovations provide'.

All this was complemented by a line-up of officials, inspiring keynote speakers and a panel discussion with various national and international panellists under professional guidance of moderator Simone van Trier.

New this year was the House of Commons debate that was held by students of Hasselt University and NHTV Breda with a great deal of verve.

Also new were the Pressure Cooker sessions in which mobility students were brainstorming on solutions for the various mobility cases submitted by cities and regions like Rome, Kassel, Groningen and Limburg. This fun and creative set-up really gathered fresh, new and out-of-the box ideas. 

Dream Big, Think Big and Act on it together! The EPOMM Treaty of Maastricht

The conference participants joined the discussion on how to achieve our big dreams using the instruments of Mobility Management in Europe and beyond. At the ECOMM 2017 the following essential conclusions were drawn:

  1. Dream Big: happy people and a sustainable planet
    Mobility is an important part of everyday life. It enables people to “pursuing” their dreams. At the same time its external effects threaten overall happiness. Striving for liveable cities is not enough. We have to dream big: our ambition is creating pleasant cities and pleasant rural areas with happy people and a sustainable planet powered by renewable energy. 
  2. Think Big: bring focus, but do not lose the big picture
    A multitude of focused actions are needed to realize big dreams. Meanwhile, we always have to take the big picture into account. For example, car policy has to include striving towards lower car usage and lower car ownership, electrification of the fleet and social inclusion for those without realistic alternatives. All of these instruments are needed to achieve our big dreams. 
  3. Act on it…and do not be afraid to fail!
    There are disruptive forces and newcomers from outside. Dividing lines between different sectors are blurring and policy focus is shifting towards sustainability. Society is changing rapidly and so is our transport system. This demands us to act. Do not be afraid to fail. Try things out, do pilots, learn from it and scale-up successes. Technological and market developments provide us with a lot of tools to do so!
  4. Not alone, but together!
    We must work together! Collaboration on all institutional levels is needed. This includes all levels of government (EU, national, regional and local level) and also public and private partners. Working together means: combining strengths, accepting the variety of stakeholder goals and trusting each other. Examples from different Member States show that Mobility Management in such PPP constructions work best in integral package deals. 

Next steps

The participants of the ECOMM 2017 are now collaborating as dream owners. Together, we will do everything in our power to realize our dreams. Redirecting 5 percent of resources from infrastructure to Mobility Management could potentially double the results. So we ask the EU to create conditions for borderless collaboration, take away barriers, facilitate exchange of knowledge and develop a strong EU policy on Mobility Management. We invite the EU to embrace best practices and lessons learned from countries with successful Mobility Management programmes, as well as to stimulate Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in all member states. The upcoming EPOMM strategy book will bring us one step closer to achieving our goals.