ECOMM Call for Papers 2018
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Dear reader,

the 21st ECOMM took place in Maastricht, a city of culture, learning and business … and sustainable urban mobility! In this e-update you will find some highlights from the conference, and, besides that, all presentations are now available for download from For some visual impressions on the conference please visit

Uppsala will host the next ECOMM, and we hope to welcome you all from 31 May to 01 June 2018 in Sweden!

Are you interested to host the ECOMM 2019? If so, we encourage you to apply by 14 October 2017!


Yes, we team up!

More than 400 participants from Europe and delegations from Asia and Africa gathered at the annual European Conference on Mobility Management in the city of Maastricht from 31 May to 02 June 2017.

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'.

The ECOMM conference annually calls lots of practitioners, policy makers and researchers together, but this year the conference also attracted many industry parties, start-ups and students. This created a nice dynamic vibe, lots of energy in the various knowledge sessions and fresh new insights.

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.


The Power of Happiness

Leo Bormans

Leo Bormans, an ambassador for happiness and quality of life, gave an inspiring keynote speech on happiness and mobility. His works on happiness and the well-being of humans in general have been read by many and have influenced political leaders all over the world.

One of the key messages was that „the telescope has dramatically changed the way we look at the stars. It gives us the opportunity to focus. What you focus on, is what you get. Pessimists focus on problems. Paralyzed by fear they even don’t come into action. Optimists focus on opportunities and solutions. Driven by hope they find out how to deal with the obstacles on their way. I wish you a very good telescope in the journey of your life.“

Teaming-up for livable cities? „No!“, he says, „Teaming-up for happy cities it has to be called!“


Conference novelties

House of Commons depate

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.

For those who did not have the chance to attend the results session of the Pressure Cooker, please find enclosed recordings of the session

The ECOMM conference annually calls lots of policy makers and researchers together, but this year the conference also attracted many industry parties, start-ups and students. This created a nice dynamic vibe, lots of energy in the various knowledge sessions and fresh new insights.


Innovations of today have the potential to tackle the societal challenges of tomorrow

Designed by Freepik

With a focus on sharing knowledge and encouraging further cooperation in order to jointly address the various mobility challenges, the ECOMM 2017 was built around five crosscutting subjects.

The transport sector now needs to review its strategies, policies, investments and infrastructure and it is up to the sector to demonstrate how CO2-neutral transport can be achieved. The potential for action is there. The upward trajectory of transport sector greenhouse gas emissions is slowing as leading public and private organizations take steps to curb emissions. The Paris Agreement can therefore be considered a wake-up call for more urgent action.

Solving the mobility challenges will require bold, coordinated actions from the private and public sectors. Technological advances and commercialization, funding, intelligent policies, and business-model innovation will be needed to realize productivity improvements while creating more sustainable environments in our cities. Public Private Partnership (PPP) expertise makes it possible for us to come up with integral solutions that serve the interests of all parties concerned. Market parties are developing smart, tailor-made solutions for travellers, while authorities are providing data and contributing to investment in new private services and there is the public with its ongoing need for mobility. (The next e-update focusses on this issue)

Already, there is discernible movement toward new “multimodal” services — those that facilitate journeys combining walking, cars, buses, bikes, and trains — as well as shared transportation services. And intelligent transport systems encourage market parties, users and the government to work together to create new integral solutions. Under the influence of digitalisation and urbanisation many social developments emerge. One of them is a vigorous society that, in many contexts, creates and applies smart solutions. Smart technology and smart people make the city more sustainable, more accessible, safer and more liveable.

Cross-border cooperation in the transport sector is a must, given the peripheral position of border regions and daily needs (work, leisure, etc.). It supports the internal marketing of the border region. Cooperation is necessary for the economic development of border regions: a region's accessibility is a key factor for any relocation as it supports the external marketing of the region. Fewer congestion, a good running mobility chain and a reduced environmental impact lead to an improvement in the quality of life. Cross-border transport systems contribute to tourism and the region's external marketing.

Information on travel behaviour can provide important insights into the most effective and sustainable ways to manage traffic congestions, its environmental impacts and create new mobility services which are based on user perspectives. Connectivity plays an important role in realising mobility goals such as efficient routing and traffic information, customised mobility, and sustainable and safe environments for residents. Travelers have access to the internet, apps, and navigation and communication systems via their smartphones or tablets. Based on real time information and personal preferences of travelers, solution vendors are able to customise mobility services. Car use is slowing down, and the use of other modes of transport is expanding.


Highlight: cyclists’ experience to increase safety

Adi Hirzer from Bike Citizens presenting Ping if you care!

Bike Citizens provided insights on how campaigns can support cyclists in their daily lives, for example, via dedicated campaigns.

Ping if you care! is such an innovative participatory research campaign giving cyclists the opportunity to communicate and engage directly with local governments in order to make cycling more comfortable. The main goal is to collect and visualise conflicts and locations of unsafety (infrastructural but also emotional) from the point of view of a highly heterogeneous demographic group of cyclists. Participants download the Bike Citizens app and install their Pinger! on their bicycle or on their jacket. When starting their cycling route the app is activated and ready to start collecting Pings!. Every time one encounters a point where they feel unsafe a simple click on the button will mark that exact point on a map. After completion of the trip, cyclists have a chance to give feedback on their Pings!. They can do this immediately after finishing their route or at any later stage.

The Brussels Capital Region, in cooperation with Mobiel 21 (Leuven, Belgium) and Bike Citizens (Graz, Austria) has launched the Ping if you care! campaign, to identify major (safety) bottlenecks for cyclists in the region, and aims to make use of the data collected in heatmaps, for the further development of its cycling policy.


Highlight: Optiming Use Programme in host country The Netherlands

In 2012 a very ambitious and innovative collaboration programme focusing ‘better accessibility’ in twelve regions was started. Various contributions at the ECOMM showed the effects and added value of ‘optimising the use of the existing infrastructure more than even before’.

400 measures are being implemented before the end of 2017. The combination of supply, demand and ITS/dynamic traffic management measures is an added value, as well as the cooperation between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the regions and the business sector.

Stimulating public transport, new car pool, cycling and Park and Ride lot, the development of (multimodal) information services, optimising traffic lights and introducing traffic management schemes… are amongst the most effective ones, effecting into e.g. 19 % reduction of congestion in specific areas during the morning and evening peak hours. Over 2100 employers and 176000 employees have actively participated (and still do)

Most remarkable is that – notwithstanding sustainability was not an explicit objective (accessibility was!) - there was a positive contribution to CO2 reduction ( -70.000 tons/year!) and the reduction of nitrogen emissions (NOx – 150 tons/year).


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

Designed by Freepik

The Maastricht Treaty is all about dreams. 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.

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