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Inspiring speakers and #StayOnTheGround - Day 1 at the UITP Summit

  • Global

Public transport sector descends on Barcelona

The UITP Global Public Transport Summit, the world’s biggest event dedicated to sustainable mobility, kicked off today in Barcelona, Spain. The entire public transport sector, from industry and operators to authorities and academics descended on the Fira Gran Via convention centre.

From the best and brightest accepting their UITP Award to staff choosing to ‘Stay on the Ground’, we go through the most important events of day 1 at the Summit.

Inspire and challenge...

The opening ceremony truly kicked off the four days of the 2023 UITP Summit. From the 20 minute city to a new way of economic thinking, speakers took to the stage to challenge and inspire attendees.

In her opening words, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau Ballano emphasised how public transport is truly essential. “If we want to leave a future for our children, if we want to live in healthy places, we have to focus on public transport.”

World renowned Professor Mariana Mazzucato took to the stage as our keynote speaker. She discussed fostering and leveraging innovation for sustainable mobility. Her advice to policy makers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth, has led her to become one of the most sought-after speakers across the globe.

“Public transport is at the intersection of sustainability. I am inspired by mayors that put the goal at the centre, that try to design the city and the economic system to deliver on it.”

UITP President Khalid ALHOGAIL added how he sees Barcelona as “one of the best cities in the world for sustainable public transport and urban space. The world needs more public transport, together with walking, cycling and shared mobility.”

What do you notice when you ride a new public transport line? You see a city from a new angle. You have access to job opportunities. You can meet your friends and family. Public transport opens up new sights, horizons and new purposes. It’s the access that public transport gives us, that allows citizens to shine.
Mohamed Mezghani
UITP Secretary General
UITP Staff #StayOnTheGround

Over 50 UITP staff decided to take the journey from Brussels to Barcelona by train. They departed from Brussels at 6.35 in the morning, and arrived in Barcelona just after 4.30, traveling via Valance.

By choosing to ‘Stay on the Ground’, each UITP colleague saved 219 kilograms of CO2 when compared to flying.

Indira Khara, UITP “Reducing our carbon footprint, a one of a kind experience, sharing fun and exciting moments with colleagues and friends; it’s hard not to get on board with a ride from Brussels to Barcelona.”

“It is good for the planet”, adds Sebastien Scandolo. “And it is relaxing. You talk, read, walk, eat, and drink. All that without worrying about traffic, getting lost or speeding tickets. That’s what I call freedom.”

We’re very happy to shout loud and proud about our journey to #StayOnTheGround!

Meet the winners of the 2023 UITP Awards

The winners of the 2023 UITP Awards were announced today, 4 June 2023, during the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Barcelona. Their exceptional projects showcase public transport as the backbone of urban and local mobility.

Let us introduce you to this year’s winners with their respective categories and projects:

Congratulations to all our winners!

Climate and Health
Diversity and Inclusion
Marketing Campaigns
Multimodal integration
Operational Excellence
Public and Urban Transport Strategy
Technological Innovation
Young Researchers
Renée Amilcar, UITP's new President

Reneé Amilcar, OC Transpo’s General Manager Transit Services from Ottawa, Canada will be the next UITP President.

She was voted into office during the annual UITP General Assembly, which took place directly before the Summit kicked off in Barcelona, Spain. Her term will start directly after the UITP Summit.

“I’m grateful for the UITP members to trust me as their President”, said Renée. “I am excited and eager to take on this challenge with all our members and colleagues by my side. During my tenure I will be a supporter of you and an envoy of public transport.”

Next to presenting the 2022 activities the General Assembly allows members to vote on several amendments, bylaws and resolutions which are important for the ongoing evolution of our organisation.

For example, this year UITP members approved the creation of the On-demand Mobility Committee, the establishment of the North-America Committee, the election of President Renée Amilcar and Deputy President Brieuc de Meeûs of STIB/MIVB.

Follow the Summit

Make sure to get social! Follow along and share your experience of the Summit on social media. Follow @UITPSummit and use the hashtag #UITP2023.

And there is still time to visit the exhibition!

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