19th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment29 - 31 May 2013
The 19th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment has take place in the Greek Island of Kos, organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) and Chaired by its Director, Professor Carlos A Brebbia.
The meeting has been held annually since it started in Southampton in 1995, continuing in Barcelona (1996); Acquasparta in Italy (1997); Lisbon (1998); Rhodes (1999); Cambridge, UK (2000); Lemnos, Greece (2001); Seville (2002); Crete (2003); Dresden (2004); The Algarve (2005); the Wessex Institute of Technology Campus in the New Forest (2006); Coimbra (2007); Malta (2008); Bologna (2009); Cyprus (2010); Pisa (2011) and La Coruña (2012). The papers since 1995 are part of the WIT Transactions and archived in the Wessex Institute’s eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com, where they are permanently available to the international scientific community.
The success of the series is due to the continuous requirements for better urban transport systems, as well as the recognition of the conference as the premier event of its type. The meeting also addresses 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 reflects the complex interaction of the urban transport systems with the environment and the need to establish integrated strategies. The aim is to arrive at optimal socio-economic solutions while reducing the negative environmental impacts of current transportation systems.
The meeting was opened by Prof Carlos A Brebbia who gave a short presentation describing the work of WIT, the objective of which is to transfer knowledge at an international level. WIT – Carlos explained – carries out research and provides an important service to industry including advanced consulting and training.
The conference series, consisting of 25 international meetings per year, is an essential part of WIT activities, contributing to the dissemination of knowledge and bringing together scientists and engineers from many different backgrounds. The emphasis is on interdisciplinary and developing international networks.
Another important activity of WIT is carried out by WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute. WIT Press not only produces the conference books as volumes of the WIT Transaction series but also publishes a substantial number of advanced monographs and edited books, in addition to international journals. All this material is published in digital and paper format, with the former becoming increasingly popular. The production of scientific information in electronic format greatly contributes to the worldwide dissemination of the work presented at WIT conferences.
The conference included a substantial number of papers grouped under the following topics:
- Transport strategies
- Urban transport planning and management
- Public transport systems
- Rail transport strategies
- Intelligent transport systems
- Land use and transport integration
- Transport modelling and simulation
- Environmental aspects
- Economic and social impact
- Travel behaviour studies
- Customer satisfaction
- Safety and security
A special session was organised by Giuseppe Musolino, University of Reggio Calabria, Italy, comprising the following papers:
- “Comparison of urban planning system between UK and Italy: commercial development and city logistic plan”
- “A system of models for the assessment of an urban distribution center in a city logistic plan”
- “An integrated approach for road, transit design in a city logistic plan: a case study”
- “A comparison of vehicle routing approaches with link costs variability: an application for city logistic plan”
Social OccasionsThere were numerous occasions for the delegates to interact throughout the conference. In addition to refreshment breaks and complimentary lunches for the group, other social gatherings took place during the meeting, including an excursion for all participants and the conference banquet.
The special excursion was programmed at the end of the first day seminars to provide the delegates an opportunity to become better acquainted with each other. The excursion consisted in visiting a well-known winery which produces excellent local wines, followed by a visit to an olive oil mill and ending on a beach on the south end of the island. There the delegates were offered the opportunity of swimming in a sheltered bay before having a typical Greek dinner in a nearby taverna. The experience was most positive and helped to increase the interaction between the participants throughout the conference, which is major objective of WIT meetings.
The conference dinner took place in a typical restaurant at the top of the mountains. The place is renowned for the quality of the food and the way in which the meats are prepared, in a special wood fire which is prepared and lit every night. The food is fresh and mostly home grown. At the end of the meal there was Greek dancing performed by a group – called Horokos – founded and led by the best dancer in the island. Their performance was exceptionally good (the quality of Greek dancing varies as well as that of Flamenco, driven by the mood of the dancers rather than just their technical skills). Delegates were able to participate in several dances which added to the enjoyment of the evening.
Closing of the Conference
Carlos closed the conference referring to the friendly atmosphere of the meeting which will lead to stronger links amongst the delegates. He ended by thanking them again for their participation. He also reminded all participants that they were invited to submit an extended version of their contribution for publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 130 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