To celebrate the first anniversary of the Vital Nodes project, a policy dialogue was organised on 8 November in the Vienna House in Brussels.
A presentation of the importance of urban nodes for the Trans-A presentation of the importance of urban nodes for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the expected goals of the relevant policy dialogue were offered by the project coordinator and the DG MOVE representative. It was highlighted how the project’s outcomes could give significant input to policy makers on planning, capacity building and funding needs of urban nodes on the TEN-T network.
Firstly, the policy dialogue gave the opportunity to representatives from the regional, from the local and from the European level to express their views: from the Ile-de-France region, Francoise Guaspare, acknowledged how much urban nodes concentrate challenges and should therefore be entitled to receive a dedicated part of the budget, while at the moment only 2% is allocated to urban nodes. Saara Nuotio-Coulon, from Turku, and Jos Streng, from Rotterdam, presented their experiences in addressing the challenges of sustainable and efficient freight delivery system at urban level.
In terms of environmental challenges, the city of Turku as well as the port of Turku have the ambition to become carbon neutral by 2029. Additionally, Turku has recently prohibited vehicles of longer than 15 meters to enter in the city center in order to improve safety and avoid noise and vibration. Rotterdam is also leading the way with the example of consolidation centres.
At the European level, Mathieu Grosch, European Coordinator for the TEN-T Orient/East-Med Corridor emphasized that urban nodes should adopt a corridor approach, and in this sense, carry out coherent efforts and targets with the other levels of governance. Finally, Henriette Van Eijl from the DG MOVE of the European Commission highlighted the usefulness of capacity building and of networks to support governance connection and exchange of good practices.
Based on the experience of this first policy dialogue, the Vital Nodes project will seek to further develop exchange with the city’s and TEN’T corridor’s levels and will organise a second Vital Nodes policy dialogue in Autumn 2019.
For more information on the Vital Nodes project: www.vitalnodes.eu