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For the second and final year, the European Transport Conference was held at the Bovisa Campus of the Polytechnic of Milan, where we successfully re-established our in-person conference in 2022 after two years online.

Both years in Milan achieved very high attendance of almost 600 delegates, and we are glad that we could again welcome more younger people and more women to the conference. This also contributed to great discussions in multiple sessions - thanks for all the energy!

In the opening plenary, Professor Rosário Macário  from the Universities of Lisbon and Antwerp (pictured above centre with Pierluigi Coppola at ETC 2023) spoke about new mobility concepts and adjustments after COVID. She considered why progress towards sustainable mobility had been slow and highlighted the role of “smart citizens” as the driver of change. 

Mona Björklund, Director of the Policy Coordination Directorate of the EU Commission (pictured above right) started her presentation with a retrospective of what the EU and member states had done during the pandemic. She then reported the key findings of a study that considered how COVID and the war in the Ukraine had affected mobility patterns in Europe.

A second plenary included a panel discussion under the heading, “Will National Plans Achieve Transport Emissions Targets across Europe?” It included panellists from Belgium, the UK and Ireland. Both plenaries provided a link with Flanders and Antwerp, our conference venue in 2024 and 2025.

We were sad to say goodbye to our friends in Milan who have been such brilliant hosts, but we are now looking forward to ETC 2024 at the University of Antwerp. I hope to see you there!