Post Conference Organisers Address

A week after the completion of the International conference on sustainable urban and transport planning, SUTP2013, that took place in Belgrade, 16 & 17 May, we would like to come back to you with a couple of phrases reflecting ours and yours impressions and recommendations.

This Conference was a joint endeavor by the City of Belgrade and UNDP Serbia under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environment of Serbia. Despite all our hard work and eagerness to provide the knowledge and experience from the Region as well as broader from Europe, our efforts and the Conference would be meaningful without the great interest and contributions invested by all of you, in one way or the other, as authors of papers, presenters at the conference, keynote speakers or listeners. All of you have immensely added in carrying out this event and hereby, we would like to express our great gratitude.

Let us take couple of more minutes from your attention to recap the two days of the Conference.

We had 18 international speakers and 12 national ones and in total 29 papers were presented at both days. In the audience we had representatives from almost all Western Balkans countries and quite a few EU member states totaling 15 different countries and over 27 cities. These figures support the international context of the Conference that amongst other was also aiming at sharing experience across countries, languages and cultures Europe wide.

Our call for papers came across great interest at the scientific society and academia as well as practitioners in the fields of transport, urban and spatial planning, but not limited to. The economists, sociologist and environmentalists had their contribution to the papers and given aspects of their respective areas in most of them. We can proudly conclude that we managed to have a multidisciplinary approach in tackling the topics of sustainable urban and transport planning through this conference. Given the limited time for the conference, the programme committee had a hard task in doing the selection of papers to be presented at the conference. Each of them are carrying an important and almost unique message to be shared with the audience hence we had to sharpen our criterion and look for the ones that cover better the subject of the conference striving to bring the best for the 200 addressees in the home of the National Assembly of Serbia. Thanks to all authors for expressing an interest and sharing with the rest their views, knowledge and experience.

We strongly believe that this conference made a difference on the local and national scene in bringing closer the topics of integrated urban and transport planning. At the same time it was a great opportunity for many already well established and affirmed specialists in the above fields to exchange their views with the rest of piers by at the same time sharing the knowledge with the audience of policy makers, local authorities, academia and practitioners. Students from different faculties like one on architecture, transport and spatial planning also participated at the Conference presentations, but not only.

As a side event to the conference we organized a competition for students and young practitioners aged up to 35 on the topic Resilient Cities. Excellent turnout of innovative solutions, bursting of enthusiasm and creativity in offering solutions to the challenges of the contemporary cities were presented at the exhibition held on Ozone gallery. The process of the competition was supported and guided by the Faculties of Architecture, Transport and Spatial planning at the Belgrade University, and hereby we would like to express gratitude to all those who participated and facilitated this competition turning it out in a multidisciplinary process of blended knowledge, ideas and novelties of diversified working teams. The evaluation panel was confronted with a demanding task of choosing one project to be awarded the first prize. It was rather a difficult work for the panel to take a decision and select one out of the 21 projects mainstreamed with solutions for resilience, mobility, and sustainable urban development, response to the challenges of urban sprawl, congestion and reduced competitiveness of the cities.

All of them are exceptional and inspiring yet the BelTUBE System of radial bike lanes floating above the City was considered to be the best between the great 21 one based upon a thorough and well elaborated assessment by the panel. Siemens recognized the significance and importance of the involvement of the academia and the students in these processes and provided sponsorship for the best team award, a 4-day trip to the Crystal building in London, the home to the initiative on urban sustainability.

We tried not to forget about the social value of these events and gathered all participants both evenings, Thursday and Friday at different venues aiming to provide everybody with the possibility for networking and exchange of views and experiences at smaller scale. We hope that both evenings you enjoyed the nice wine and Serbian food in the company of your colleagues, as much as we did.

Slowly wrapping up these last sentences, we would like to share with you some practical information about the proceedings and conference presentations. As it usually happens, in the proceedings handed to all of you on a CD, by mistake one paper is repeated twice, and one is missing. Also, one of the papers is presented as a ppt. We would like to express our apologies to the authors of these papers, as well as to all of you.

And for the ones that would like to have some photo souvenirs from the SUTP2013 conference, please visit the gallery and upload whatever you find appealing:
Last but not the least, we would like to remain in contact with all of you, looking forward to the next conference on sustainable urban and transport planning, hopefully 2014. Please do not hesitate to write to us, share your novelties or challenges. We would be happy to provide you with an adequate answer, in line with our capacities or look for one within the UN family or broader.