100 participants to discuss sustainable transport in UBC Joint Commission meeting in Tallinn 10-12 April 2013

Several topics were embraced and questioned at the Joint Commission meeting in Tallinn including, optimizing cycling, public transport and maritime under the overall theme of sustainable transport in the Baltic Sea Region.

The great variety of planning tradition from the region was on display in Tallinn, where it was made clear that there is not only on, but several, ways to succeed in planning for sustainable transport.
Tallinn opened the meeting with a presentation of the various positive aspects that has entailed their free public transport initiative for Tallinn citizens. Several presentations and discussion later, participants had received a thorough introduction to this bold political decision and its technical challenges and solutions. Tallinn si considered a frontrunner of free public transport in Europe and is therefore also one of the founding cities of European Network of Free Public Transport

The meeting participants are in front of Tallinns brand new bus which will be taken into use tomorrow.
They are going to visit the Sea Plane Harbour museum, Lennusadam

Deputy mayor Taavi Aas and Deputy Mayor Arvo Sarapuu presented the financial figures behind the initiative as well as the unforeseen benefits of letting the citizens of Tallinn use the public transport for free. Only three months after implementation, it is clear that this initiative will be followed closely in the future by the whole region and beyond. 

UBC member cities Gdynia, Ålborg and Halmstad also presented their sustainable transport measures in relation to EU funded projects including QUEST and CIVIT@S DYNAMO. The projects proved that there are several ways to go for more sustainable transport in our cities. As a last input the Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club hosted presentations and discussion on Sustainable Energy Action Plans and their potential synergies with Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans.

As the Baltic Sea is a common denominator for all UBC countries also maritime transport was on the agenda with the SNOOP Policy Forum. Experts from all over the region were discussing policies affecting the maritime industry and the sector’s contribution to CO2 emissions.

The two intensive days provided the participants with various practical and theoretical aspects of sustainable transport and food for thoughts for their daily activities within their member cities.