By Mohamed Mezghani
Secretary General, UITP, the International Association of Public Transport
What will it be like to arrive in the city that will become public transport capital of the world across one week in June?
What can you experience at the world’s largest and most important event focused on urban mobility?
There’s only one way to know the answer to both of those questions. And that is to join your colleagues, peers, and fellow sustainability advocates in Barcelona.
The UITP Global Public Transport Summit. From the 4-7 June 2023, with impressive and unique activities either side of those dates.
A truly immersive experience whether you work in public transport, have a passion for sustainable urban mobility, or want to be part of the conversations that will define the future of the cities we call home…then it’s imperative that you be with us in Barcelona.
Congress, Exhibition, Technical Site Visits, Innovation Tours, Spotlight Sessions, Networking, Social Events…it’s not only an agenda with something for everyone – this is indeed true – but it’s that the UITP Global Summit will determine what comes next.
It’s not your ordinary event. And this is not a promotional sell. This is your chance to know exactly what you can, and should be, part of.
Public transport is a vital commodity in the fabric of urban life. It needs to function daily, and it needs to be financed, developed, structured, and nurtured. It should be treasured as an essential tool to cleaner air, less congestion, fewer cars on the roads, better pedestrianisation, and more space for people to move around. It should be considered the only logical solution for a better way of life.
If we don’t come together to discuss the most pressing issues facing our sector, then we cannot be the ones to determine those next steps. With more than 400 exhibitors across 40000m2 of Exhibition space; with over 300 speakers across 85 sessions in our Congress, Cities and People will define that direction under the 2023 theme “Bright Light of the City”.
Like many sectors, public transport faces its obstacles. Some of those are determined by societal factors, and some that we must look inward to solve. Due to the role public transport plays in city life, those issues need to be considered imperative to be addressed. Whether it be the ongoing climate crisis, labour shortages, issues with inflation, challenges with energy supply and pricing…these are serious problems, that require serious consideration from the brightest minds in the business.
We can only do this when we collaborate. And although UITP was able to successfully bring the sector together during the move to digital gatherings, nothing can compete with that face-to-face interaction.
It is here that you will find the immersive experience I referred to. The UITP Global Summit is full of engagement, interaction, socialising, and time well spent together.
It’s important to meet and share ideas, based on content, based on research and insight…but it’s also important to spend time together. Public transport is defined by its strength of community. And the millions who work in it, and the people to use it, rely on us to find the solutions, and deliver on the successes when we come together in this way.
And for the first time in four years, we’re coming back with a bang.
Where else will you get to see CEOs, decision makers, creatives, influencers, strategic thinkers…operators, authorities, networks, those from educational institutions. The Global terminology is not just due to the Summit moving across international city, after international city. It is because here you will meet faces from around the world. Our delegates travel from the Middle East, Asia-Pacifica, the Americas, to Australia and beyond.
They understand the value of attending and participating. And it’s only UITP that has the influence and reach to make that happen.
We have spent a long time apart during the coronavirus pandemic. We have met digitally and exchanged online. This has proven to be productive and delivered results. But it’s not enough. Beginning again in early 2022, UITP brought the sector back together at our three pillar events, the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition in Dubai, IT-TRANS in Germany, and SITCE in Singapore. I saw first-hand how ready the sector was to engage. We know what important tasks lie ahead, and with that the enthusiasm, the desire to engage, and the interest to o collaborate, will continue all the way to Barcelona and beyond.
The Bright Light of the City is waiting for you. See you there!