CIVITAS Forum Conference 2017
- Written by Smaragda Chrysoulaki
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This year’s CIVITAS FORUM Conference will take place on 27-29 September 2017 in Torres Vedras, Portugal. The annual event brings together the CIVITAS community from across Europe: hundreds of mobility experts, actors and stakeholders, all of whom are devoted to the development of sustainable urban mobility in their cities. The 15th edition of the CIVITAS Forum Conference will continue the tradition of offering state-of-the-art presentations, interactive workshops and sessions, interesting site visits, not to mention new innovative elements in the programme.
SMALL COMMUNITIES, BIG IDEAS
The city of Torres Vedras, one of Portugal’s leading examples in sustainable urban development, was chosen to host the CIVITAS Forum 2017 because of its active involvement in CIVINET Portugal-Spain and the CIVITAS Political Advisory Committee, demonstrating a strong political commitment to sustainable mobility issues and to the CIVITAS Network.
As Torres Vedras is the smallest municipality ever to host a CIVITAS Forum Conference we found it great to focus on this in the theme. However, the theme not only refers to the conference objective of encouraging a transfer of ideas between cities of any size. Using the CIVITAS transferability approach as a basis the conference theme also indicates that ideas developed by any kind of small community – and this could be a CIVITAS project, an expert group, etc. – should also help others to tackle existing urban mobility problems.
The CIVITAS Forum will introduce and innovative element of the programme namely the CIVITAS Deployment Day that will connect owners of new methods and tools to its users and potential users and facilitate the building of relations and potential partnerships with cities. New tools and methods can be presented in the interactive format that best showcases its capabilities and potential for implementation, be it individualised training workshops, large demonstration and Q&A sessions, or “best practice” examples of its application. In addition, all tools/methods will be featured in the CIVITAS online marketplace that will be launched at the CIVITAS Forum conference 2017.
Although the Forum Conference will be relaunched with many new elements most of the traditional programme items will remain (such as plenaries, parallel sessions, Awards, etc.). The Conference will be officially started during the opening plenary followed by panel discussions and cocktail reception on the first day. The second day will be about the Deployment Day and will end with a gala dinner and Award ceremony. The Conference will be concluded during the closing plenary on the third day including announcement regarding the location the next Forum. The city of Torres Vedras will also offer interesting site visits. Detailed programme will be launched in the beginning of June.
The Forum Conference will be located next to an atmospheric park in the so-called ‘Pastoral Centre’. In this modern building, all modern infrastructure will be given for a successful event. Side events and catering will be in walking distance. Programmes organised in farther location will be reached by dedicated bus shuttles organised by the host city. Similar bus shuttle will be offered to participants for daily commuting between their accommodation and the conference venue.