The 42nd Annual Congress will be held in Rostock, Germany from 19th to 21st of September 2018 and has the ambition to facilitate the dialogue among all the urban stakeholders irrespective of their scale of involvement and of their sector of activities either private, public or third sector. The Congress in Rostock, in the North East of Germany, is an opportunity to understand the territorial and urban management changes taking place in one of the most advanced industrial countries, and the new relationships that are being established between the central, regional, metropolitan and rural levels in the production of efficient, effective and enjoyable urban society. The East German City Rostock managed the widespread changes in society and economy in a model like way; is prospering, vibrant, works now on new masterplan Rostock 2030 preparing next quantum jump. Moreover, public transport will be a significant topic in the discussion during the Congress. Different Interconnect project partners will active contribute to the workshop4: T4: Sustainable mobility - integrated multimodal public transport;(access by multimodal public transport). Because of lack of integrated transport authority and multimodal services, connections between small and medium-sized areas and with the main urban centres hardly meet customer's expectations who do not see clear benefits of choosing public transport over private car. Planning, market incentives and promotion campaigns to change the travel pattern of people living and working in small and medium-sized areas tend to fail. Would multi-stakeholder governance, and user-adjusted tools such as interoperability of the local and regional transport services, enhance the public transport service and curb the car -reliant mobility? Could every small and medium sized areas afford its own public transport system, how technology can help in organising interregional and cross-border cooperative transport solutions? Herewith, Interconnect has the pleasure, contributing from South Baltic Sea regions perspective to UN discussion of new urban agenda, Habitat III.
Organized by Region Blekinge, PP1 - Leader of Interconnect project
On the 17 th of May 2018, Region Blekinge, PP1 of Interconnect project, have organized study visit to Blekinge. It was the second of the five visits planned in the Activity 4.6 Study visits for public transport system stakeholders in the partner areas.
The main goal of the visit was to highlight the experience and good practice for PT accumulated in Blekinge. Apart from presentations by Region Blekinge and its dedicated managing body for regional PT (Blekingetrafiken), the visit also featured the insights in serving foot passengers in interregional traffic by Stena Line as well as the presentations of PT-related aspects by the relevant organisations cooperating with the host for the visit.
At the Stena Line ferry terminal at Verkö participants had a chance to learn about the PT system in Blekinge, in particular: customer relations, publicity events for the region’s residents – Blekingertafiken, PT and spatial planning, collaborative planning, good practice. They also got better insight into Stena’s Line experience in addressing travel need of foot passengers on the Karlskrona-Gdynia Line.
Environmental aspects and sustainable regional growth are very important issues in Blekinge. That’s why project partners could hear about research and test deployment of electric buses and biogas use in PT services. They also got know-how to implement special PT services – on demand.
Participants could take their local travels in Karlskrona to test the quality of Blekinge PT system (by express PT bus lines). After sightseeing they completed study visit questionnaires. All data will be aggregate in the report - it will give the host organization a fresh insight into how the offered services are perceived by ‘tourists’ and what is their opinion. It is expected that study visit surveys and reports will play an important role in defining tools and procedures to increase the quality of public transport system in partner areas.
Around 100 specialists dealing with the subject of public transport on a daily basis were gathered the 10th May 2018 at the Marshal's Office of the Pomorskie Voivodeship in the frame of the seminar "Common ticket in public transport", where they discussed about common challenges and the integration of ticket systems in public transport in Pomerania and Poland. Invited guests were local government officials, city and municipal office employees and representatives of companies involved in the designing and implementation of electronic ticket systems
As it was stressed in the seminar, the Management Board of the Pomorskie Voivodeship has been implementing a consistent policy for several years, aiming at the development of public transport such us the expansion of the transportartion network and the simplification of payment systems for public transportation journeys. Moreover Wiktor Szydarowsk, representing Region Blekinge and INTERCONNECT Project, was among the speakers and he presented the lecture: “International Interconnect project - towards the integration of public transport systems in the South Baltic Sea region”. You can read more here (in Polish): http://innobaltica.pl/1_60_seminarium-wspolny-bilet.html or http://innobaltica.pl/1_58_konferencja-wspolny-bilet-w-komunikacji.html. Also you can check the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JccBJioNBBk&t=16s
We are very happy to inform you that INTERCONNECT project will be presented in the 9th edition of the TEN-T Days conference that will take place in Ljubljana in 25-27 April 2018, as a showcase and best practise of Sustainable Transport. European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc is inviting Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and key stakeholders to Ljubljana to discuss how to contribute to smart, sustainable and safe Mobility, relying on the trans-European transport network and investments in transport connectivity. The organizers of the meeting created a very beautiful brochure that highlights good examples showing a great variety of actions in the field of transport, and off course INTERCONNECT is presented there as well. You can find the brochure here: Interreg makes a difference in TO7
On 23th of March 2018, representatives from Klaipeda Public Transport Authority, Lithuania, The Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Rostock), Region Blekinge (Karlskrona), Innobaltica (Gdynia), Viimsi Municipality, (Estonia), Euroregion Baltic (Poland) and the University of Rostock participated in the third online meeting concerning INTERCONNECT Project.
The participants went through the schedule and the planned activities of the project, discussing and analysing the progress that has be done and identifying difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of the working packages of the project. The participants also discussed and gave feedback regarding the meetings they had with stakeholders in the partner areas in order to identify their current and future needs for travelling without a car, help them agree on a vision of sustainable public transport system and a path to achieve it. Therefore, the realization of the project is on track and all the partners are passionate and committed to continue working in order to find sustainable solutions that will make public transport more attractive to citizens in the South Baltic Sea Area.
During the three-day event under the name Transport Week, a seminar was held for companies and institutions that participate in the Interreg South Baltic program. The topic of talks was cross-border cooperation and ways to finance and improve transport solutions.
Transport Week is one of the most popular events devoted to the TSL industry (transport, forwarding, logistics). It took place in Gdańsk on 6-8 March 2018 at the Baltic Philharmonic.
One of the events accompanying the conference was the meeting of companies and institutions implementing EU projects under the Interreg South Baltic program under the name "Cross border cooperation: how to improve and finance innovative transport practices".
After the presentation of selected program assumptions, the representatives of individual projects discussed issues related to how work in teams is organized, about the political and financial issues related to the implementation of tasks, as well as problems arising during the performance of individual elements of the work. It was a great opportunity to make contacts and compare styles of action.
The Interconnect project was represented by Agnieszka Wojtach, project manager of Interconnect in InnoBaltica.
The workshop in Klaipeda within the INTERCONNECT project about better cross-border and regional public transport was facilitated by BTH PhD student Varvara Nikulina, supported by research colleagues Henrik Ny and Sven Borén in the SustainTrans research group.
The team had great support from the hosting team at Klaipeda Public Transport authority, lead by Andrius Samuilovas. The workshop took place in Culture Factory in Klaipeda and was different to the others in Gdynia and Karlskrona as there was simultaneous translation via headphones to both Lithuanian and English, and that the table leaders were from the Klaipeda Public Transport authority and could thereby contribute to the discussions with expertise within the topic.
There where less participants than in the other two workshops, but those who were present represented a great mix of public transport stakeholder, and their knowledge lead to fruitful discussions at each of the three tables in the afternoon. The format of the workshop was the same as the previous, starting with a nice introduction by the vice Mayor of Klaipeda Arturas Sulcas.
The participants then presented their expectations of the day and burning issues regarding regional and cross-border public transport. After a presentation of Strategic Sustainable Development related to public transport by Henrik Ny, the participants brainstormed and concluded upon a visioning statement about public transport for year 2040.
After lunch, the participants discussed and brainstormed current pros and cons regarding public transport and sustainability effects and then solutions towards the vision.
The BTH team are extremely grateful for the help of table leaders and the hosting by Klaipeda public transport. The next task is to write a summary report and then use the results to contribute to the list of solutions towards sustainability and high quality of regional and cross-border solutions in the South Baltic Region, and later this year start the development of the stakeholder collaboration model.
Simplification of payment systems for tickets, introduction of electric vehicles, low cost and comfortable travel conditions. These are just some of the proposals to improve public transport in Pomerania, discussed by participants in the INTERCONNECT seminar in Gdynia, on Thursday, 22 February 2018. Conducted in the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in Gdynia, the event saw the participation ofnearly 60 people from Pomerania (PL), Warmia and Mazury(PL), and Blekinge region (SE). Most of themwere self-government officials, employees of companies responsible for the organization and implementation of passenger transport, representatives of universities, as well as companies that produce devices and software for public transport. The event was organized by representatives of the Swedish Technological Institute Blekinge, based in Karlskrona, and employees of InnoBaltica.
The 13th of February, the SustainTrans team hosted, within the INTERCONNECT project, a workshop about future regional and cross-border public transport. PhD student Varvara Nikulina lead the workshop, and after a framing of the workshop by Magnus Johansson (chairman of the public transport board in Blekinge), and INTERCONNECT project leader Wiktor Szydarowski, the participants was introduced to strategic sustainable development of transport by senior lecturer and SustainTrans research leader Henrik Ny.
On February 7th, 2018 representatives from Klaipeda, the Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Rostock), Region Blekinge (Karlskrona), Innobaltica (Gdynia) and Blekinge Institute of Technology (Karlskrona) took part in the first webinar organized in the frame of INTERCONNECT.
Participants went through the schedule outlining the technical aspects - roles, responsibilities, linguistic support - of the seminars which are going to take place in Karlskrona (13.02.2018), Rostock (20.02.2018) Gdynia (22.02.2018) and Klaipeda (8.03.2018). The webinar represented a good opportunity to set the goals and discuss the capitalization of the outcome of the seminars.
On January 30th, 2018 INTERCONNECT project partners took part in the second online meeting to take stock of the situation
Regarding the implementation status, InnoBaltica has been approved as Project Partner 2 by the programme authorities while the Project Partner 9 - Viimsi Municipality - is still waiting for the approval by Estonian authorities to participate in the South Baltic Programme. Furthermore, the first progress reports by the project partners are either under scrutiny or on their way to be sent to the First Level Control.
With reference to single Work Package, in the frame WP2 "Communication and Dissemination", a newsletter will be sent soon in order to keep partners and stakeholders in key areas updated. Being the dissemination of results a fundamental aspect of reaching the largest audience possible, the first short video clips will be realized by the Association of Polish Communes ERB and the Blekinge Institute of Technology. As for WP3 "Evidence, knowledge and experience", a study report will be elaborated based on the public transport policies and case studies collected through templated prepared by the Ass. for Promotion of Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development at the University of Rostock. Finally, as for WP4 "Steering tools and business models", a template will be distributed for evaluating the quality of public transport in the partner areas.
On February 22nd in Gdynia (Poland), project partners of INTERCONNECT project will discuss the challenges of public transport in the region and how to find possible solutions to achieve a common vision. We invite all the stakeholders from Germany, Sweden and Poland that might be interested in discussing the future of public transport in the area.
Here's the complete Agenda and the form to register:
In February 13th in Karlskrona (Sweden), project partners of INTERCONNECT project will discuss the challenges of public transport in the region and how to find possible solutions to achieve a common vision. We invite all the stakeholders from Germany, Sweden and Poland that might be interested in discussing the future of public transport in the area.
Here's the complete Agenda and the form to register:
First study visit as part of the Interconnect project
During the study visit in Nykøbing Falster (Denmark) and Rostock (Deutschland) members of Interconnect project got to know and tested local, regional systems of public transport.
Study visit took place on December 10-12. Hosts of the event were representatives of Guldborgsund Municipality, Hanseatic City of Rostock and HIE-RO (Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development). For the meetings and testing arrived guests from Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
Adopted in December 2017 as a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, INTERCONNECT serves as a clear example of change in the public transport system in the Baltic Sea Region. Indeed, the EUSBSR is implemented, among others, by flagships namely a single project, a set of project contributing to the same action or a process. According to the EUSBSR the label of a flagship can be given to a project/process that fulfils certain criteria: it has a high macro-regional impact; it contributes to meeting the objectives, indicators and targets of the EUSBSR; it is related to the implementation of one or more actions of the policy area/horizontal action concerned.
In this regard as INTERCONNECT addresses the opportunity of curbing the car-reliant mobility trend in the South Baltic area by means of user-adjusted and more sustainable public transport services for regional and cross-border travels, the flagship label gives a stronger credibility for our action and helps us reach a wider audience than only the South Baltic Programme stakeholders. In particular, we see an added value of being acknowledged by the EUSBSR in our ambition to connect the stakeholders representing various competence sectors of relevance to the public transport – for the sake of a more systematic cooperation across the state borders. The cooperation with the PA Transport Coordinators, the national transport ministries of the EU-BSR countries and other initiatives connected to it will provide us with a unique opportunity to work out ways to put our findings on the policy level and better embed the public transport issues in the strategic frameworks. We would like to see that cross-border public transport services truly contribute to more intensive cross-border convergence processes and stimulate the sustainable regional growth.
For more information about flagship projects, click here