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The governance of metropolitan transport systems

Decision-makers and academics from different parts of the world gathered in Lund to discuss how political agency and systems governing public transport interact and vary between countries. The conference was a joint initiative by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation, VREF and K2.

Måns Lönnroth from VREF made an early remark that:Road systems are quite similar between countries, what is different is the governance of public transport.”

During the discussions is was stated that visionary leadership is very important, illustrated by professor Jeffrey Kenworthy with the example of Perth where a rail network connecting remote parts of the city was realized by politicians with a strong vision, even if the project initially faced great resistance. “It´s important to focus on inspiring examples, like Freiburg in Germany or Perth in Australia, said Jeffrey Kenworthy.

Karolina Isaksson from K2 and VTI pointed out that there is a need for new strategies for political leadership in a new reality, with new transport possibilities and large private companies initiating public transport. This was further discussed by Wijnand Veeneman from TU Delft suggesting that governance has moved on from just governance to participation, where decision making processes are opened up. “Good governance is bringing interests together to make innovation happen, said Wijnand Veeneman.”

José Viegas from the University of Lisbon established that the high level of complexity of urban mobility systems suggests that fair, efficient and lasting solutions only can be achieved with high levels of consistency.

The meeting was attended by more than 60 decision-makers and academics, Kristine Wika Haraldsen and Mari Betanzo from Urbanet Analyse in Norway being two of them. “There has been some really interesting sessions about organizing, that was concrete and very useful”, they said.

“Having such a meeting in Lund, with governing examples from different parts of the world, has been extremely inspiring and helpful in our aim to overcome the distance between practice and academic research on public transport”, John Hultén from K2 concluded.

Presentations given at the conference can be found below:
Session 1: Understanding metropolitan transport and its governance systems 

Session chair: Ulrika Francke (VREF) 
Presenters: Jeffrey Kenworthy (Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences) and Måns Lönnroth (VREF)
Discussants: José Viegas (University of Lisbon) and Lauren Fischer (Columbia University)


Session 2: Comparative governance of metropolitan transport - the role of public institutions

Session chair: John Hultén (K2)
Presenters: Ralph Buehler (Virginia Tech) and Philipp Rode (LSE) 
Discussants: Louise Reardon (University of Birmingham) and Claus Hedegaard Sørensen (K2/VTI )


Session 3: Comparative politics of metropolitan transport: patterns of politics and areas of conflict

Session chair: Torbjörn Suneson (Swedish Transport Administration)
Presenter: Alan Altshuler (Harvard University)
Discussants: Karolina Isaksson (K2/VTI) and Wijnand Veeneman (TU Delft)



Session 4: Quality of government and metropolitan transport governance in modernizing countries

Session chair: Måns Lönnroth (VREF)  
Presenters: Onesimo Flores (MIT), Jackie Klopp (Columbia University) and Shalini Sinha (CEPT University)


Session 5: WHO will shape new mobility services and what is the role of governance?

Session chair: Dalia Mukhtar Landgren (K2/Lund University)
Presenter: Carol Kuester (Commission of Metropolitan Transportation, San Francisco Bay Area)

WHO will shape new mobility services in Europe?
Panel: Oliver Wolff (VDV), Raymond Prudon (Keolis),
Endre Angelvik (Ruter), Anette Enemark (Movia)