On 25 April 2018, Vital Nodes held a public Masterclass at the TEN-T Days in Ljubljana. Moderated by Isabelle Vandoorne (European Commission, DG MOVE), the session introduced the project to the audience and facilitated discussions of the integration of urban nodes in the TEN-T network.
It kicked-off by an introductory talk of the European Commission (EC) delivered by Gudrun Schulze. She pointed out that the EC perceives the urban nodes at the centre of the TEN-T network. Jos Arts, the innovation manager of Vital Nodes, explained the project, before the group split into breakout groups.
- Sylvain Pollet (Société du Grand Paris) explained how Paris uses international CEF funding to built its Grand Paris Express that connects the city with the surrounding.
- Rainer Müller (Urban Innovation Vienna) explained how Vienna approaches the development of multimodal freight transport together with its counterparts in the region.
- Siegfried Rupprecht (Rupprecht Consult) discussed aspects of multi-level governance with participants, based on different project results.
- Jos Arts (RWS) and Tomas Holmlund (Trafikverket) introduced the history of the Vital Nodes approach and its application in Sweden and the Netherlands.
- Ivo Cré (Polis) facilitated a discussion about the Vital Nodes tools, the potential outcomes of the project and opportunities for cities to join.
The workshop looked at various aspects of the projects, including knowledge transfer from other modes and it facilitated direct knowledge exchange between the participants to built a network of stakeholders. The discussions centred around approaching real-life challenges rather than theoretical frameworks.
During the discussions, the workshop identified the following lessons learnt:
- Cities were very interested in learning more about the integration of Urban Nodes in the TEN-T network. In particular, they would like to understand and learn more about tools and methods to profit from the TEN-T network on a local level.
- The workshop identified the following challenges:
- Coordination of intraurban logistics, including the link between warehouses and other logistic facilities and spatial planning. They perceive a lack of instruments to influence market stakeholders of freight and logistics
- Lack of coordination of infrastructure planning, regional planning and intermodal planning
- Unclear mechanisms of cooperation for spatial and transport planning regarding the TEN-T network. Often, local authorities are little aware of the challenges but also chances TEN-T will impose on local However, they saw the regional connection of the TEN-T nodes as crucial for the success of the TEN-T network. The Urban Nodes need stronger attention to develop and implement appropriate measures.
- Cities and regions agree that the negative consequences increasingly compromise local air and noise quality and traffic flow. Thus they look for solutions to analyse the consequences and develop targeted and useful measures. They perceive the Vital Nodes analysis tools to be very helpful
- They were interested to understand to create financeable and bankable projects. This applies in particular when looking at the range and diversity of investments, but also the private sector involvement. Thus they look into the governance of investments. Stakeholders were very interested in learning more on the financing mechanisms the CEF and other tools provide
Within Vital Nodes, the workshop was an important milestone to steer the discussion on how stakeholders perceive the integration of Urban Nodes in the TEN-T further but also to promote the project to interested stakeholder at Urban Nodes but also in surrounding regions. The more than 35 participants pointed out that they enjoyed the open discussion and the availability to discuss questions and aspects that had not been looked at before.
Vital Nodes also presented the project at the TEN-T Days exhibition, promoting the project among external stakeholders within the TEN-T world. There, the project met Commissioner Bulc who supports the idea of integrating the Urban Nodes stronger into the TEN-T network.