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The 50th European Transport Conference at Politecnico di Milano

From September 7th to 9th 2022, Politecnico di Milano hosted the 50th edition of the European Transport Conference (ECT2022) organised - for the first time in Italy - with the support of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DMEC). Mrs Arianna Censi, City Councillor for the Mobility of Milan, opened the conference followed by the welcome of Prof. Marco Bocciolone, Head of DMEC and by an invited lecture on the EU transportation policy in the era of COVID and of the ongoing war in Ukraine, given by Mr Rolf Diemer, the Head of the Economic Analysis Unit of the European Commission DG MOVE. Prof. Pierluigi Coppola, lead of the local organizing committee and Director of the Board of the Association for European Transport (AET), presented the conference programme including more than 200 selected papers to be presented in nine parallel sessions over the three conference days.

The variety of topics and the multi-seminar approach make ETC unique compared to other European transport conferences. The topics cover up-to-date international subject matters, such as the impact of the pandemic on people's travel behaviour, the energy crisis and climate change, in addition to the latest innovation in transportation like autonomous vehicles and Urban Air Mobility along with more conventional - but equally important - topics like sustainable urban planning and equity in transport investment.

Two special guests joined the 50th ETC: Prof. Tae Oum, President of the World Conference on Transportation Research Society (WCTRs), who provoked some thoughts on future needs of research in the transportation industry highlighted by current economic and geopolitical changes, and Prof. Ennio Cascetta, president of the Cluster Tecnologico Italiano dei Trasporti, who presented the new challenges in mobility demand and supply system analysis, within the undergoing digital and energy transitions.

The conference turned out to be a great networking opportunity, especially for students and Professors of Politecnico di Milano, who had the chance to be attending - for free - scientific seminars and interacting with about 600 delegates from Universities, companies and institutions from 35 Countries worldwide, in order to establish new partnerships and discuss future professional and research projects.

In fact, ECT has always been a place where theoretical and applied research meets institutional bodies and companies. This year many exhibitors joined in, such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which organized a session dedicated to the projects sponsored by the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on Urban Mobility, and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR), which set up a stand to present the ongoing Interreg ADRION projects on mobility.

Many were the social events planned, such as the welcome aperitivo organized on the beautiful terrace at the “Collina degli Studenti” in the Bovisa campus and the social dinner on Thursday by the Milan canal Alzaia del Naviglio Grande.