Between October 28-30 2014, the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) in conjunction with the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, TransitCenter, the American Assembly, the Regional Plan Association, the Institute for Transportation and Development and the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at Columbia University are convening the discussion at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York on “Transforming Access, Mobility and Delivery in Cities – Turning Knowledge into Action”. This conference gathered around 120 attendees of its 9 Centres of Excellence across five continents, together with many researchers of other international institutions, which included an opening by Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transports of USA. A 2-day VREF Ph.D. Student/Young Researcher Workshop also took place from October 26 at Columbia University.
The workshop explores the rapidly evolving reality of urban transportation in the 21st century. It intends to build on the substantial work of all involved partners with the overall goal of seeking ways in which research can be transformed into actionable knowledge for accessible cities. The conference focus on the themes of how best to create access in cities, improving freight in cities and how to get better governance and leadership around transportation and land-use changes.
The Director of the OMEGA Centre, Prof. Harry T. Dimitriou, participated in the Panel discussion: Reforming the governance institutions of urban transport and land-use: What Challenges and Opportunities? He emphasised his view on the importance of institute, and the issues of transparency and accountability. Professor Dimitriou then examined if our institutions framework fit for purpose in light of 21st century challenges and opportunities must be made, which needs to be done from the perspectives of public sector, private sector, and even the so-called third sector, the civil society.