Every year UIC is invited to participate in the EST Forum. The theme of the 2018 edition was "Sustainable Urban Design and Development”. Mr Milko Papazoff, UIC ASEAN Representative participated actively in the event.
On 4 October, Mr Papazoff contributed to the Plenary session: “Railways for Sustainable Urban Development”, sharing UIC international perspective and giving examples of railway activities in South-East Asian countries. Other speakers in this session discussed topics related to railways in urban areas in countries such as Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Today, about half of total passenger transport activity takes place in urban environments, serving a global urban population that exceeded 3.9 billion in 2015. By 2050, urban population is expected to have grown by another 2.5 billion people, reaching 66% of the total global population, up from 54% in 2015 (UNDESA 2014). Urban areas in all global regions are expected to grow, but Africa and Asia, currently the least urbanised regions, together will make up nearly 90% of this increase until 2050 (UNDESA 2014). This is expected to lead to a significant growth of urban transport activity, primarily in developing economies. In that context, during the EST Forum, UIC presented railways and its interfaces with the urban areas. UIC shared data and commitments aiming for a more sustainable future and how railway can be the backbone of an integrated transport system by improving multi-modal hubs at rail stations. The rapid urbanisation that the world is witnessing in developing countries, the growth is both a challenge and an opportunity to steer the world towards a more sustainable trajectory.
UIC also presented new paradigms for railways in a digital world. Stations are at the heart of this new world: smart stations for smart urban areas. Mr Papazoff explained to the audience how stations are the ideal interface between various modes of transport and truly represent the possible heart of the mobility web. Those multi-dimensional hubs are where the modern world meets history and where railways can realise a dream of future mobility for smart mobility.
Moreover, with time and urbanisation, new travel experience adapted to the digital era’s standards. Digital connectivity is changing the game and its continued development has expanded the demand for mobility. Digitalisation on the mobility aspect is modifying deeply the behaviour of travellers and UIC is ready to respond to this challenge.
The railway community has the opportunity today to share experience and best practice to contribute to the cities and the mobility of the future.