UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, on Sunday delivered the main keynote speech on the occasion of the 60th World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition in Geneva.
The speech followed the opening address from Mrs Doris Leuthard, Swiss Minister for Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and the welcome speech by Mr Alain Flausch, Secretary General of International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
Speaking of Urbanisation as the "source" or "engine" of social and economic development and the need for a new urban paradigm, Dr. Clos emphasised the need for planning in advance of migration and growth and the importance of public spaces and streets in the City of the future. Developing Public Transport in conjunction with streets and public spaces will revitalise the city, said Dr. Clos.
Dr. Clos also pointed at the opportunities that cities can explore for innovative financing for public transport investments, such as land-value sharing. To ensure that public transport is at the centre –stage of a new urban agenda, Dr. Clos also invited the Public Transport fraternity to participate in the World Urban Forum to take place in Medellin, Colombia in 2014 and in the Habitat III conference in 2016.
Also on the same day, together with Mr Falusch, Mr José Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum, OECD Dr. Clos signed a declaration on closer collaboration for better urban mobility.
His declaration recognises cities as the powerhouses of the economy as they produce eighty percent of the world economic output and calls for better coordination of land-use and transport, adequate investments in transport infrastructure and services and greater creativity and innovation in finding solutions.
More than 2000 participants representing policy makers, city officials, experts in the area of public transport and the private sector are participating in the Congress.