Propelling Sustainable Mobility

International meeting on the ESPON STISE research

Around the lower reaches of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt lies the highly urbanized megaregion of the Eurodelta. Its 45 million inhabitants could potentially reach each other within three hours of travel. Clean and fast connections between the megaregion’s towns and cities would not only strengthen its function as a global hub of goods, services and knowledge, but also considerably improve people’s quality of life.

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Together with ten local and regional authorities from the Eurodelta, the European research programme ESPON conducted a study on the potential for more sustainable mobility in the area. It outlines four effective policy packages. Now it is time to explore what role stakeholders can take in implementing these.

Join us on 13 October, during the European Week of Cities and Regions, in the Benelux House to discuss how to reach the zero-emission goal of the European Green Deal and how to improve connectivity for people and goods in the Eurodelta.


14:00 Opening by Frans Weekers, deputy secretary-general of Benelux Union

14:05 Introductions by Frederik Zevenbergen (digital), Deputy of Transport in Zuid-Holland

14:10 Presentation of the ESPON STISE research by Stefanie Van den Bogaerde (Tractebel) and Luuk Boelens (UGent)

14:20 Reflections from the partners

Filip Boelaert, secretary-general of the Flemish Department of Mobility & Public Works

Dominik Elsmann, head of the Euregional Coordination Office at Aachener Verkehrsverbund

Cecilia Braun, director of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor EGTC

Benoit Wiatrak, project manager on smart mobility at Métropole Européenne de Lille

Willem van Heijningen, strategist on mobility and public space at City of Amsterdam

15:10 Panel discussion, moderated by Paul Gerretsen

15:40 Closing words by the moderator, Paul Gerretsen

15:45 Closing of the event, networking & drinks


Striking conclusions

  • The demand for transport will continue to increase considerably until 2050. Partly because of this, expected technological developments and existing policies are far from achieving European sustainability goals in the field of mobility.
  • The possible impact of the measures investigated on CO2 emission appears to be so huge, that they make European sustainability goals in the field of mobility achievable in this urban megaregion.
  • To make cross-border traveling by train easier, major progress can be made in the short run by collaborating on legislation and regulation. Measures such as zero emission zones and MaaS will become easier to develop and use if cities operate similar systems.
  • The study produced a “roadmap” for implementation for each of the measures. (Supra)national, land/regional authorities are assigned an important role in this. They were informed during the investigation and involved where possible.

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More information

The research results and recommendations can be found on the ESPON website.

This video provides information about the design of the study.

Large-scale research on how to make mobility in the Eurodelta more sustainable.
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