Interview with International Transport Forum (ITF) Secretary – General, Mr. Young Tae Kim
The WCTRS Research Newsletter Editorial team took a brief interview of Secretary - General Mr. Young Tae Kim, of International Transport Forum (ITF), which is a key partner organisation of WCTRS.
Below is the full interview with Mr. Young.
How do you value ITF association with WCTRS? With the experience so far, in what way the association is useful?
I value our association with WCTRS very highly. Two ITF staff members play roles in WCTRS committees, and I strongly support that. The WCTRS is an important bridge to the academic community in many parts of the world. The WCTRS provides access to a deep pool of researchers and to the younger generation, not least through its triennial conferences. The Society is also a valuable partner in organising the annual Research Day we hold in conjunction with the ITF Summit. You help us to engage with a much broader range of transport researchers than we could ever reach alone. And your efforts to engage countries across the globe mirror our own efforts to be truly global.
What is your vision on transport research and practice post COVID-19? How can it address the challenges faced post-COVID-19?
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has created serious problems for our sector. These will have to be resolved proactively once restrictions on social and economic activities are lifted. Not the least among these problems are the economic losses accrued by transport companies. If these are left on the accounts of operators, they will not be able to invest. In public transport, for example, this risk is launching a vicious circle of declining investment, declining quality of service and declining ridership. Such a development would be wholly incompatible with policies to protect the climate and create more liveable cities. Research amply illustrates the dangers of allowing debt to accumulate in the accounts of operators, and these findings need to be marshalled to forestall the same mistake on a massive scale in the wake of the pandemic.
Kindly brief us about ITF, portfolio of activities being done, and how they can be beneficial to WCTRS members?
The ITF is the only global intergovernmental organisation with a mandate for all modes of transport. We work primarily with, and for, our 62 member countries, but we aim to be of value to all stakeholders in the transport sector. Like the WCTRS, we work to make the best research more visible and accessible to decision makers in our governments, and thus to increase its relevance and impact. We have a portfolio of projects mostly in five priority areas: connectivity; decarbonisation, digitalisation; universal access; and safety, security, and health. The work is undertaken as part of our core programme of work for member countries on the one hand, and in case-specific projects with various partners such as individual governments, international organisations. Multilateral development banks, or member companies of the ITF Corporate Partnership Boards. We regularly work with WCTRS members in these projects. We hope that beyond these targeted collaborations our research is a valuable resource for all members of the WCTRS. We regularly solicit the Society’s membership for contributing research papers for our annual Pre-Summit Research Day. The ITF can also help convey research findings from WCTRS members to policy insights.
What do you think could be ways by which transportation sector can contribute more and better towards achievement of UN SDGs?
There is not one SDG specifically focused on transport, despite the importance of the transport sector as a contributor to and means of sustainable development. Transport can in fact be connected to more than half of the SDGs, including SDG 2 Zero Hunger; SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 Climate Action, and SDG 14 Life Below Water. In addition, the transport sector will contribute to SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, through the improvement of transport accessibility and connectivity.
Mr. Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General, International Transport Forum (ITF)
Remembrance of Prof. Dinesh Mohan, IIT Delhi (Oct 4, 1945 – May 21, 2021)
We are deeply saddened to announce the loss of Professor Dinesh Mohan of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. Professor Mohan was involved with the WCTRS for many years, serving on both the Scientific and Steering Committees, and providing invaluable help to the then President Yoshi Hayashi to initiate Organisational membership to the Society. Professor Hayashi remembers
that his exception writing skills and warmth of spirit made drafting the relevant documents and launching the initiative to be a smooth and easy process.
Professor Mohan’s work in Traffic Safety and Injury Prevention was unparalleled. He was invited to join the International Association of Traffic Safety Sciences and was the director of the Independent Council for Road Safety International. During his distinguished career he was the recipient of many honours and awards, including the 1991 International Association for Accident & Traffic Medicine’s International Award and Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Traffic Medicine. Professor Mohan also worked to develop the WCTRS’s research into traffic safety and initiated the WCTRS Special Interest Group in Traffic Safety Analysis and Policy (SIG C4) with Professor Geetam Tiwari. He brought good humour, humanity, and a beautiful style of writing to all of his work, and he will be sorely missed as a scholar, colleague and friend.
Professor Tae Oum, President of the WCTRS
Professor Yoshi Hayashi, Immediate Past-President of the WCTRS
Professor Greg Marsden, Secretary General of the WCTRS, and Ms. Emma Pickering, Secretary of the WCTRS
Introduction to Topic Area B – Freight Transport and Logistics
In this newsletter TA B chooses to report activities in SIG B1 and B4 more extensively. Recent activities of SIG B3 were reported in the April 2021 newsletter and SIG B5 reports that it launched an expression of interest for a new book but failed to get sufficient number of potential contributions among the SIG members.
SIG B1 Logistics and Freight Transport Operations
Aseem Kinra (SIG B1) and Füsun Ulengin (SIG E1) have jointly edited a forthcoming special issue in Transport Policy on Transportation and Logistics Systems Performance Assessment.
The SIG also works on organising a workshop on transport research specialised on supply chains at University of International Business and Economics in Beijing in August 2021. It will combine offline sessions are for local Chinese scholars and online sessions for overseas scholars. SIG B1 is also active organising a doctoral workshop and a conference specialised within Logistics, to be held in Bremen in February 2022. Furthermore, SIG B1 is deeply involved in the WCTRS Chartered SCM (Supply Chain Management) Education-License program with Aseem Kinra and Kun Wang as steering committee members.
SIG B4 Urban Goods Movement
SIG B4 was established following the 1992 WCTRS Conference held in Lyon. Since then, papers from the SIG have been presented at all the WCTRS conferences and at many intervening events. SIG activities at the WCTR in Mumbai in May 2019 highlight the scope of the SIG and presentations covered a wide range of research approaches including case studies, modelling, behavioral analysis and scenario development. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented SIG B4 members to meet at events during almost all of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
However, members of WCTRS SIG B4 played an active part in an online event held in Gothenburg in March 2021. Many of those who attended the WCTRS Conference in Mumbai took part in the event and it provided an excellent example of the way that this research community is growing adding new researchers from a wide range of countries. In total 315 researchers from over 30 countries took part in the three-day event with sessions organized to allow for the major time differences. In total over 80 papers were presented including the following topics:
- Pandemic: impacts on urban freight activity
- Digitalization and automation
- Policy and Planning
- From global flows to urban traffic
- Last miles initiatives
- Sustainable urban freight
- On demand economy and urban freight
- Urban logistics
- Facilities to enhance distribution
- Kerbside management
Presentations were recorded and are currently being edited to make them more widely available. For more details see: https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/lead/urbanfreightplatform/vref-2021/Pages/default.aspx
Prof. Johan Woxenius and Prof. Michael Browne, Topic Area Manager B, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
(on behalf of all SIGs under TA B)
Updates – Activities done by SIG A2
From 5 to 7 May 2021, SIG A2 hosted the very successful fifth edition of the three-annual conference of the SIGA2 Maritime and Ports, fully online, supported by the team of the Department of Transport and Regional Economics at the University of Antwerp. 120 papers were presented, sessions were attended by 340 participants in total, and very interesting discussions were engaged in, among others during the 12 sector round tables on 6 May.
The audience was composed of academics, sector representatives, policy makers and students from around the world. Networking opportunities were stimulated on a dedicated platform.
Out of the conference contributions, four journal special issues will be prepared during the coming months, with following journals: Frontiers in Future Transportation, Sustainability, Case Studies on Transport Policy, and Competition and Regulation in Network Industries.
Prof. Thierry Vanelslander, University of Antwerp
WCTRS – Africa CAR Council
With 1.2 billion inhabitants and an ailing transport system, the African continent is in dire needs of transport solutions that promote smooth and sustainable connections for both persons and goods across this vast continent. The often-unique African problems require that this move towards a more safe and secure, affordable, accessible, efficient, resilient, and environmentally friendly transport system is done in close collaboration between local and international experts.
As a continent with both low-and middle-income countries, most research, thus far, has focused on transport economics, followed by road safety related research, as the continent carries the largest burden worldwide. Most of the research is conducted by Southern African researchers, followed by global researchers assessing African challenges. The aim of the African countries and regional representatives (CAR) is to improve and nourish the relationship of African researchers (and not only those in Southern Africa) with the global network of researchers and with each other.
We encourage any interested party to contact us and Link up with the WCTR Africa CAR.
Prof. Marianne Vanderschuren, University of Cape Town, South Africa