The 26th and 27th of October the 2nd World Roads Conference was held in Singapore. I got the opportunity to present a plenary speech on green urban transports. The conclusion is that a lot remains to be done to urban transports of people and goods. In particular, it is important to find the political courage needed to promote the environmentally friendly transports. And, actually also to dare to say that some types of vehicle don’t qualify for green cities. This can be achieved in a technology neutral way. Not by changing focus from hazardous emissions to global warming but by broadening the scope to include all factors contributing to the environmental load.
The interesting thing with a conference like the World Roads Conference is the mix of different subjects; ranging from telematics, construction, infrastructure to transports. It is very refreshing and inspiring. I also had the honour the chair the green transport session. From Mitsubishi, the recent development in electrical cars was presented. Range an charging performance is improving and the price is still on a level rated as exclusive. Another of the topics was dealing with energy efficiency as exemplified by a contribution to the Shell Eco Marathon, presented by Prof. Gibson, next to the contribution to the competition below.
The organisation of the conference was impressively efficient and smooth, in every detail, from the time keeping of the sessions to the gala dinner. It was a pleasure to participate in the event.
Before my flight left for Bangkok I had some time for a walk in the city. I found an interesting vehicle that may inspire for further development, even if not a Volvo. The Ducktours are seemingly an institution in Singapore.
At the dinner last night I was told that if there is one thing one has to do before leaving Singapore, it is to visit the Botanical Gardens. And, indeed, my high expectations were met by the intense beauty of the Ginger and Orchard gardens. Very useful visit, indeed, I learned that seemingly the botanists already trade marked the “hybrid” name since centuries, we may have to rethink about our terminology…