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ECOMM 2022 in Turku

Credits: Roni Lehti, ECOMM 2022 Turku

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Credits: Roni Lehti, ECOMM 2022 Turku

Experts in mobility management looking for extra inspiration in Turku

The European Conference on Mobility Management (ECOMM) was organised on 31 May – 2 June 2022. The Conference circulating in Europe and related to mobility management was organised in Finland for the first time and it was hosted by the City of Turku.

The Project Manager and the main organiser Stella Aaltonen, who is specialised in urban mobility solutions in the City of Turku, is an experienced congress organiser. She started the application process for the ECOMM in 2019. The organisation of the conference had clear goals: The development of mobility and traffic in the Turku region towards a carbon neutral future and the year 2029 when Turku celebrates its 800th anniversary. The purpose of organising the conference was to inspire the participants to implement sustainable mobility actions in their work.

- From the start, it has been our goal, with the help of the conference, to motivate our own people and local partners in the work that we are doing with, for example, the pedestrian centre, electric mobility and the development of walking and cycling, Stella Aaltonen says.

Stella Aaltonen says that the conference was postponed for two years because of the pandemic. In spring 2022, many international associations were investing in the hybrid implementation of their conferences. However, it was decided that ECOMM was only going to be organised as a live event. 

- By Easter, we realised that, even though virtual participation was first offered, we did not get registrations. The virtual participation would have also increased expenses and the budget was limited. Eventually, 180 participants arrived in Turku from as many as 22 different countries. The most distant participants came from Japan and the United States. Most of the participants work within mobility development in cities and municipalities, as well as for the state, but some also work in businesses and consulting companies in the field, Stella Aaltonen says.
 

Credits: Esko Keski-Oja, ECOMM 2022 Turku

City Reception was organised on the most stunning public transport vehicle, the hybrid ferry Elektra

The ECOMM 2022 was realised as three parallel sessions at the Turku City Theatre, by the Aura River. The guests were able to enjoy programme surprises and, during the breaks, experienced, for instance, a Sibelius violin concerto and circus art. A part of the programme was organised by students.

The evening programmes in conferences are important get-togethers where people network, meet colleagues and discuss current issues. The first evening programme of the ECOMM was the City of Turku reception. It was organised on the most stunning public transport vehicle, the hybrid ferry Elektra, that normally transports cars in the Parainen and Nauvo archipelagos. The Elektra ride was offered by conference partners The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland and Finnferries. 

The guests of the ECOMM had the opportunity to get to know several Turku region destinations, united by the themes of traffic and mobility. The USER-Chi project introduced electric mobility solutions around Turku in an electric bus. In addition, in the laboratory of Turku University of Applied Sciences, participants could learn about the development of solar energy technology and building an electric race car, for instance.

- We considered sustainable development solutions in all planning choices of the Conference. For example, Tavata Global Oy from Oulu implemented the Conference event application that had an integrated public transport QR code ticket. The modern system of FÖLI makes it possible that only stepping on the bus is charged, which means that we did not need to buy tickets for all participants in advance, Stella Aaltonen says.

 

Credits: Roni Lehti, ECOMM 2022 Turku

Read the original text by Sari Ruusumo on the Turku Convention Bureau website