By Louise Reardon
The 14th WCTRS conference marked a number of firsts for me. My first time in China, my first time at the conference, and the first meeting of the Special Interest Group on Governance and Decision Making Processes that I co-chair with Greg Marsden.
As a political scientist, and relatively new to transport studies, I was worried the Chinese delicacies wouldn’t be my only culture shock but the conference itself, being as it is, the largest congregation of transport academics in the World. However, any concerns I had were soon left only for meal times.
Our session track included 24 papers, covering a wide range of important governance questions; from how to move away from the ‘build it or don’t’ infrastructure paradigm, through to how to develop a participatory planning approach, and how sustainability is operationalised in EU policy.
Presentations from Steven Perkins from the International Transport Forum and Moshe Givoni from Tel Aviv University, provided great stimulus for discussion at our inaugural meeting. Our mind map exercise identified several burning governance questions, and coupled with the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm of those in the room, has started the momentum for what we hope will be a growing, active, and agenda-setting group within WCTRS and beyond.
Needless to say, I hope this WCTRS wont be my last.