The G7 Transport Ministers’ Meeting was held in Cagliari from 21 to 22 June 2017. It was an opportunity to inform Transport Ministers about the status of the activities undertaken on infrastructures and transport and on related themes as well as evaluating the progress made at international level. Together with the Italian Transport Minister, Graziano Delrio, the meeting was attended by the European Commissioner and the Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, USA.
The key issue was “Rediscovering the Social Value of Infrastructures". A range of topics was discussed including social infrastructures and mobility, social cohesion, inclusiveness and sustainability.
The social value of infrastructures
The social sustainability of policies and public investments can be considered as the third pillar of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social). In transport and infrastructure sectors, social issues are related to accessibility, social equity and cohesion and may be developed under different aspects.
Mobility policies can play a key role not only in ensuring accessibility but also, above all, in making a contribution to reducing the risk of social exclusion. Accessibility must be seen not only merely in terms of connections, opportunities of transfer/relocation, in terms of access to infrastructures for disabled people and to transport services at affordable prices for low income segments of society, but it rather must be seen also in terms of safety and security for most vulnerable segments of the population (for example women, minors and minorities, refugees).
In this context, transport infrastructures aimed at promoting accessibility are instrumental in facilitating integration and stimulating the feeling of belonging to a community: involvement and participation of citizens in the decision-making public processes may contribute to create a sense of civic awareness (so called “civicness”), as well as reconsidering infrastructures as common good that should be available to everyone everywhere.
In this sense, promoting accessibility to transport infrastructures is an instrumental in facilitating integration, a way to regain the feeling of belonging to a community through those forms of involvement and participation of citizens in the decision-making public processes, which may contribute to create a civic consciousness ("civicness"), considering infrastructures a collective good.
Advanced technologies for vehicles and roads
There is a need to produce a culture of infrastructures’ design and planning, making technicians and administrators aware of their responsibilities also towards social issues. In case of road infrastructures, vehicle safety is a key strategy to be used in addressing international and national road casualty reduction’s targets in order to achieve a safer road traffic system. New vehicle technologies should be encouraged as an essential driver for a new economic and social development.
In this regard, the G7 Transport Ministers, who met in Japan in September 2016, shared the view that advanced technologies for vehicles and roads should form an integral part of the concepts for sustainable mobility because they play a key role in innovating and transforming road traffic, improving mobility, industry, and society in general.
In particular, they underlined the special importance of research issues in the areas of human-machine interface, infrastructure and social acceptance. In order to achieve their objectives, the Ministers decide to establish a working group to further address these topics. The outcome should form the basis for well- designed and globally harmonized future regulations and measures.
The meeting in Cagliari has been therefore an opportunity to inform Ministers about the status of the activities undertaken on these issues and to assess the progress made at international level.
Cagliari is the capital of the region and the most important city of Sardinia, with a metropolitan area of about half a million inhabitants. The capital of the island has a soul consisting of a millenary history, culture, nature, beach tourism and night life, an attractive mix that fascinates the visitor, charmed by the views of Castello, the ramparts and the Roman remains, the Sardinian sea, as well as by the dynamism of a surprisingly lively city. Continue to read