We are reaching the end of the year and will finally say goodbye to 2020 without regret, a year that undoubtedly will be remembered as an “annus horribilis”. A positive note is that the world of science has developed the vaccines that shortly will be in distribution and we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2021 can now be foreseen to be the year to start moving again.
There have been different degrees of intensity but nothing has been spared from the disruptive action that has been left in it’s wake. Reflecting on this year’s challenges, a more difficult one can’t be remembered for our parking industry. There have been dramatic losses of lives of colleagues, jobs, revenue and resources. There has been inconvertible evidence that, on the one hand, the traditional public urban mobility systems do not have the intrinsic flexibility to meet unforeseen requirements whilst the individual transport solutions ensured continuity and on the other hand, that a new mobility model is necessary to meet the inevitable demands for sustainability. Certainly there will be a before and after COVID-19 reality in all our different countries, and the parking industry is continuously evolving to meet the challenges.
The Scientific and Technical Committees for the 20th EPA Congress to be held in Brussels next year, well aware of the difficulties and challenges, have persevered in planning and preparing all the logistical and social organisational aspects and setting up the themes for the scientific program and the international exhibition. We are confident, thanks to the important contribution of the vaccines, and the exceptional job being done in the preparation, that we will finally be able to get together again and discuss and exchange ideas on the best way to move forward and regain the strategic positioning of our industrial sector in the new mobility scenarios.
The Congress will involve state of art operations in the parking industry, national and local public administrations, representatives of European Commissions and Projects, experts in the field of mobility, urban logistics, electrical mobility, the data world, ITS, Apps and much more. We will be examining the overall parking and urban mobility situation in Europe enabling us to address wider issues of urban mobility alongside detailed parking matters. It will surely be a memorable event getting the parking and mobility worlds together again for the 20th EPA Congress in the heart of Europe.
We are entering the Christmas season, that this year will be different from all the others with many dear ones no longer with us. On behalf of EPA and the Steering and Scientific Committees, I wish you all a peaceful and safe holiday period, good health and positive thoughts for 2021.
With my very best regards,
Laurence A. Bannerman
European Parking Association