Busan and Rotterdam consolidate concrete partnership with a second study visit

Categorized as News from Asia & Australasia, News from IURC

Supported by the European Union’s IURC programme, Busan and Rotterdam conducted the second study visit in Rotterdam between 5-9 December 2022. The visit focused on the areas identified during the study visit undertaken by Rotterdam delegates to Busan in July 2022. Delegates from both cities were able to fill their activity plan with concrete steps to be undertaken in the coming months.

The working meetings started at the district office Gebiedskantoor Kralingen, where Mr. Gillis Oudeman, Director of Public Affairs of City of Rotterdam and Mr. Jos Streng, Transport Planner at the Urban Development Department delivered welcoming remarks. Mr. Young-ha Hwang, Director of the Diplomacy and Trade Division in Busan, emphasised the importance of the IURC to support the city’s candidature to the World Expo 2030 competition. Mr. Pablo Gándara, Team Leader of IURC Australia & Asia underlined the importance of focusing the programme activities on concrete pilot actions/outcomes. Afterwards, Rotterdam delegates shared their sustainable mobility approach and walking & bicycle policy, which is a key element of Rotterdam’s sustainable mobility strategy. Also, Busan delegates provided an overview of their mobility policy, including intelligent traffic systems (ITS). Delegates from both cities then undertook a bicycle tour in the city to fully experience Rotterdam’s bicycle policy implementation!

On day 2, the delegates from Busan and Rotterdam continued their technical exchange at De Rotterdam and Science Tower. Mr. Gerard van Starrenburg, Mobility Advisor at the City of Rotterdam, delivered a presentation on Rotterdam’s policies on passenger transport by water & water taxi. Busan delegates then met with Mr. Mars Geuze, Co-Founder of Hardt Hyperloop, to learn more about the innovative company which has been co-funded and awarded by the European Commission. After the brief presentations, Busan delegates enjoyed the smooth ride of water taxi and could see how Rotterdam has been efficiently operating water taxi inside of the city. The second day of the study visit ended with a visit to Future Mobility Park, an educational testing site for newly developed mobility technologies in Rotterdam. The introduction of Future Mobility Park and its responsibilities were given by Mr. Lucien Linders, Director of Future Mobility Park.

On the last day of the study visit, Busan and Rotterdam actively discussed their next step for future cooperation focusing on Sustainable Urban Mobility and Intelligence Traffic System (ITS). Since both cities share similar geographical traits as well as similar urban challenges, Busan and Rotterdam established potential pilot project ideas on conducting a joint policy study on Urban Mobility and technical exchange on Intelligence Traffic System. On top of the cooperation on mobility topic, Busan and Rotterdam shared plans for future partnership agreement signing and a government official invitation programme, which will allow the cities to strengthen the current partnership and build upon their great working relationship.

Overall, the visit to Rotterdam was a fruitful and exciting experience where both cities shared more concrete visions about the next steps. Based on the cooperation action plans discussed this time, Busan and Rotterdam will conduct bilateral meetings to follow up on action plans and implement pilot projects in both cities.