14 February 2017 – The preparatory meeting held today in Sardinia, has identified Cagliari, the Regional Capital of Sardinia, as the suitable place for providing the appropriate reception of Delegations as well as ensuring the safety and security of participants. The European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, will be present, as well as the Transport Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and Usa.
As already anticipated by the Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio, during the previous G7 Transport Ministers Meeting in Karuizawa, Japan, the topics will be the social value of infrastructures and the continuation of the work carried out by the G7 Japanese Presidency on the advanced technologies for roads and driving.
The social value of infrastructures
The social sustainability of policies and public investment is considered as the third pillar of the sustainable economic, environmental and social development. In transport and infrastructure sectors the social issues are related to accessibility, social equity and cohesion and may be developed at different levels.
In considering the issue of the integration of these future citizens, transport can play a key role not only in ensuring accessibility for everyone but, mainly , also in making a contribution to reduce the risk of social exclusion.
The accessibility must be seen not only merely in terms of connections and moving opportunities, of access to infrastructures for disabled people and to transport services at affordable prices for the more disadvantaged sectors of society, but it must also be seen in terms of safety for the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population.
In this context, transport infrastructures capable of promoting accessibility are a tool for facilitating integration and recovering the feeling of belonging to a community through the involvement and participation of citizens in the decision-making public process, which may contribute to create a civic awareness (so called “civicness”)as well as considering infrastructures as a common asset.
Advanced technologies for vehicles and roads
This issue is strictly related to the need of promoting a culture of infrastructure design and planning, making technicians and administrators aware of their responsibilities also towards social issues. In the case of road infrastructures, the safety issue is of key importance also concerning vehicles technological development aiming at becoming an essential driver for the economic development. In this regard the G7 Transport Ministers, who met in Japan in September 2016, agreed that the advanced technologies for vehicles and roads should form an integral part of the concepts of sustainable mobility because they play a key role in innovating and improving road traffic, mobility, industry and society in general.
In highlighting the special importance of the research carried out in human-machine interface sector, as well as in infrastructure sector and in the field of the social acceptance of these technological innovations, the Ministers have decided to form an ad-hoc working group to further discuss these issues. The next G7 Transport Ministers Meeting will be an opportunity to inform the Ministers on the progress of the activities undertaken on this specific issue at international level.