The view of a student on the SMARTSET conference


As an intern of the City of Graz, writing a thesis on the role of Project Management in Smart City development, I can say that this event was more than I could ever expect for my research, as well as for my professional experience in both urban development and project management. The extremely interesting topic of urban logistics and highly competent contributors from different sectors have made the event the highlight of the month for me. And I think I would not be mistaken, if I make the same statement of behalf of many participants. On top of that, the smooth organization and the educational and entertainment sightseeing program in Graz have left no chance for any criticism.

Discussion boards and contributions combined points of view from different perspectives. Politicians, researchers, urban planners and businessmen offered their own opinions and experiences on how to develop sustainable urban logistics. Gisela Nacken, former member of the Rhineland Regional Assembly from Aachen, talked on the importance of governmental policies. Dr. Julius Menge, a member of Berlin’s Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment and a researcher, was talking about the best practices that should be taken from the side of municipalities. Mr. Maciej Tumasz, a researcher at Newcastle University and Poznan University of Technology, has explained how the national factors influence sustainable mobility.

Several case studies were presented from such cities as Padova, where a freight consolidation platform with CNG fleet is operating on a financial self-sufficient basis; from Gothenburg, where the focus is made on the tight dialogue with the stakeholders to ensure the success of their “Smart City Delivery” project, and from Graz, where the cargo-bike delivery is being actively implemented.

Business sector, represented by the Austrian Post and the German bookstore Osiander, are also eager to keep abreast with the development of sustainable mobility. The Austrian Post’s fleet is entirely CO2-neutral. And the family-based bookstore is cooperating with the local high school company, delivering their parcels with the help of the young students by bike or by foot and benefiting from a positive image and word-to-mouth advertisement.

All the contributors, experts in their fields from different countries and different sectors, shared one view – sustainable mobility is the future and urban freight solutions are a significant part of it.

All these discussions were taking place not somewhere, but in a beautiful building of the Rathaus (the City Hall), in Gemeinderatssitzungssaal Hall with a sophisticated wooden interior. The event management was fully corresponding to its location and its level. Many thanks to Doris WIEDERWALD and Fred DOTTER from FGM-AMOR and the City of Graz in cooperation with CIVINET Deutscher Sprachraum, who have made this interesting event possible.

Olga SLOBODOVA, intern in the City of Graz, student in MSc “Project Management”