Professor Emanuel Maranha das Neves, president of the International Road Federation World Meeting, has a message for you
On behalf of the International Road Federation, I am delighted to invite road industry professionals, and all those interested in road related activities, to join us in Portugal for the 16th IRF World Meeting. This landmark international gathering will convene in Lisbon 25-28 May 2010 around the theme ‘Sharing the Road’.
The overriding goal of the meeting is to identify dynamic responses to modern demands for freer and cheaper mobility, making optimum use of new cost and energy efficient materials and technologies. First and foremost, this will call upon us to develop the industry in harmony with growing environmental awareness and the finite resources of our planet.
The World Meeting presents an outstanding opportunity for authoritative discussion on key issues in the domains of mobility, transport, infrastructure, road safety, security and sustainability. It will provide a unique forum for exploring themes of the utmost importance and topicality for the future of our industry, including the latest cutting-edge techniques and technologies, as well as innovative road financing and management mechanisms. A comprehensive series of parallel workshops will complement the main sessions in order to enable more detailed specialist debate around the core topics. There will also be a special session devoted to the continuous education of road managers and supervisors in the public and private sectors, which will be jointly hosted by IRF and the World Road Association (PIARC).
The global character and worldwide importance of the 16th IRF World Meeting is reflected in the fact that it has already attracted more than 530 presentation abstracts, from some 66 countries.
A major Technical Exhibition will be held alongside the World Meeting, principally dedicated to the industry, national road associations and road administrations from around the world. Already, it is clear that the Exhibition will make its mark on the venue, and form a most impressive and valuable feature. A number of technical visits, as well as a comprehensive programme of social events, are being organised for attendees and their accompanying guests.
It is particularly auspicious that Portugal should have the honour of hosting this prestigious World Meeting. Over the last two decades, the country has developed a substantial motorway network by mobilising a variety of, often pioneering, financing systems. It has similarly achieved exemplary progress in the domain of road safety – to such an extent that the European Commission’s 2002 target, calling on each EU Member State to halve road fatalities by 2010, was already attained by Portugal as early as 2006.
Now a thriving modern economy, Portugal is built on centuries of tradition and has a long history as one of the oldest countries in Europe; maintaining the same borders for some eight centuries. Lisbon and its surroundings are universally acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful tourist areas.
For all these reasons, and more, I feel certain you will wish to join us for the 16th IRF World Meeting, and I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you to Lisbon next May.