The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon was the final act in a spectacular ceremony to open the ITS World Congress in Copenhagen. Using inspirational speeches from senior ITS figures as well as the power of theatre – and invoking the playful spirit of Hans Christian Andersen – the week’s theme ‘Quality of Life’ was explored and celebrated.
The 25th anniversary of the Congress was highlighted in the presence of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark. The audience received welcomes from Frank Jensen, lord mayor of Copenhagen; Ninna Hedeager Olsen, mayor of technical and environmental affairs for the city; and Angelos Amditis, chairman of organiser Ertico – ITS Europe.
Violeta Bulc, European commissioner for transport, gave a passionate address about the future of ITS and road safety. This year’s ITS Hall of Fame awards were presented by Jacob Bangsgaard, Ertico CEO; Hajime Amano, secretary general of ITS Asia-Pacific; and Shailen Bhatt, CEO of ITS America.
There was also light relief with a serious message at the ceremony. Actors from the Eventyteatret youth theatre in Søborg presented a hilarious fairlytale with Andersen as narrator, in which the problems of urban transport – particularly parking, congestion and mass transit – were explored. To laughter from the delegates in the auditorium, Clumsy Hans brandished a MaaS app on his smartphone and said: “How pleased the princess will be when I show it to her!” He ended up marrying the princess, demonstrating that a keen grasp of forward-looking mobility services will always triumph over inherited privilege - in fairytales, at least.