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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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Strategic Theme 2 - Mobility

The goal of this Strategic Theme is to provide good knowledge and some sustainable answers to all communities in the fields of people mobility and goods transportation, taking into account what follows: challenges for mobility policies mentioned above, the opportunity of new technologies, and the increasing need to have a good alignment between mobility policies and the broader goals of communities, in a context where those goals are changing.

This external context meets with the Strategic Theme 2 to study "Mobility" developing four Technical Committees and two Task Forces.

Technical Committees

Task Forces

Interview with André Broto

Strategic Theme 2 "Mobility" Coordinator

André Broto is Director of Strategy for a French motorway company with a long and deep involvement in PIARC and in the French National Committee.

André has been Chair of the PIARC Technical Committees "Improved Mobility in Urban Areas" for the 2012-2015 cycle and "Sustainable Multimodality in Urban Regions" for the 2016-2019 cycle, as well as President of the PIARC French National Committee since 2017. He has been appointed to Coordinate Strategic Theme 2 “Mobility”.


Roads and transportation services delivered by roads are, besides other transportation services a key element of mobility policies. Mobility policies take now into account multimodality to optimize the use of transportation assets, but mobility policies are not an end by themselves. They contribute to broader goals for communities (cities, rural communities, regions and countries) such as providing a good quality of life, welfare, social equity, or a better environment. Indeed, broader goals for communities depends on the level of development of countries, cultures, types of communities (rural or cities), or size of those communities (local or regional).

Mobility policies are facing increasing challenges such as: Climate Change and the need of decarbonizing our transport services, road construction, road maintenance, but also the need to provide more resilient services; lack of public space, congestion and health impacts in urban areas; lack of roads and transportation services and, as a result social exclusion in rural areas; overloaded trucks, poor vehicle conditions, driver fatigue and speeding in road freight transport, and related safety problems especially in LMIC’s.; new mobility services which are disrupting the existing transportation ecosystems; how to implement the potential of digitalization, or data driven solutions which offer new possibilities of optimization of road operations and services; and lack of public funds.to maintain and modernize our assets, or to finance new infrastructures

Broader goals for communities are changing because people behaviors are evolving (circular economy, share economy, etc.). Furthermore, they will probably change after the Covid-19 pandemic. Many questions are open, but we can imagine some long term effects such as boundaries between home and work, or between home and purchase might change thanks to the new technologies (remote working, etc.). The severe economic crisis will make the lack of public funds more acute. The pandemic may also affect international trade and thus goods transport systems.

Cities deliver a lot of services (jobs, education, culture, hospitals, …) not only for citizens, but also for rural communities around the cities. Technical Committee 2.1 "Mobility in Urban Areas" focuses on inhabitant’s mobility needs in the commuting areas in order to make sure that all transportation needs in relation with the services delivered by cities will be taken into consideration. It will take into account the complexity of urban areas (integration with land planning, multimodality, public support, new mobility modes). 

Rural areas provide goods, industries, and workforce for all communities, and roads are the most important way to exchange goods and services. Technical Committee 2.2 "Accessibility and Mobility in Rural Areas" focuses on accessibility in rural areas and on mobility needs in coordination with Technical Committee 2.1. Road networks in rural areas are very extensive compared to the low density of population, and as a result it is difficult to finance the construction and the maintenance of those networks and the safety conditions are generally poor. Therefore, this TC also focuses on improving road safety and technical solutions for paved and unpaved roads in rural areas.

Technical Committee 2.3 "Freight" focuses on vehicles overloading and its related consequences. Road freight transport is heavily depending on fossil fuel and this Technical Committee will also investigate the strategies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of road freight transport. It will take into account the potential of new technologies onto logistics and transport services of goods. 

Road network capacity is not fully utilized, as traffic demand is concentrated on only small sections of the road network. This TC focuses on how new mobility, new technologies and digitalization are incorporated to Road Network Operation. Technical Committee 2.4 "Road Network Operation / ITS" investigates the concept Mobility as a Service (MaaS). It will also update the RNO / ITS Manual.

Task Force 2.1 "New Mobility and its impact on Road Infrastructure and Transport" will be launched later during the cycle.

There is a need for decarbonizing the road transport all over the world both for freight and passengers. ERS is one possible solution for diminishing the carbon footprint. Task Force 2.2 "Electric Road Systems" plays a leading role in exchanging knowledge and experience in ERS globally, addressing as well road operation, road safety, road maintenance and cyber security aspects.