There is a strong interrelation between intelligent transport systems (ITS) and regional development. Smart, sustainable and safe transportation by using ICT addresses many regional policy priorities. They aim at improving liveability, sustainability, economic growth and safety. By ensuring the scale-up and replication of these systems, regions address one major cornerstone in reaching the 20/20/20 energy and climate goals.
Given increasing urbanisation trends, transformations towards knowledge-intensive economies, growing shares of resource consumption and emissions, regions are under big pressure and in global competition. Intelligent transport systems are key to success in this competition. Transforming current transportation infrastructures and systems into intelligent transport systems requires considerable investment and effort, especially in those regions with obsolete infrastructures. In addition, since the debt crisis has hit many regions severely it can be almost impossible for some regions to face those huge investments.
EU Cohesion Policy can provide support for research and innovation in this area. The participation of the Structural and Investment Funds to the implementation of intelligent transport solution projects can contribute to achieving smart growth in all regions. Given the complexity, size and socio-economic and environmental impact of projects, strict conditions and synergies with other actors and funds are essential for achieving common goals.