The 4th Smart Rivers ’21 conference held at Vienna City Hall from 6–9 September was the best attended event since the foundation of this international forum in 2005 (Pittsburgh) and provides clear evidence that everywhere in the world inland navigation is prepared to take on higher tasks in the future.
Representatives from the European Commission, the Port of Vienna, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) – as the competent authority for Danube navigation – as well as many US delegates used the opportunity for an information and experience exchange. Nearly all nations where inland waterways already are or will become a prominent transport route were represented.
The most important ones to be mentioned are the People’s Republic of China, Russia, India, Egypt, but also Germany (boasting the Rhine as a role model) and the Netherlands with its extensive canal system, the “grachten”. The organisers of Smart Rivers ’21 – PIANC Austria, PIANC USA and Austria Tech – managed to attract 80 speakers who delivered their presentations to some 300 delegates in 16 workshops.
The “Congress of Vienna” was sponsored by the City of Vienna, TINA Vienna, via donau, ÖWSV, the Austrian Economic Chamber, Raiffeisenbank Niederösterreich – Wien, the Danube Tourist Commission, the Port of Pittsburgh and supported by the trade magazine VERKEHR (Bohmann Verlag) and several other partners. The conference was rounded off by an exhibition and technical tours.
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(Source: aqua press Int. 3/2009, Mag. Christof Hahn)