Congestion, danger, noise and smell. Images that readily come to mind when you think about mobility. What can Rijkswaterstaat [the Public Works Department] do about this? Build more roads and encourage smarter use of the existing networks. Roads to the Future (RtF), the innovation programme of Rijkswaterstaat within the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, is predominantly aimed at seeking smart solutions for mobility and infrastructure.
'To make visionary, practical and forward-looking, innovative contributions to high-quality (clean, smart, pleasant and safe) mobility for all citizens concerned' is the mission of Roads to the Future.
Linking long-term vision to short-term action is characteristic of RtF's working method. In forming an outlook for the long term, RtF takes its inspiration from ideas that now hold sway in society. This is done through dialogue with external partners, such as market parties, interest groups, experts and road users. Based on the results of this dialogue, promising ideas are selected for concrete pilot projects. Selected projects are then carried out with a throughout time of about one year. It is in this stage that cooperation with the market is sought.
Roads to the Future is cyclical. In each cycle, the team interpreted the element of long-term thinking in its own way. In all three cycles, short-term action was preceded by designating themes and pilots. The first RtF cycle started in 1996, and the third cycle in the spring of 2002.
The budget, mainly funded by the Ministry of Transport through Rijkswaterstaat, is about EUR 1.1 million in 2003.