This event is part of the European project U-MOB LIFE or ‘European Network for Sustainable Mobility at University’. U-MOB LIFE is co-funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and aims to reduce CO2 emissions in European university campuses.
The 2nd European Conference on Sustainable Mobility at Universities took place during the 14th and 15th of March 2019, in the Kotlownia Conference Hall and other parallel sessions at the premises of the Krakow University of Technology. This is the second European platform where universities from different European countries and other territories are having the opportunity to share their needs, challenges and different solutions in the field of accessibility and sustainable mobility. Some of the picture of the Conference can be found here.
Public authorities and the winner of the Contents for the Best University Mobility Practice
In the introduction session personalities from both the public and private sector participated: the Faculty of Civil Engineering, the Ministry of Environment of Poland, the Public Transport Authority in Krakow and NOVOTEC, environmental consultancy and leader of the U-MOB Project.
The University winner of the Contest for the Best University Mobility Practice was presented before all attendants: the University of Catania’s and its best practice, “You study, you travel free”. Giuseppe Inturri picked up a “symbolic” prize on behalf of University of Catania. The “real” award will be a tailored awareness-raising campaign to foster sustainable mobility at the University of Catania.
Examples and practices of sustainable mobility plans at Universities
Several universities showed their mobility plans and examples of good practices. After each presentation several issues arose as critical for a good implementation of sustainable mobility plans at universities. In the following link you can find all the slideshows and the presentations of all universities. The importance of collection and the analysis of the situation of each university, initiatives such as car sharing, the time schedule of the students, the frequency and availability of public transport and the relationship of sustainable mobility, access to campuses and the house pricing were among the main topics of the conference.
Students were acknowledged as one of the groups within the University that are more sustainable regardless their ownership of a car.
Cooperation among stakeholders for a common goal: sustainable mobility
A debate among different personalities involved in the development of sustainable mobility plans also took place: Lukasz Franek, director of the Public Transport Board in Krakow; Rafael Requena, Mobility Manager of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Coordinator of University and Mobility Commision with Spanish Associations of Universities (CRUE); Richard Southern, Dean of the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Herfordshire and initiator of the Smart mobility Research and Michela Bonera, first year PhD student in Transport Engineering at the University of Brescia.
The debate addressed topics such the engagement of local authorities and students in the development of mobility plans at universities. In that regard, the role and initiative of the private sector was acknowledged as decisive. Universities were also recognized as territorial and social nodes, important to engage new target publics with new messages and especially as spaces where the people of tomorrow are shaped with new values. All participants admitted the importance of scope of the project and its positive consequences in society.
The U-MOB LIFE European Project
This conference is part of the European project U-MOB LIFE, which began in 2016 and will last for five years – until June 2021. It belongs to the LIFE Programme, the European Union’s financial instrument of support for nature and climate preservation and environmental action projects throughout the EU.
The consortium is formed by: NOVOTEC Consultores, consultancy specialized in sustainable mobility and project leader; Fundación Equipo Humano, specialized in training and communication; and the following universities: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (EUR), Politechnika Krakowska (PK) and Università degli Studi di Bergamo (UNIBG).