Sustainable mobility know-how on campus

Over 150 experts will be participating in the 1st European Conference on Sustainable Mobility at Universities. It will be the first European platform in which universities from different European countries and other parts of the world will come together to share their needs in the field of accessibility and sustainable mobility.

15/02/2017

Experiences will be presented on the development of new technologies and the most recent advances in the field of sustainable mobility: urban design, management of park spaces with the aim of reducing the use of cars, the role of alternative energies, current and future use of bicycles at schools and CO2 compensation strategies.

The 1st European Conference on Sustainable Mobility at Universities, which will take place from 8 to 10 March, will be the first European platform in which universities from different European countries and other parts of the world will come together to share their needs, challenges and solutions in the field of accessibility and sustainable mobility.

The UAB will become the international knowledge transfer centre on sustainable mobility at European universities and will play host to over 150 experts: university mobility managers, academia, civil servants of the urban mobility sector, entrepreneurs and firms of the sector, NGOs, and representatives of civil society and students.

The first part of the conference will focus on the comprehension of the theoretical approaches of sustainable mobility which universities, as regional and social actors, are implementing. Current and future trends of mobility management will be discussed, while also taking into consideration applying green economy to transport. Finally, speakers will show how the governance of universities and territories can configure and condition a sustainable management of mobility at different scales.

The meeting will also serve to share the different experiences of participating universities and regions. The main arguments which will be presented are related to the development of new technologies and the most recent advances in the field of sustainable mobility: urban design, management of park spaces with the aim of reducing the use of cars, the role of alternative energies, current and future use of bicycles at schools and CO2 compensation strategies. The territorial challenges posed to sustainable mobility will also be discussed by the representatives of universities in Spain, Italy, California and Colombia.

European U-MOB Project
This conference forms part of the European project U-MOB (European Network for Sustainable Mobility at University), which began this year and will last five years, ending in June 2021. The UAB, together with Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands), the Cracow University of Technology (Poland), and the University of Bergamo (Italy), as well as the companies Novotec Consultores and Fundación Equipo Humano, are participating in this European project led by Novotec Consultores, a consultancy specialising in mobility issues.

European university campuses are places where thousands of people arrive daily in private transport means, generating large amounts of contaminating emissions into the atmosphere. The project aims to foster the use of public transport instead of private vehicles and thus reduce the impact car traffic has on cities.

Some of the project's objectives are to create a European Network for Sustainable Mobility at University; inform, communicate and raise awareness among the university community on the positive impact of a sustainable management of campus mobility to reduce CO2 emissions; and develop and implement action plans for sustainable mobility on 30 European campuses. In addition to the one taking place at the UAB, two more international conferences will be held in Krakow (2019) and in Bergamo (2021).

The Situation of Spanish Universities
Spanish universities, under CRUE, have been working to achieve some of these objectives in the past years thanks to a recently created sustainability committee, coordinated by the UAB and the University of Grenada and made up of 12 universities. A space for good practices has been created and some of the most remarkable projects are the car sharing programme at the universities of Cordova, Extremadura and Girona; the speed bumps installed at the University of the Balearic Islands; and the reserved parking spaces at the University of Oviedo.

Leaders in Environmental Criteria
The UAB ranks 20th in the GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, published annually by the University of Indonesia. It is the first university in Spain to figure in the ranking. The ranking compares 407 universities worldwide and classifies their policies on sustainability and respect for the environment. Among other things, the ranking takes into account aspects such as facilities, the use of water and transport. The UAB, which in two years has moved from position 127 to 20 in the ranking, came in first in the sectors of waste and energy management and climate change. The UAB is one of the few European universities to include a mobility unit, which is in charge of studying, analysing and improving all aspects related to mobility.

A European Union LIFE Project
The U-Mob project, which provides the framework for this conference, is funded by the LIFE project, the support organism for the conservation of nature and climate and environmental action projects conducted throughout the European Union. Since 1992, LIFE has co-funded a total of 4,000 projects. For the 2014-2020 programme period, LIFE will contribute some 3,400,000,000 Euros to environmental and climate protection projects.

You can see the Barcelona Conference's Program here

U-MOB PROJECT LIFE: http://u-mob.eu/u-mob-life-project/

 

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