U-MOB LIFE, European universities to work on the advancement of sustainable mobility - Ecomotion magazine

    With the objective of creating a network to facilitate European universities’ exchange and transfer of knowledge on best mobility practice, July 2016 saw the launch of the U-MOB LIFE project: the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility.
    With the objective of creating a network to facilitate European universities’ exchange and transfer of knowledge on best mobility practice, July 2016 saw the launch of the U-MOB LIFE project: the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility.
    Over the next five years, a consortium formed of Novotec, the Polytechnic University of Krakow, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Bergamo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Equipo Humano Foundation will work together, pooling their extensive experience in the fields of sustainable mobility, communications and training.
    Novotec, who leads the project, is responsible for its technical and financial management.

    The project, which has a budget of €1,329,427 and is sponsored by the European fund LIFE, involves working with university communities across Europe to promote a shift of mindset towards more sustainable means of transportation, such as non-motorised means (bicycles and walking) and public transport.
    In addition to targeting universities, the U-MOB consortium will collaborate with public authorities, transport companies and social organisations.
    U-MOB LIFE’s specific objectives are to:
    • Raise awareness both of the need to reduce CO2 emissions resulting from journeys taken by the university community and of the role universities must play in the education of future generations.
    • Create and consolidate a European Sustainable Mobility Network able to share good practice in this field.
    • Communicate and disseminate best practice in the area of mobility to university communities across Europe.
    • Promote the creation of the role of ‘mobility manager’ on university campuses and define the key responsibilities of this role.
    • Define and implement best practice in European universities with regard to reducing their emissions.
    • Promote the development of sustainable-mobility policies by public authorities and transport companies.
    Action plan
    In order to meet these objectives, the consortium will develop and implement an action plan, which will be rolled out between 2016 and 2021.
    Between July and December of this year, research is underway to identify current good practice in force in European university campuses. Examples of good practice in this field are classified along previously defined strategic lines and will ultimately be set out in a catalogue to serve as an example to other European universities.
    By September 2017, the consortium will have established an initial network of at least ten European universities from five countries, all of which are committed to promoting sustainable mobility on their campuses and to reducing CO2 emissions.
    The same period, between November 2016 and September 2017, will see the creation of an online training course aimed at providing mobility managers with the requisite knowledge and skills to manage mobility on their campuses. This course will be validated by the mobility managers of universities that are part of the initial network. At the same time, a bank of materials will be developed to help them promote awareness in their respective university communities.
    From January 2018 to December 2020, best practice will be rolled out across participating universities, which will begin the process by drawing up concrete short-, medium- and long-term action plans.
    To measure results, the partners of the U-MOB project will design a tool to estimate CO2 emissions caused by travel undertaken by the university community.
    In addition, a set of guidelines will be drawn up to help mobility managers to work constructively with key players with influence in the area of mobility within their university campuses.
    Throughout the project, great importance will be placed on expanding the network through the involvement of new universities, drawing on the key outcomes of the initial cohort.
    The project’s website will give participating universities the chance to share their knowledge and experiences and spread good practice in the area of university mobility.
    Three European conferences will be held over the course of the project: Barcelona (2017), Krakow (2019) and Bergamo (2021). These conferences will provide a forum for sharing good practice and experiences and raising awareness of the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility as well as the results of the U-MOB LIFE project. Preparation work is already underway for the 1st European Conference of Sustainable Mobility on University Campuses, which will be held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in March 2017.

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