Our current society demands a wide variety of mobility systems that guarantee the displacement of people and goods in an economically and environmental efficient way. The responsibility of governmental authorities, economic and social agents is to foster intelligent models of mobility based on clean technologies that contribute to the enrichment of economy, environment and social wellness.

According to the Special Eurobarometer 406, half of Europeans use a car everyday (50%) which is more than the proportion who cycle (12%) or use public transport (16%) combined. The sustainable transportation has become a key issue on local, national, European and global scale in order to generate social conscience about the need to adopt more sustainable transport and mobility models.

For this reason, in July 2016 Applus+ Group, under the Novotec commercial brand, launched the U-MOB LIFE project: the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility. The main objective is to create a network to facilitate European universities’ exchange and transfer of knowledge on mobility best practice.

Over the next five years, the consortium formed by Applus+ Group, through its brand Novotec, the Polytechnic University of Krakow, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Bergamo, the 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.

UMOB LIFE: Towards sustainable mobility at European universitiesThe 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:

  1. To raise awareness of the need to reduce CO2 emissions and of the role universities must play in the education of future generations.
  2. To create and consolidate a European Sustainable Mobility Network that helps universities to promote the creation of the role of ‘mobility manager’ and to implement best practice with regard to reducing their emissions
  3. To romote the development of sustainable-mobility policies by public authorities and transport companies.

In order to meet these objectives, the consortium will develop and implement an action plan, which will be rolled out between 2016 and 2021. Throughout the project, great importance will be placed on expanding the network through the involvement of new universities.

By September 2017, the consortium will have established an initial network of at least ten European universities from five countries. From January 2018 to December 2020, participating universities will begin 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.

Three European conferences will be held during the project: Barcelona (2017), Krakow (2019) and Bergamo (2021). They will provide a forum for sharing good practices, raising awareness of the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility as well as the results of the U-MOB LIFE project. Preparation for the 1st European Conference of Sustainable Mobility on University Campuses, which will be held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in March 2017, is already underway.