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Making Mobility Fit for the Future – European Experts Recommend New Research Agenda

Strengthening Research in Sustainable Mobility – the European knowledge brokerage consortium CORPUS uncovers mobility challenges and comes up with a research agenda for transforming current unsustainable mobility patterns // More than 100 experts from science and policy involved in debating emerging mobility topics

European consumption experts today came out with a Research Agenda for making private transportation in Europe more sustainable. In light of the global climate crisis and rising prices for fossil fuels, the specialists advocate new priorities in exploring sustainable mobility futures.

In close collaboration, 100 mobility experts from all over Europe have developed a “Research Agenda for Sustainable Mobility in Europe”. They highlight five hot topics that they consider the most urgent for overcoming destructive side effects of current transportation modes.

“Our attempt is to show what research is needed to progress towards a more sustainable transport system” explains Gerd Scholl, scientist at the Berlin-based Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW). “A prerequisite for the desired mobility transition is behavioral change. Future mobility will require a decrease in the number of trips, a decrease in distances to be travelled, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the vast majority of people would not accept such a transition. Therefore, we see an overall need to explore what a positive vision of these perceived constraints could look like, and how it could be communicated to the general public.”

According to the research agenda, key areas of future sustainable mobility science should, amongst other things, address the link between different modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport, as well as a closer integration of, e.g., mobility planning and urban planning. Furthermore, the experts call for further internalization of external costs and more ambitious and innovative measures of mobility-management.

The agenda is the result of collaboration between mobility and consumption specialists from all over Europe. The research agenda has been developed by the European consortium CORPUS, which connects researchers and policy makers, in order to foster evidence-based policy-making in sustainable consumption. The agenda results from a series of three workshops dealing with current mobility trends and sustainability challenges, policy instruments and future visions for sustainable mobility.

“It is a rare incident that such an intense collaboration of specialists addresses the future of mobility systems”, says Gerd Scholl. “The themes that we unveil in the research agenda are crucial for our common future. We call on European research policy to further intensify strategic research on sustainable mobility.”

The consortium “CORPUS – Enhancing the connectivity between research and policy-making in sustainable consumption” is funded within the EU Seventh Framework programme. It aims to experiment with, and develop new integrative modalities of knowledge brokerage on sustainable consumption policies. In addition to sustainable mobility, the consortium has come up with a Research Agenda for Sustainable Food, and will develop one for Sustainable Housing as well. The website has been established as a platform for knowledge exchange and professional networking. The documentation of the mobility workshop series is available at:
Dr. Gerd Scholl
Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)
Potsdamer Str. 105, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Phone +49 (30) 884594-20

Further information on the CORPUS Food Group:
The consortium comprises eleven partners from eight European countries. The participants of CORPUS are:
- Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), DE
- Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, AT
- Copenhagen Business School (CBS), DK
- Copenhagen Resource Institute (CRI), DK
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Institute for European Studies (IES), BE
- Planète Publique, FR
- Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), HU
- Strategic Design Scenarios (SDS), BE
- National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), NO
- Vienna University of Economics and Business, Research Institute for Managing Sustainability (RIMAS), AT

- Finnish Ministry of the Environment, FI

Richard Harnisch | idw
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