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Towards Sustainable Mobility in European Cities: Insights and Issues for Policy Makers and Researchers 2nd Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Event on Sustainable Mobility (Bratislava, 21-22 March 2013)

This paper provides background material on the core issues of the RESPONDER project and the 2nd Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Event on Sustainable Mobility, in order to promote active participation and engagement in the debate. The overall aim of RESPONDER is to promote sustainable consumption by exploring novel ways of knowledge brokerage that help to improve the management of potential political, social and economic contradictions of economic growth. The challenge is not just to bridge the gap between science and policy, but also to improve mutual understanding between the “pro-growth community” and the “beyond-growth community”. RESPONDER aims to improve mutual understanding and knowledge transfer between these groups by using participatory systems mapping as a core methodology. Knowledge brokerage means that the project will not conduct new research, but rather exploit existing research by new integrative modalities of linking research results to policy-making. This approach will be explored in a series of Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Events focused on five sectoral policy areas – food, housing, household electronics, mobility and private savings/debts.

The 2nd Multinational Knowledge Brokerage Event brings together policy-makers, high-level scientists, and business representatives to address pressing questions regarding the potential for, and challenges of sustainable mobility, and to provide impetus for effective policy. We will specifically explore the following questions:

  • What are the trends in urban mobility and what can we learn from adverse and promising examples?

  • What are the policies and practices necessary to strengthen sustainable urban mobility and to promote sustainable mobility lifestyles?

  • What visions are there of low-carbon, secure and competitive mobility systems in cities?

  • How could sustainable mobility approaches reduce spatial segregation, urban sprawl and the promotion of social inclusion?

  • How do we move towards effective mobility policy making in the real world?


This paper first briefly outlines the situation, key trends and challenges in the sustainable mobility debate and cities. It briefly discusses drivers and barriers with the perspective of the desired future scenarios. The starting point is defining sustainable urban mobility. From here we move to an outline of the visions and scenarios of sustainable urban mobility. For visions to be reached we need politics, approaches, tools and measures. In the paper, we discuss some of the most important and promising. Proven and emerging policy initiatives are put into context and explained using concrete examples from our cities. A substantial part of the paper deals with the problems of infrastructure and behavioural changes as the key challenges to future mobility. Besides technical measures, we outline public participation, transparency, and access to decision making as approaches to be explored and enforced.
Finally, we briefly outline the meeting agenda and inform about the system mapping that represents a substantial part of the event.

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