UT – Pathfinder

Campus Mobility Plans

Trivector Traffic, a Swedish transport systems specialist, will help universities lower their carbon footprint with its Campus Mobility Plan method.

A Campus Mobility Plan helps universities promote sustainable low-carbon travel to, from and within a campus area. Big universities can be busy places, generating as many as 10,000 car trips each day. Reducing the use of private cars is paramount in climate change efforts, so plans that help people walk, bike, car share or take public transport would make them more attractive and kinder to the environment.

Almost needless to say, any mobility plan is unlikely to work without collaboration between a university, its real estate owners and the city authorities. Collaboration allows everyone to develop practical solutions for those working/ studying in the area – from the city building a new tram stop, to the real estate owner building a new cycle park and the university running an awareness campaign.

The initial workshop brought representatives from the municipality of Trondheim, Helsinki University, Chalmers Technical University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology together and resulted in an application of a six-month project. On the way, a couple of other stakeholders from Sweden and Denmark have been included, and a secondary workshop was held to discuss experiences and how the guidance material should look like.

Impact

The project resulted in a publication of a guidance material aiming to inspire and support universities to develop Campus Mobility Plans. The guidance includes for example which stakeholders to engage, including researchers and students1, how to set a baseline and measures, establish plans and make them active. The publication is edited to be an easy to read product that can be read by many different categories of professionals.

In the long term, this method can support decision-making in European universities for behavioural change. Such decisions send a strong message to the population that efforts are taken to fight carbon emissions.

The impacts of a successful plan are:

  • Uptake of clean urban mobility solutions
  • Reduced car use
  • Reduced CO2 emissions2
  • More attractive campuses
  • Healthier students and staff.

1 It’s particularly important to engage students. Research shows that sustainable behaviours established in youth are an important indicator of sustainable choices made in future.

2 Mobility plans in similar areas, for example hospitals, show that reducing private car journeys can reduce emissions by up to 30 per cent.