Skip to main content

Sustainability in transport and mobility


Specific Objectives
- Up-date regularly the IPTS knowledge base on transport and related technologies. Application to build socio-economic scenarios, to explore sustainable options for satisfying mobility and accessibility needs at the regional level;
- Integrate social and economic issues raised by transport into the analysis of regional and local/urban development and synthesis of results to apply in transport planning;
- Review of indicators to monitor transport sustainability. Specific indicators to measure regional and local parameters affected by transport, such as equity, quality of life, accessibility and air quality;
- Extend scope of applications of quantitative tools developed in the context of the project. Further work on impacts of EU Enlargement and on socio-economic impacts of technology.
Planned Deliverables

Specific deliverables to DGs:
- Transport technology and policy in the context of clean urban transport reports (as part of the ENIGMATIC project for DG TREN presently under revision);
- Scenarios of transport and mobility and penetration of new technologies (Transport Futures project for DG TREN, working title);
- Report on the impacts of alternative transport policies in relation to sustainability objectives (2002);
- Specific analysis of indicators to measure local sustainability (DG ENV, 2002).

As a result of the research:
- Dissemination of results through the IPTS Internet site (2002);
- Set-up of European expert network on transport and mobility (2002);
- Improvement of the tools for quantitative scenario building in the transport/society interface (2002).

Summary of deliverables made by: 31/12/2001
- Reports on the study for the EP Impact of Technological and Structural Change on Employment: Prospective analysis 2020; Literature review and methodological outline, March 2001; Policy summary, May 2001; Final Report, due on December 2001;
- Workshops on the study for the EP Impact of Technological and Structural Change on Employment: Prospective analysis 2020; Seville, 8 June 2001; Rome, 13 July 2001; Brussels 28 September 2001;
- In the frame of EU-SPIRIT (project for DGs TREN&INFSO): Deliverable 2.2 of the EU-SPIRIT project focusing on Policy Context and Recommendations to implement a EU-wide, Internet-based door-to-door public transport information system;
- In the frame of ENIGMATIC (to be added when the revision of the project work program is finalized around 1/10/01);
- In the frame of Enlargement Futures project 2 expert workshops on sustainability, environment and natural resources were held. A final report of phase 1 is due in November 2001;
- Final report of study on Integrated transport and land-use modelling approach to analyse the impact of transport policies in selected urban areas;
- Final report on Monitoring progress towards sustainable urban mobility: Evaluation of five car free cities experiences, DG ENV, EUR 19748 EN;
- Six articles in the IPTS Report on transport and Mobility issues and three presentations in international conferences;
- Output Indicators and Impact;
- Requests for direct support from Commission services and other core customers;
(Illustrative examples: Rocard study for the EP, Indicators for DG ENV (P.
Perera) , Bio fuels for DG TREN (Henningsen));
- Invitations for competitive activities (Illustrative example: City of Tomorrows thematic network (advised by DG RTD));
- Workshop participation (meaning the level of participation in workshops;
-rganised by us as indicative of quality and relevance of our work to our customers);
- Products: publications (number and types), reports (linked to requests and competitive projects).
Summary of the project

The project provides support on transport policy related issues, mainly through a prospective techno-economic analysis of transport-related developments and trends. An integrated approach that considers the social, environmental and economic aspects of transport technology is applied.

The studies of the project are implemented along two main working lines:
i) Analysis of new/emerging transport technologies: Foresight studies focusing on technologies that may lead to major environmental and efficiency improvements (e.g. alternative propulsion systems such as hybrid, electric, fuel cell and hydrogen). Studies on the impacts of information/ communication technologies (e.g. intelligent transport systems), e-commerce, logistics and organisational improvements. Identification of success factors or barriers for the introduction of new technologies. Investigation of policy measures to accelerate the market uptake of new technologies;
ii) Investigation of socio-economic aspects of transport: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the driving factors that stimulate the developments in transport and mobility. Scenarios and models to investigate long-term trends.
Assessment of the interactions of transport with societal needs, economic activity and the environment. Indicators for the assessment and evaluation of transport policies.

As a complement to the above activities, the project develops or adapts qualitative methods, as well as quantitative tools and models that can be applied in similar activities addressing different sectors. In particular, these are applied in studies related to the investigation of the impacts of the enlargement of the EU on sustainability, environment and natural resources (by combining issues relevant to transport, energy, industry and agriculture), as well as in studies investigating the impacts of new technologies on employment
(by applying the macro- and regional economic modules initially developed for the strategic transport models).


Transport is indispensable to satisfy basic social needs of mobility and accessibility, and is an important factor for European competitiveness. On the other hand, transport benefits are increasingly accompanied by major side effects, namely traffic congestion, air pollution, resources depletion and safety.
Transport issues are particularly pressing since the need to foster economic development and the pressure to minimise transport externalities are difficult to reconcile. In addition, a number of trends such as the restructuring of industrial activities, the EU enlargement process and the application of emerging information and communication technologies, will produce significant impacts on the transport intensity of companies and will reshape the characteristics of transport demand in terms of quality and quantity.
There is a need to improve the understanding of the connection between transport intensity and economic growth and to devise strategies to optimise the investment in transport without affecting the economic performance, the current social benefits and the environment. The analysis of such complex issues involved in the transport system requires an interdisciplinary and integrated perspective, which takes into account technological innovations as well as organisational and socio-economic aspects.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Institute For Prospective Technological Studies (Ipts)