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Green transport: the university sets a good example


It comes from one Milanese university, the Politecnico, a model still in the making of green transport for students but also for professors and employees. There are many initiatives to be put in place, while in the classrooms they talk and act. In the front row there is Luca Studer, head of the Mobility and Transport Laboratory of the Politecnico di Milano that tells the green wave which is affecting the entire university district.
1) Why should universities deal with mobility and, in particular, with green transport?
The university they move a very large number of people. Between students, technical-administrative staff and teachers, about 240,000 people move daily, or nearly so. At the Politecnico di Milano alone there are 40,000 people who move to all its locations. The numbers alone justify the need to organize and manage this mobility, made up largely of young people and sensitive to sustainability and the environment.

2) How and when did you start dealing with it at the Politecnico?
For almost 15 years. It began when the figure of the Mobility Manager was established in 1998 which obliges all large companies to manage the movements of their employees. For about two years, the project has been given new impetus Sustainable Campus coordinated by the Vice Rector prof. Balducci and Prof. Grecchi, promoted by the Polytechnic and the University of Studies to promote the quality of life and sustainability at 360 ° in the Città Studi area. The project is divided into working groups including one that deals with the environment, energy, people, urban spaces and transport.

3) What concrete actions towards students can be done to promote sustainable mobility?
The main measures are the classic ones of mobility management. The main goal is to make the movement of students and teaching and technical-administrative staff sustainable, with alternative means to the car, green. It starts with the analysis of home-work / study trips.

4) Some examples of practical actions?
• Economic concessions for the purchase of public transport passes
• Promotion of car sharing and car pooling services
• Traffic moderation
• Creation of cycle and pedestrian infrastructures
• Regulation and reduction of parking areas and parking management
• Website for proposals shared by students and employees
• Multiservice electronic card
• Conferences and events on "green transport"
• Installation of bicycle racks and bike sharing
• Facilities for cyclists: changing rooms, workshop.
That said, we will shortly open Policiclo, a bike rental or sharing system of the Politecnico that reuses bikes abandoned in the Milan area to obtain spare parts or new vehicles to be made available to those who need them.

5) What about university staff?
As regards the technical and administrative staff or teaching staff, the measures are quite similar to those described, even if in part the times and seasonality in which the movements take place change. The staff clearly have hours that are more than office.

6) Are there any practices, projects or initiatives for sustainable mobility that are particularly appreciated?
There are several interesting initiatives regarding sustainable mobility for university in Europe and worldwide but it becomes difficult to transfer the experiences of Anglo-Saxon or American-style university campuses here because at the Politecnico the students mostly come from their own homes. I believe that Città Studi is also an excellent example. The latest surveys show that less than 10% use their own motorized vehicles.

7) Public institutions, local and not, how can they contribute to “sustainable university mobility”?
Public institutions have a fundamental role, universities have limited areas of intervention. The new and important aspect is the recent birth of a close collaboration, primarily the Municipality. This is the aspect that can lead the Sustainable Campus Project to become an excellence and a reference point as a good practice in Europe and in the world regarding green transport.

Other article that may interest you: Mobility Manager



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