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European Research Forum for Urban Mobility

This project aims to help match the demand and supply side of EU research in the field of urban mobility, better assess the research needs of the sector, and validate (by stakeholder consultation) the research priorities for urban mobility, bearing in mind EU and national research programmes, notably the Seventh Framework Programme.

Tags: Multimodal


Around 80% of European citizens live in urban areas, which is where 85% of European GNP is generated.

Urban public transport is a key issue for the EU. Efficient urban transport systems are critical for the functioning and sustainable development of urban areas. They ensure that:

  • all citizens have proper access to all components of urban life (including education, employment, culture)
  • the risk of social exclusion is minimised
  • the distribution of goods is properly achieved
  • the quality of urban life is improved.

Several EU policies are influenced by the decisions taken on urban mobility and could benefit from better coordination of actions in that regard: energy supply, safety and security, environmental policy, regional policy, internal markets and others.

The urban mobility sector needs research in order to be able to keep up with the pace of technological and societal changes, and to maintain the attractiveness of its offer for users.

The EU is already taking steps towards supporting research co-operation and stimulating research excellence in surface transport. This is being done notably through modal European technology platforms such as ERRAC (rail) and ERTRAC (road). However, urban transport transversal issues are not fully covered by those platforms, and stakeholders in the sector felt that there was a gap which needed to be filled.


The project intends to achieve a full inclusion of urban mobility issues into the EU research agenda. The project will identify and develop innovative concepts and tools for organising a proper coordination at EU level between all relevant stakeholders concerning research on urban mobility.

This is going to be achieved through:

  • identification of priority research areas in the field of urban mobility which would benefit from a better coordination of stakeholders at EU level, taking into account both technology- and policy-oriented research
  • identification and promotion of innovative research strategies for sustainable urban transport, and of coordinated information and communication strategies targeting transport users and operators
  • proposing instruments serving to improve the knowledge base on urban mobility Europe-wide
  • promotion of tools supporting urban transport policy development, such as integration of land use planning, including technical harmonisation at the European level
  • promotion of intermodality between existing mobility services and of innovative intermodal mobility services in urban areas
  • building up appropriate links between existing modal technology platforms (ERRAC, ERTRAC) in order to cover transversal/intermodal issues addressing similar priorities.


Description of work

The project will be divided into five work packages. Three key work packages (WP1: State of the art and vision, WP2: Strategic research agenda, WP3: Stakeholder relationship management) will be inter-related through a matrix structure with four research areas: a) Data collection/demand analysis, b) Sustainable strategies/ traffic planning and management/land use, c) Integrated and harmonised systems and services, and d) User aspects – security, comfort, accessibility.

WP1 will look at the achievements of urban mobility research so far and formulate a vision for the future. Its crucial task is to determine the current status of research and technological development in the field of urban mobility.

The primary objective of WP2 will be to elaborate a strategic research agenda (SRA), i.e. a detailed action plan for the structuring and implementation of European research priorities in the field of urban mobility.

WP3 will ensure, through organising and moderating two EURFORUM plenary sessions (in 2007), the validation of key deliverables by relevant stakeholders from various urban mobility fields (operators, organising authorities, industry and users), selected according to their role and decision-making position in the sector, respecting proportions of European countries represented.

WP4 will be dealing with dissemination issues and WP5 with project management.


State of the art: In order to develop forward-looking research approaches and questions, it is essential to assess the current situation of science and knowledge in the field of urban mobility, and to identify within the Member States the various categories of local, regional and national decision-makers who should be involved in European research on urban mobility at the European level. This deliverable will look at the current development status in technology and knowledge in this field in collaboration with all project partners and in consultation with the stakeholders.

Vision: This deliverable will provide a set of questions and answers concerning the future evolution of various factors having an impact on urban mobility. Furthermore, the vision will include considerations on how research can help to achieve sustainable urban mobility in the years to come.

Strategic research agenda (SRA) will be a detailed action plan for the structuring and implementation of European research priorities in the field of urban mobility. The SRA will serve as a ‘groundwork’ that initiates and goes together with the discussion among the relevant stakeholders concerned with urban mobility in Europe. For each research area, the following elements will be included:

  • formulation of proposals for transversal (intermodal) topics,
  • integration of modal topics, including those proposed by other technology platforms.