Expert article
Modifier 15 October 2021
by Zsuzsa Kravalik

Future of Commuting in Europe - Tips and Tricks of Employer engagement

SASMob final conference on 10th of November
Come join us on Wednesday 10th of November at 9.30h for a panel discussion on the Future of Commuting to Work and its consequences in urban mobility planning. Experts and company representatives will talk about current challenges and solutions to commuting to work and what roles employers can embrace to boost sustainable living.

The event is part of the European Week of Regions and Cities Side Event series

Commuting to work is a crucial part of carbon footprint of EU cities. How will we work in a more sustainable future will depend on our personal decisions, employers awareness and city managers' readiness for change. Is there a chance for a concerted action which benefits both public and private interests? We explore roles and responsibilities of different players and the opportunities in local cooperation for greener commuting.

While the mode for commuting is the personal choice of the employee, sustainable commuting is everyone's responsibility. The personal choice has been influenced by company practices for decades, rewarding high performing employees with benefit schemes favouring individual car traffic and enabled also by local government policies, which are difficult to change due to perceived lack of public support. Thus, sharing the responsibility of our personal choices, recognizing everyone's share in forming the conditions and bringing commuting under corporate welfare/health care services/tasks can change attitudes and bring in new practices. Thus working together, building up new schemes, offering new micro-mobility options can lead to a renewed joint commitment to more healthy cities.

SASMob, Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility project was financed by Urban Innovative Actions Programme and lasted from 2017 until 2021. The project focused on developing a city-wide alliance of employers to encourage employees for sustainable commuting. It was based of the idea of Movability from Austin, Texas.

The project has faced many challenges among which the most crucial and the most influential was the lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, which required and prompted companies to change their working arrangements. Working together, side by side with the local municipality, the private and public companies realized their own share of responsibility and initiated new services and offered new incentives to employees to encourage sustainable commuting.

For the occasion of the final conference of the project we would like to share our experiences with other European cities and thus we are organising a side event for the EWRC initiative. We would like to open up a discussion with private and public companies, politicians and HR managers to re-consider working arrangements and commuting options in the post-Covid era, hopefully leading to more sustainable urban life.

The discussion is relevant for many municipalities across Europe and also for the Conference on the Future of Europe agenda , since the dialogue is centered around participation, recognized own interests and finding win-win situations for both employers, employees and for the cities in which they live and function. The most relevant stream of topic is: Sustainable mobility within using resources effectively for a circular economy within Climate change and the environment.

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Panelists

Vilmos BILICKI, IT Institute, University of Szeged - assistant professor

Antal GERTHEIS, Mobilissimus Ltd - mobility expert)

Balázs KABARCZ, Decathlon Hungary - Sustainability Country Leader

Sándor NAGY, Municipality of Szeged, Hungary - vice major

Philip STEIN , CAIRGO Bike project - UIA expert; URBACT expert

Karin WANNGÅRD, European Committee of Regions - member; Municipality of Stockholm, Sweden - commissioner

Moderator: Zsuzsa KRAVALIK UIA Expert for SASMob project

Registration

Participation at the online conference is free of charge but registration is required.

Please register here until 5th of November.

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