On 12th October 2021, Euromontana organised the online conference “Daily mobility: how to improve the quality of life of mountain inhabitants?” within the framework of the mobility week OrbiMob’ in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The event aimed at reflecting on the constraints that affect different mobility solutions in mountain areas and at understanding how to design mobility strategies that take into accounts these specificities. It gave the floor to mobility experts, representatives from European institutions, entrepreneurs and regional policy makers.
Tailor-made yet ambitious mobility solutions for mountain areas
Dr Patrick Oliva, cofounder of Paris Process on Mobility and Climate and Transport Decarbonization Alliance reaffirmed the need to adapt transport schemes to the specificities of each mountain area, taking inspiration from other regions, combining different solutions, enhancing multimodality without forgetting sustainability and affordability. In this regard, Joshua Salsby, from the European Commission’s DG MOVE, presented how the new EU Strategy for greener, smarter, and affordable mobility in Europe should improve mobility in the European Union. However, the conference also illustrated how rural mobility remains a challenge within the EU and a real European debate among EU institutions and member States should tackle this issue as illustrated by the SMARTA project
In mountain areas, different stakeholders have already some solutions to address the needs of the local population. From Rezo Pouce, a hitchhiking network in France to MobiLab, a project to develop a cooperative transport scheme targeting people who do not have a car around Torino in Italy and La Exclusiva, a reversed mobility offer to provide older adults with basic goods in the rural mountainous areas of Soria in Spain, these examples demonstrate that the different applied solutions must correspond to the specificities e of the territory and the needs of its inhabitants. Innovative mobility can also target companies, like illustrated by the Zero Emission Valley project of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, which will support the development of 20 hydrogen charging stations and deploy 1200 green hydrogen business vehicles by 2023.
This conference was an opportunity to investigate different strategies to improve the daily mobility of mountain residents. Mobility remains the key driver of territorial attractiveness, regardless of the efforts made for tourism, education, or culture. In fact, it is also a critical point of concern for mountain youth in Europe, as revealed our recent youth survey. Thus, these reflections will also feed into the debates for smarter mountains at the XIIth European Mountain Convention on 25-26-27 October 2022 in the Italian natural park and biosphere reserve of Sila. Details of the interventions are available in the conference report. You can also find speakers’ presentations on the event webpage.25 October 2021