Author Archives: Federico Giorgilli

The MIND-SETS approach: Mobility as a lifestyle, information, service and reality concept

Why do we need a new approach?

man riding bike

Photo: Neal Jennings

Over the past several years, there have been a number of important changes to how we perceive mobility and what it means to us. Whereas it was once about getting from point A to point B in the fastest and/or cheapest way possible, it is now an expectation, a commodity, a service. It is an expression of generational identity and social status, at once digital and virtual. There are activity spaces, virtual spaces, products that bring us into the future, and products that are rooted in the past. MIND-SETS has proposed a new way of looking at mobility that takes the digital and human footprints, innovative products and activity spaces all into account. Alongside these conceptual realms there is also regulation and policy making, behavioural change and the sustainable triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

The key concepts

The four key concepts – the human footprint, the digital footprint, new activity spaces and innovative products – are aligned along two axes, the supply side (x-axis) and the demand side (y-axis). The supply side represents mobility projects, products and services, which can be purely physical, purely virtual, or some combination of the two. It includes information providing and virtual communication services as well as transport infrastructure. The demand side looks at mobility needs and whether these are motivated by concrete considerations, such as geography, or more abstract considerations, such as values and desires (including those influenced by our generational profiles).

The human footprint: Mobility lifestyles

Mobility has an important effect on well-being and identity, given that it is a reflection of how we interact with the environment that surrounds us, whether that be a physical, social or psychological one. The human aspect of mobility encompasses individual values, personality, and social and cultural norms, all of which factor into the decision-making process.

The digital footprint: Information and its impact on mobility

With the digitalisation of our world, we have a lot more information at our disposal than ever before. Not only do we have information about transport systems, through online journey planners and the like, but our transport providers now have information about us. There are a number of open questions about the use of Big Data; while this data can provide valuable inputs to providers of products and services, there are also privacy concerns that need to be addressed regarding the use and processing of data.

Another result of the technological developments of the past several years is that we can be in two places at once: physically present in one place and yet also present in another, virtual space through the use of messaging, VoIP or other communication tools. Other apps and technologies allow us to get a sense of places without actually being there, with interactive satellite maps enriched with both imagery and other, meaningful information, such as that regarding local services or traffic incidents.

Innovative products: How services enhance mobility         

There are three different types of technological developments and new business models that could well lead to major changes in mobility in the coming years. First of all, there is shared mobility, facilitated by new journey planning applications. Shared mobility can supplant both private car use and public transportation, but perhaps its most interesting application is as a solution to the “last mile” problem (getting home from the last accessible public transport stop).  Another promising new approach is MaaS, or Mobility as a Service, when users buy access to mobility rather than the individual products or services. An example of MaaS is buying a ticket that covers an entire trip involving several different forms of transport, rather than having to buy separate tickets for each leg of the journey.

Reality bytes: The blurring of physical and virtual activity spaces

The line between the physical and virtual is no longer as clear as it used to be. Communication technologies have disconnected activities from their locations, changing mobility patterns in the process. Accessibility has also changed in important ways – it might be more important nowadays to have access to a smartphone to stay connected and present, than it is to be physically mobile. In other words, we live in multiple spaces that are not simply physical and not simply virtual, but some combination of the two.

For more information, see the full deliverable or contact Laurie Pickup of VECTOS.

Go back to the newsletter

New MIND-SETS deliverables released

d3MIND-SETS has just released three new deliverables, divided into four publications. The first of these (D3.1), The MIND-SETS Approach, discusses the four elements of this approach: the human footprint, the digital footprint, innovative products, and new activity spaces. The next (D3.2), Future Mobility  Challenges: Expert Assessments Based on the MIND-SETS Approach discusses some of the experiences and insights that came out of the project’s workshops and focus groups. The third, Future Trends in Mobility: Challenges for Transport Planning Tools and Related Decision-Making on Mobility Product and Service Development talks about car and bike sharing, automated mobility, and the policy implications of these new products and services. The last document included with these deliverables, entitled Future Trends in Mobility: The Rise of the Sharing Economy and Automated Transport, is a technical annex to D3.3. It follows the same structure as the main document, but delves deeper into the arguments, tackles the technical issues in greater depth and contains a full reference list.

New deliverables published

MIND-SETS_D2-1a_Final-1MIND-SETS has just released its first two deliverables, divided into four publications. The first deliverable (D2.1) offers a multidisciplinary overview of the new mobility, highlighting behavioural economics; psychological and sociological factors; the influence of ICTs and generational distinctions. It consists of a main document outlining the MIND-SETS perspective, A New Vision on European Mobility, and two annexes offering a more in-depth exploration of these ideas, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mobility and A Generational Perspective on Mobility. The second deliverable (D2.2),  Professional Mindsets Regarding Mobility Behaviour, details the perspective of decision-makers and practitioners working within the field of transport. These reports are the basis of the MIND-SETS concept and provide the groundwork for the MIND-SETS approach.

MIND-SETS Newsletter 2 released


MIND-SETS newsletter 2

The second MIND-SETS newsletter has now been released. An initial phase of knowledge coordination has provided some interesting findings with regard to the new European mobility. We look at people’s travel decisions from an economic perspective, then move on to psychological and sociological factors before analysing the impact of ICTs and social networks. Afterwards, we see how generational differences interact with emerging trends, leading to new mobility mindsets. The results of two surveys done in 2015 are presented: an online survey of transport planners and the Delphi survey and workshop in Barcelona. In addition, a brief recap is provided about the MIND-SETS/COST workshop that was held in Bucharest in May 2016.

Read it for yourself and join the debate on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Footprints of Future Mobility: The MIND-SETS/COST workshop

In cooperation with the COST action, MIND-SETS organized the joint MIND-SETS/COST workshop in Bucharest on May 17. This workshop was the first of a series of events that MIND-SETS intends to organise in order to increase interaction with its stakeholders.

It was an opportunity to present the two projects, including what they offer and the complementary issues they address, to a select number of high-level stakeholders from Romania and to get feedback on the work done so far. A cross-section of the MIND-SETS target groups attended the workshop, including government officials, transport operators, representatives from the car industry and professors. There were 40 participants in total, including representatives from 10 European countries and South America.

DSC_4357The two projects, MIND-SETS and COST were introduced, and then some background was given on the mobility situation in Romania, the progress that has been made and the challenges they still face. More detail was given regarding both the MIND-SETS project and the COST project, which analyses ICTs, social networks and travel behaviour. Social networks are not location-based and have led to the intertwining of leisure with other daily routines. Unfortunately, current transport models don’t capture this or how complex our travel demand patterns have become. Lifestyle has become a generator of mobility mind-sets and the use of ICTs within mobility has led to new, large data sets. There is a need now to develop a new transport paradigm, and to think carefully about what the role of public policy and the public sector should be going forward.

There are a number of synergies between MIND-SETS and COST, given that they explore similar issues, and going forward there will be many opportunities for cross-fertilisation on these concepts. One challenge is to gain a deeper understanding of why mobility is important: it gives people social status, determines the relationships you make, dominates the conversation, influences self-esteem, is a mode of image projection and can even prevent or cause social exclusion. The new mobility occupies both physical and virtual spaces, sometimes simultaneously, as in the case of street texters. It is customized yet shared, and so there is less stress on ownership and more on mobility as a service.

DSC_4321Two interactive sessions on unlocking mobility behaviour were organised during the event. Participants were divided into 6 groups with a mix of people from different mobility-related fields (transport, urban planning and others). They were given a series of discussion questions on mobility and on how these issues manifested themselves in Romania.

While the questions were asked specifically about what participants have seen in Romania, most of them can be applied to any European city.

Some of the questions were:

  • Is flexibility the new habit?
  • The image of new mobility is a digitally connected, university-educated, urban dweller under 35, using cycle hire, Uber, car sharing services and public transport. Is this stereotypical newly mobile person really typical of what is developing out there?
  • Do people really know what mobility they want in the future? Did you know you needed an iPad?
  • New business models in mobility are powered by new technology. What kind of impact could these have in your city?
  • What are the major areas of policy research that the EC should support in order to facilitate changes in mobility behaviour?

How would you answer these questions? Join our LinkedIn Group and tell us what your experiences in your cities and countries have been.

For more information, contact Lucia Cristea of EIP