University of Amsterdam


Oct 27 - 28 2022


12:15 - 15:30

Enabling Sustainable Mobility Practices in Europe

The conference, co-sponsored by the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies and the Sustainable Global Economic Law (SGEL) research project, is a series of panels discussing specific angles and questions on the role of rules and policies in enabling citizens to power Europe’s sustainable mobility transition(s).

Transport accounts for 27% of Europe’s CO2 emissions. No surprise, thus, that sustainable mobility is a key topic on the EU’s agenda: while 2021 has been marked as European Year of Rail, a Commission consultation on Sustainable transport- new urban mobility framework has recently closed and will soon reveal its results. This conference looks at mobility through the eyes of the moving citizen and consumer, who travels within cities, to cities or between cities in Europe.

Fostering more sustainable mobility practices is thus a key element. While much of such strategy depends on infrastructure planning and investment, the research question for this conference is what role law can play in this process, in particular when one aims to promote the adoption of more sustainable mobility among citizens in their various life areas – from shopping to (weekend) travelling. The specific angle would be to look at legal incentives which are not directly translated into monetary incentives – leaving out, for instance, parking fees or higher taxation on flight tickets.

First, what are possible barriers that prevent consumers and citizens from easily engaging in more sustainable mobility practices? Take the different passenger rights regimes that are currently in place for rail passengers and air passengers, where travelling by plane affords travellers more rights than travelling by train would. Second, what sets of rules could facilitate the promotion and adoption of these practices? Such rules may for instance range from requiring better information on sustainable

The conference panels analyze this complex problem at three different levels:

  • Sustainable urban mobility – how we traverse the city
  • Sustainable regional mobility – how we stay connected
  • Sustainable international mobility – how we cross borders

 In order to do so, the conference brings together experts from law and social sciences, including sociology and planning studies and features a number of keynote speakers representing the different dimensions we want to highlight. Confirmed interventions/activities include presentations by Carey Curtis, Professor in City Planning & Transport at the University of Melbourne and Guido Smorto, Professor of Comparative law at the University of Palermo, Italy, as well as an interactive panel on mobility rights facilitate by Marco te Brömmelstroet, Anna Nikolaeva and Luca Bertolini, University of Amsterdam Centre for Urban Studies.