Human resources for Sustainable Mobility: Urban Freight

By Hannah Figg / Updated: 05 Oct 2021
Wednesday 03 November 2021, 09:30 to 11:00

POLIS Network- in collaboration with associate member, Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas)- is bringing together a cross-disciplinary panel of cities, universities and industry stakeholders to discuss the human skills and training required for a sustainable mobility transition, how this can be achieved, and capacity for collaboration.

In these thematic sessions we will discuss how the on-going transition to liveable and sustainable cities, as well as increased use of smart technologies such as AI, automation and digitalization, blockchain, digital and augmented realities, are influencing size, type and competence of the required mobility workforce.

The problem:

Urban mobility is changing fast. From alternative fuels to Mobility as a Service (MaaS), new transport technologies and services are continually emerging.

Many predicted such digitalisation and automation would eliminate the need for human personnel. Yet, we are witnessing the opposite; electrification, clean fuels and automation have in fact intensified demands on the transport sector’s workforce. The explosion of sustainable modal options requires specialised technical skills and proficient governance capabilities.

In any industry, expertise always needs replenishing; however, the pace of change- and the importance of meeting climate targets- makes this particularly pertinent for the urban mobility sector.

Across several meetings tailored to specific mobility fields, we ask: 

  1. What are the main trends within the mobility ecosystem that ask for new/re-educated type of the workforce?
  2. What are the requirements for the current and future labour?
  3. What are the main gaps in competences and skills that are currently being offered or will be required to carry out the necessary mobility transition in a short-term future?
  4. How can higher education and research institutions equip cities and operators with the human resources needed to achieve mobility goals?

The second of two meetings on urban freight is taking place on 3 November 2021 at 9:30-11:00 CET. Efficient logistics systems are essential for sustainable, liveable and economically prosperous cities. Freight is being transformed by innovative technologies; from low emissions zones to electrification and storage solutions, the game is changing fast, and competition is growing. At the same time changes in the retail system and new types of logistics flows; automation and robotisation are creating new demands.

Yet, for all this automation, it remains an incredibly human resource intensive sector. We will discuss key trends shaping requirements for the urban freight workforce and the impact of technology, policy and economic changes.

To register for the freight event see here.

A separate meeting on traffic management is being held on 7 October 2021. For further information see here.