The European mobility culture of tomorrow: Reinventing the wheel?

MG-4-9-2020 (RIA-LS Research and Innovation action Lump Sum)

Global warming and the need for CO2 reduction drives a search for new lower carbon ways of moving: old modes of transportation seem no longer sustainable in the long term. When thinking about the future of mobility, changes in mobility are usually addressed in terms of technology.

However, there is another – often neglected – aspect of mobility: the value it has in the present European culture, which legitimises today’s focus on speed and efficiency as main performance indicators for development and growth. In parallel to developing new technologies, we also need to explore (an) alternative narrative(s) of mobility.

With a view to Horizon Europe, the next DG RTD Framework Programme, a forward looking exercise taking into account a new transport paradigm is needed to develop a coherent strategy for (near) future transport research with the aim to realising the COP 21 Paris Agreement and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Critically examine the criteria/objectives on which the actual mobility culture has been based. In a world engaged to reducing CO2emission, are criteria such as speed and efficiency still relevant? What can be the role of non-motorised transport modes, especially on short distance? Etc.
  • Consider a future being shaped by changes in lifestyles, environmental and climate concerns (COP 21 and the SDGs), and the emergence of new values in order to better understand the mobility of the future, taking into account different type of variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc. when relevant. Propose (an) alternative mobility narrative(s) – well beyond the implicit assumption of useful mobility – with respect for the environmental boundaries of the planet and the wellbeing of the people.
  • Develop a strategy for the transport policy of the future (passenger and freight), based on an alternative mobility narrative. Therefore launch a forward looking exercise and build scenarios with a roadmap for implementing this strategy. Develop a holistic and cross-sector policy approach, as required by COP 21 and the SDGs, to ensure that economic, social and environmental challenges are addressed together.
  • Stimulate the creation of networks and structures with the main transport research and innovation stakeholders (public administrations, companies, universities, citizens, etc.) around which visions and strategies can emerge and converge.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 1 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Please note that this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding & Tenders Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable.

Expected Impact

  • (A) new mobility culture(s) would have an important role in opening up new ideas and opportunities and in building strategies for the sustainable transport policy of the future.
  • A forward looking perspective on the European mobility culture of tomorrow would enable Horizon Europe to play a more strategic role in shaping and enabling a transformative transport (research) policy, working hand in hand with citizens and local communities.
  • The new mobility paradigm would contribute to building innovative ecosystems, which provide the supportive environments for the transformation process to flourish and be disseminated widely.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Socio-economic science and humanities

Application date
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, Architecture and urbanism, Arts and Art history, History
Social sciences : Environmental Sciences, Geography, Political science, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Sociology