Miljøpakken, Green2050, Trøndelag County Municipality and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Mobilitetslab Stor-Trondheim (MoST) – three focus areas, 13 projects, 13 PhDs and many associated master's theses
MoST: The preliminary project
The idea for the Mobility Lab Stor-Trondheim came in autumn 2020. Trøndelag county council then contacted the rector's office at NTNU to discuss a possible collaborative project. The county was keen to get input on how to solve the challenges Trondheim faced in Elgeseter gate.
The concrete challenge: Elgeseter street
Elgeseter gate is one of Trondheim's most central and busiest stretches of road. It is the main road in and out of the city to the south, the most central transport route to Trondheim's largest exhibition area, to a large number of homes and to a number of large institutions in Trondheim – NTNU, St. Olav's hospital, Teknostallen and a number of other knowledge-intensive workplaces. Today's transport solution is mainly based on cars and public transport. The amount of traffic means that Elgeseter gate is one of the most noise-prone and polluting areas in the city - at all times of the day.
Trondheim municipality's Urban Development Strategy for 2050 states that one must cut emissions, reduce energy use per inhabitant, deal with land scarcity, increased growth and increased need for transport in and around the city more efficiently, while at the same time wanting to strengthen city life and contribute to increased well-being for all residents in town. For Elgeseter gate, this means that more of the transport will have to be transferred to public transport or other more sustainable solutions.
This requires that transport in the city of Trondheim must be carried out to a greater extent by walking, cycling or public transport. The urban development strategy states on page 18 that "In the city center and local centers pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and necessary transport have the highest priority". A shift in mobility from being car-based to more walking, cycling and public transport is not only central to the achievement of climate goals, but is also important for the achievement of other important goals in social development that are set out in strategies in the county and in the municipality. Walking and cycling are physically active forms of mobility that are harmful to health. The economic effect for society of increased walking is defined in the National Walking Strategy (2012). Creating good mobility solutions in/out and across Elgeseter gate has long been recognized as absolutely central to achieving Trondheim municipality's sustainability ambitions.
The mobility lab is formed
The idea of a joint Mobility Lab owned by NTNU and the Environmental Package gradually came into place during autumn 2021. Trondheim municipality and the Environmental Package's participants were invited into the work of establishing the main project in a series of working meetings in autumn 21. The rectorate at NTNU supported the idea and contributes with 5 PhDs in the lab. In April 22, the lab was adopted in the Environmental Package with the County Municipality as project owner.
"The lab will be a national force for research and development of forward-looking, sustainable urban mobility solutions"
Figure 1: It started locally - How to solve future transport along and across Elgeseter Gate
The lab's focus is urban mobility in the broadest sense and it will test out solutions and practical experiences for urban mobility in Stor-Trondheim. The ambitions are to contribute with development, testing of new technologies that support urban development for sustainable mobility and behavioral changes that can be transferred and applied in other urban areas. The project focuses on opportunities to support extensive transformation processes within planning practice. Attitudinal and behavioral changes in society that are necessary to achieve climate targets are also central, as are several objectives that will contribute to a generally more sustainable society.
It is also absolutely central to the county council, which builds roads and operates the traffic system, that you find the best and most sustainable solutions for this area - so that when you first build something, you build the right things, as environmentally and sustainably as possible possible. NTNU wants to be a driving force towards the zero growth target for the transport sector and will, through this initiative, contribute to getting several steps closer to this.
MoST: Vision and goals
Based on the above, the following vision for the lab has been formulated:
MoST shall be a national force for research and development of future-oriented sustainable urban mobility solutions
The work on the vision is made concrete through the following goals:
MoST shall be a joint arena for developing new and better work processes, methods, systems and solutions for urban mobility.
MoST will develop leading knowledge related to digital technologies, actors' needs for mobility and new transport modeling methods related to sustainable urban mobility.
The lab will support the environmental package in Trøndelag's three main objectives - Better urban environment, Reduced car traffic (zero growth target) and lower construction costs.
Premise for MoST's work:
MoST will support and work together with development work taking place in Trondheim municipality/county municipality and contribute new knowledge related to "digital technologies and models, actors' needs for mobility and new transport modeling methods".
The lab's projects and research will test and pilot various forms of ideas and concepts in various areas related to urban mobility solutions in close cooperation with the Environment Package. This will make it possible to plan and build more future-oriented and sustainable mobility solutions for greater Trondheim until 2030
Three main focus areas:
Players/people's needs and requirements for good mobility
Sustainable mobility as an integrated system (modeling and planning)