By Linus Platzer
In the year 2020, some things were certainly different than before: The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world in unprecedented manner, changing people’s mobility and lives. And digital communication and interaction have increased a lot. So has online learning – prepared courses with interactive sessions and curated materials, coming home to your desk and field of work.
One example is our online course Transforming Urban Mobility: Responding to the global pandemic, TUMI and the University College of London (UCL) have developed an online course on sustainable urban mobility.
The course was designed according to the latest virtual learning standards: it contains case studies from 16 cities (both global north and global south), video lectures by renowned mobility and urban planning experts and a range of interactive application exercises. In the words of co-creator and transport policy advisor Verena Flues, “the course is a milestone in TUMI’s capacity development work. For the first time, a truly global audience can get to know the Avoid-Shift-Improve approach easily. I am sure many will benefit and there will be more transformative developments as a result”.
The course also offered the opportunity to meet the educators and fellow learners in live Q&A sessions, which were well received by each 20-40 participants. This again demonstrated the high interest and relevance to a global audience ranging from high school and university students to long-standing practitioners and knowledge multipliers in the field.
After the first round of the course – with many more to follow – and with already over 1000 participants having taken part successfully in the course, the second round will follow this success: Transforming Urban Mobility: Introduction to Transport Planning for Sustainable Cities will start again on March 15. You can enroll here.
More on the course
Transforming Urban Mobility
- Learn how urban mobility projects can help to create sustainable cities
- Understand the components of a sustainable urban mobility strategy
- Discover how sustainable urban mobility is most effectively delivered
The course divided into two parts:
Part one focuses on integrated transport and city planning and will start on the 15th of March 2021.
Week 1: Welcome to the course
Week 2: How does transport affect our cities?
Week 3: The Avoid Shift Improve framework
Week 4: Integrated urban planning & transport
Part two focuses on low emission modes and mobility strategies such as public transport, active mobility, and vehicle electrification. Part Two will start on the 3rd of May 2021.
Week 1: Travel demand management
Week 2: Public transport
Week 3: Walking, public space, and cycling
Week 4: Low emission vehicles
Week 5: Decision-making process and participation
3 reasons why this course is great for everyone
–> It’s the first course on the foundational concept for sustainable mobility, Avoid-Shift-Improve (A-S-I). If you’re interested in urban planning, sustainable mobility, and city climate action, you need to know it.
–> It takes only 3 hours/week, you can take it anywhere and anytime during the week (asynchronous learning).
–> You can get a free certificate for completion from TUMI.
The overwhelmingly positive reactions to the first course show the value of such a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). So far, alumni have given the course an average rating of 4.8 of 5 stars. Here are a few glimpses of their reviews:
- It’s worth any minute spent learning in this course! (Peter N., Nov 24)
- Enjoyable course! The content suit the title ‘introduction’, hopefully the next session will go more profoundly on sustainable urban mobility. Thank you for the insightful materials, enjoyable videos, interactive discussions, and humble experts! (Nyimas F., Nov 27)
- This was a really high quality introduction to the subject which had a great balance between self learning and learning with others. I enjoyed reading the others’ input and replying to real people. The phone in /zoom session as well made this more real, as opposed to some distance learning courses. I felt the course was accessible but also dealt with issues in an academically rigorous way. (David W., Nov 27)
- Surprisingly interesting and useful course. Provides an insight into local sustainable travel options and possibilities for sustainable change in cities as a whole. A positive and well-balanced course which is adequately paced to allow time to think about your own transport planning in your city. (Angela G., Dec 1)
- Excellent for looking toward the future. I did not know about the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework. This will be used in future as we are facing a lot of issues due to our previous travel demand forecasting methods. It was of right level. I knew about TOD, studied in bachelor. Right now, I am doing master transport planning where this ASI framework has not yet come up in picture of planner. (Abhishek K., Dec 1)
- A primer on sustainable urban mobility. The course offers a concise yet detailed introduction to transport planning for sustainable urban mobility using a blended learning approach that will keep the learner anticipating what’s next. The course is a good fit for students and professionals alike who are interested in getting a view of best practices in the sustainable urban mobility field. The icing on the course’s cake is the comments section which provides a learning avenue and opportunity for everyone to share insights and thoughts based on their understanding of the discussed concepts and personal experience. (Gabriel O., Dec 6)
- Excellent course. The theoretical approaches were clearly explained and the case studies were interesting and inspiring. (Natalia P., Dec 8)
- Everyone politician in the UK should be forced to do this course (Stephen W., Nov 27) (of course we suggest the course to politicians as well, but on a voluntary base for better learning 😉 – editor’s note)
Of course, there will be continuous improvement (more detailed content, downloadable references, more case studies from the Global South).
The comments just serve as a reminder why this form of education and learning is so important. In the year 2020, when the Paris Agreement turns 5 years old, but neither greenhouse gas emissions nor political targets are on track to prevent more than 1.5 or 2 degrees global warming, we need to transform cities and urban mobility more than ever.
And there are positive signs of change – just think of the prominence of temporary/“pop-up” cycling lanes, improvements in road safety, and the progress on electric mobility (learn more in our video format TUMI TV). But still, in order to achieve a global transformation towards sustainable mobility for all, we need adequately equipped staff and policy makers.
If not enough people have the expertise and skills to change course in urban mobility, how are we going to #MobilizeMinds (learn more here)?
In this sense, this online course can be both a game changer and a first stepping stone towards more: enabled by a transformation in digital learning and in combination with ensuing implementation efforts, this will trigger transformations in urban mobility around the world.