Sustainable Mobility and Urban Planning

Sustainable Mobility and Urban Planning

SUSTAIN Module Syllabus:

Sustainable Mobility and Urban Planning


Technological innovations have made possible the development of sustainable mobility and sustainable physical environment. Energy neutrality, limitation of CO2 emissions, improvement of user friendliness, technical robustness, embedding of infrastructures in the physical environment, climate and water adaptability, functional flexibility, material use based on cradle-to-cradle - these are all areas where innovative technological solutions can be applied in sustainable mobility projects and urban planning initiatives. Regardless of the availability of such technologies, sustainable mobility and a sustainable physical environment are often difficult to be realized in practice. This may be caused by problems and challenges that are inherently related to the governance of sustainable mobility projects and urban planning initiatives. Such problems are complex, uncertain, persistent, difficult to manage and hard to grasp (Rotmans, 2005).

The governance of spatial projects is uncertain, because different actors have different interests and agendas and may easily change their positions through confrontation and negotiation. . An entrepreneur may have commercial interests, while citizens or environmental groups may defend ecological interests. The impacts of mobility projects are difficult to assess, due to the inability of their standardization in financial terms (or otherwise). Management problems also arise, as politicians are tend to seek short-term solutions, while the management of spatial projects requires a long-term vision and perseverance. The governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning projects are hard to grasp, because each actor may have different interpretations of ‘sustainability’. The economic benefits of a road extension may be enough for one actor to consider such a project sustainable, without taking into account its environmental impacts.


The module is for undergraduate students (3rd or 4th year); college graduates; and post graduate students (Master’s degree, diploma) in the fields of urban infrastructure, transport planning, urban management and other related disciplines – and wishes to deepen their knowledge and understanding on sustainable urban mobility and its governance.


In the course ‘The governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning’ you will learn more about the different aspects of governance in these areas. You will learn about its problems and challenges, strategies, policies and solutions, cases, transitions in governance, trends and needs. This course gives you the intellectual and practical tool to be successfully involved in the management of sustainable mobility and urban planning initiatives, as a student, researcher, policy maker or project manager.


The course is structured in three sections. Section I consists of 2 lectures; section II of 3 lectures and section III of 1 lecture. In total 5 lectures will be given.

Section I: Sustainable Mobility

The first section deals with defining sustainable mobility and urban planning the problems and challenges in their governance.

Section II: Strategies, Policies and Solutions

The second section consists of two lectures that are concerned with strategies, policies, solutions, cases and transitions in sustainable mobility and urban planning projects. This section is based on academic sources and empirical findings from these fields and links academic readings with the practice of sustainable mobility and urban planning.

Section III: Governance of Sustainable Mobility – Trends and Needs

Section III consists of one final lecture, which reveals trends and needs of the governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning, including both technical and political aspects. Furthermore, a literature summary on societal cost and benefit analysis, problems and challenges of governance, strategies, policies, solutions and transition management will be presented.

Structure of the Module:

Section / Lecture
Section I: Sustainable Mobility /  Lecture I: Introduction into the governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning
 Lecture II: Problems and challenges in the governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning
Section II: Strategies, Policies and Solutions /  Lecture III: Strategies, policies and solutions for sustainable mobility and urban planning
 Lecture IV: Cases of sustainable mobility and urban planning
Section III: Governance of Sustainable Mobility – Trends and Needs /  Lecture V: Trends, needs and some final remarks on sustainable mobility and urban


Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA)

Social cost benefit analysis is a tool used for transport project appraisal. The tool provides an assessment of total costs and overall benefits of the project. The SCBA is evolved from the classical method of Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The primary difference between CBA and SCBA is that SCBA also incorporates social costs in the appraisal. In project appraisal using SCBA, all the costs and benefits of the project are presented in monetary terms.

The SCBA Is One Of The Most Widely Applied Tool In Decision Making For Sustainable Transport Projects. The tool is easy to learn and will be of a great interest for professionals and researcher who will follow the course curriculum developed under SUSTAIN project.


Each student will be required to submit a paper on a case study regrarding governance of sustainable mobility and urban planning. For the paper academic literature and collected empirical data will be used. In regard to the empirical date, this could include policy documents, self-conducted interviews, etc.


Within the lectures, a case study based upon the A15 Motorway in Transumo. The case study will be examined within the lecture and will form an example of sustainable mobility.


100% of the final assessment score will be provided from the Exercise.



The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) is an international centre of excellence of the School of Economics (ESE) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, operating on a global scale by offering post-graduate education, training, advisory services and applied research.

Today more people live in cities than ever before. Our urban future confronts us with great innovations and challenges. Cities need urban professionals who can understand, face and manage these developments to create urban futures that improve the quality of life in cities. IHS trains and advises these professionals on a global scale through its integrated approach in education, advisory services and research that offers practise and theory on urban management and development.

Learn more about IHS: .


The Department of Public Administration was established at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1984 and is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS). With two bachelor programmes, six master programmes and an active research portfolio, the department is one of the largest and one of the leading Public Administration departments in Europe. We offer a series of English language education programmes, including one bachelor and two master programmes. Research is organised in a number of research cluster, such as Comparative Public Services Innovation (CPSI) and Governance & Networks.


The SUSTAIN project aims to improve the quality of tertiary education in Sustainable Urban Development in Europe and partner universities in Asia; develop standardized education modules related to SUD and furthermore enriching them with international perspectives and academic and vocational skills and competencies; promote collaboration and international cooperation between European and Asian Higher Education Institutions in SUD but also collaboration and sharing between Erasmus Mundus programmes; establish links and bridge European Higher Education and practice in SUD; increase the visibility and access to European Higher Education in Asia in the field of SUD, attracting prospective Asian and international students.

The SUSTAIN project is co-ordinated by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) with the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, the Netherlands, the Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany; National Technical University of Athens, Greece; European Academy of Bolzano, Italy; Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy; Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia; Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, India; Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, China; and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Germany.