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Workshops for municipal planners

Published Dec 19, 2023

Connecting mobility and accessibility solutions that are tested by Mistra SAMS to a broader municipal planning context, by exploring what they might imply for strategic planning, Mistra SAMS arranged a workshop series for municipal planners and strategists within traffic planning, neighborhood development and environment.

The workshops provided opportunities for joint exchange, mutual learning and a way to explore how the core ambitions of Mistra SAMS connect with municipal planning and decsion making. Together researchers and municipal planners explored how accessibility can be developed in years ahead, and how a broad notion of “accessibility” can help strengthen municipal capacity to plan for just and sustainable accessibility.

Bringing planning forward

Which factors might characterize and influence future accessibility, and which are the greatest uncertainties? How might a strengthened focus on accessibility bring planning forward, and which obstacles are there? The conclusion was that a broader notion of accessibility is highly relevant for strategic planning in a municipality, but that there are challenges in operationalizing it. Insights generated from the workshop included, for example, whether accessibility is a goal or a means to achieve goals; the risk that a focus on accessibility jeopardizes work with other established concepts, such as equality. Planning for digital accessibility also proved harder to concretize compared with spatial proximity and physical mobility.

Socially sustainable public transport

On December 11 the Mistra SAMS work packages Citizens and Living Lab Design also conducted a workshop on the topic of socially sustainable public transport. The workshop participants included civil servants from regional and municipal authorities and public transport suppliers.

Results from the SAMSAS shuttle was presented and the workshop participants discussed how and why such a service can contribute to social sustainability and what could be the next step to support accessibility for a diversity of user groups. The SAMSAS shuttle  is a form of on demand public transport, or “enhanced public transport”, that was tested in Riksten this spring. The target group of the service were low income-workers dependent on public transport for their work trips.