Building scenarios for the future of mobility in Europe

Data world? Digital nomads? Slow is Beautiful? Minimum Carbon?

By Dr. Imre Keseru, team leader — urban mobility, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), MOBI Research Centre

Scenario building is the first step in the Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA) methodology, which is used to involve a broad range of stakeholders in the Mobilty4EU project. We work with narrative scenarios (i.e. textual descriptions of potential future development paths) to identify the vision for transport in 2030 and devise an action plan.

Each scenario is a description of future trends and technological, organisational or policy-related solutions. Based on a survey of 33 stakeholders, we selected policy & legislative framework and lifestyle & user behaviour as pivotal uncertainties (i.e. trends that have the highest uncertainty and the highest impact) to steer the scenario building.

Four preliminary scenarios were defined and discussed with the stakeholders at the scenario building workshop. Based on the stakeholders’ feedback we developed the following four scenarios:


This scenario mainly includes solutions that increase efficiency and profitability of private actors in transport and enable large private corporations to provide integrated mobility services.

2. Digital nomads

The solutions in this scenario enforce cooperation between private and public actors to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. Full digitalisation and automatization of the transport system is supported by government regulation and funding. Integrated mobility services are strictly regulated to provide a balanced set of transport options to users.

3. Slow is beautiful

The solutions in this scenario aim to restrict local road traffic and enable local initiatives to share mobility resources. The approach to digitalisation and automatization is more cautious.

4. Minimum carbon

The solutions support strict regulation of carbon emissions both for freight and passenger transport. The focus is on reducing travel demand and provide accessibility to work and services within local self-sustaining neighbourhoods.

The next step is the evaluation of the impact of the scenarios on the 14 stakeholder groups that we identified.

For more details about the scenarios and the scenario building please consult the technical report.

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