VREF – Walking as a Mode of Transport
Closing Date: 15/09/2023
Programme aimed at increasing international research and research capacity on walking as a mode of transport, in ways that can contribute to more equitable access and sustainable mobility in urban transport.
The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) is the collective name under which four foundations – the Volvo Research Foundation, the Volvo Educational Foundation, the Dr. Pehr G. Gyllenhammar Foundation and the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transport Research – collaborate to finance research and education in the areas of transportation, environment and energy. VREF’s mission is:
- To support the development of new knowledge on ideas and solutions that can contribute to equitable access and sustainable urban transport.
- To support the development of educational and outreach programmes in the area of equitable access and sustainable urban transport.
- To contribute to the dissemination and implementation of research findings among both university researchers, practitioners, decision makers and other relevant stakeholders.
- To support demonstrative examples and change processes.
Through the Future Urban Transport programme (FUT), VREF initiates and supports research and educational activities promoting sustainable mobility systems for equitable access in cities. The aim is to nurture processes of change and transformative capacity in cities as well as in businesses. The FUT Programme currently has four thematic programmes:
- Mobility and Access in African Cities (MAC) (reported separately on ResearchConnect).
- Urban Freight.
- Informal and Shared Mobility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (ISM).
- Walking as Mode of Transport (subject of this report).
VREF supports research within the FUT programme by a variety of instruments, eg:
- Centres of Excellence (CoE): these centres are intended to create a platform for researchers who want to collaborate on the development of new and better knowledge about how to cope with the complexity of transport systems in large urban areas. There are CoE’s in Australia, Chile, China, France, India, Kenya, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, and the US.
- Activities to disseminate research findings and to exchange knowledge, such as meeting places and publications through partnerships with universities, institutes, international organisations, foundations and other non-profit organisations.
Through the ‘Walking as a Mode of Transport’ programme, VREF aims to strengthen international research and research capacity on walking as a mode of transport in ways that can contribute to more equitable access and sustainable mobility in urban transport. The programme will be carried out in three phases of development 2023-2029.
The programme seeks to build a broad, international and interdisciplinary community of learning which encompasses both researchers and other stakeholders in this area, as well as to support and contribute to new knowledge among ‘next generation’ scholars in walking research. In addition, the programme aims to strengthen research capacity on walking as a mode of transport in the Global South.
The Walking programme will encompass research and other initiatives that focus on walking both in itself and as part of a travel chain that also includes other modes of transport, such as public transport.
The scientific profile of the programme is built around four themes:
Theme 1: Conceptualising and critically appraising walking as a mode of transport.
Theme 2: Walking as transport in everyday urban life; equity issues.
Theme 3: Governance, policy and urban planning for walking as a mode of transport.
Theme 4: Services, tools and business models to facilitate walking as a mode of transport.
In this second call for proposals for exploratory research projects, the focus is on small, cross-disciplinary research projects within the four core themes of the programme. Projects must include comparative work from urban areas in at least two different countries and be carried out over 12 months.