EPOMM e-update October 2019
  Language:   en | de | it
ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive
tweet share on facebook

Dear reader,

The German, Irish and Italian immigrants who arrived in America during the 1800s often faced prejudice and mistrust. Many had to overcome language barriers. Others discovered that the challenges they had fled from, such as poverty or religious persecution, were to be encountered in America as well.

And still today, immigrants often meet challenges upon their arrival that they never anticipated. Difficulties in speaking and learning the language, raising children and helping them succeed in school, securing work and housing, and accessing services are commonplace.

And like language barriers, understanding transport is an issue that affects nearly every aspect of life for immigrants. Imagine, you have never learned how to cross the street safely, how to ride a bike, nor how to read the traffic signs. Consequently, it makes it difficult to fit in additional commitments like language classes or medical appointments. Therefore, Mobility Management, and especially mobility education, can be a driver for a successful social inclusion of immigrants.


The concept of mobility and immigration in research

Source: freepik.com

Mobility is just just about travelling from A to B, since it gives people the opportunity to be active (only available in German language) and thus actively participate in society. The everyday mobility of immigrants only plays a subordinate role in immigration and integration research and processes. Moreover, very few mobility and traffic studies have taken account of the migration backgrounds of road users.

One reason for this could be that the mobility of people with a migration background is a complex issue. The difficulties start with the concepts of mobility and immigration. On the one hand, in the field of integration research, the term ‘mobility’ is used to refer to international migration.

The concepts of migration and mobility are thus used across the two research areas, but deal with the same topic, namely the choice of residential location.


The choice of residential location

Source: freepik.com

So far, little is known about whether the everyday mobility of immigrants differs from that of people with a non-immigrant background or what mobility needs exist.

However, what is known is that the organisation of daily mobility strongly depends on where people live and on the local infrastructure. The residential location offers or restricts access to everyday activities and their diversity and is the starting point for daily mobility.

The sixth Family Report of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (only available in German language) points to a significantly higher proportion of people with a migration background in core cities and densely built-up rural districts in agglomerations, most of which have very good transport infrastructure.


Mobility and its socio-economic effects on migrants and ethnic minorities

Source: freepik.com

There are numerous barriers that are particularly important for some user groups. Poor transport and mobility services can exacerbate the disadvantages they already face and increase the risk of social exclusion. However, socially disadvantaged groups have different mobility behaviours and needs. They face different transport barriers.

As the EU project Together on the Move, which commenced in 2011, noted, little research has been done on the travel behaviour of migrants and their attitudes towards different travel modes in Europe.

Data and information are limited, especially in the case of Eastern and Southern European countries. The research carried out by the project, however, shows the following characteristics of the travel behaviour of immigrants: i) Immigrants are less likely to own a car than natives due to their less favourable economic conditions (car purchase and driving licence are costly), ii) Access to the car is lower for female immigrants than for men, with a wider gap than for natives, iii) Immigrants are therefore more likely to be on foot and use public transport than natives, and iv) Cycling seems to be more popular among natives than among immigrants, especially migrant women.


Better service for ethnic communities in Greater Manchester

Source: tfgm.com

54 languages are spoken in Greater Manchester and consultation with ethnic minorities has shown that many people have had difficulty obtaining information on public transport. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has therefore introduced ‘Language Line‘ (see also PTEG Good Practice Guide).

Although TfGM surveys showed that people generally prefer to access information by phone, consultations with different groups showed that they prefer personal contact and rely heavily on travel shop staff. To meet this need, TfGM sought to provide personalised advice in the appropriate language. This was achieved by ensuring that all frontline staff had access to the Language Line interpreting service, which provides instant telephone access to interpreters in over 120 languages.


A life-changing moment

Source: eltis.org

As part of the SEGMENT project, the City of Munich has decided to address the specific needs of new migrants, as they go through a ‘life-changing moment‘ when they apply for a stay and have to complete a course.

Migrants in Munich have to learn German if they want to stay permanently. The available teaching materials in the official integration course cover many topics suitable for everyday use, including mobility. However, the mobility information is provided at a general level and is not specific to individual cities.

The aim of this project was to develop Munich-specific material on all topics of daily mobility in order to enable and promote foreign newcomers to sustainable mobility behaviour as an important step towards participation in daily and social life in their new home city.


Bicycle training as part of an integration strategy

Source: eltis.org

At a meeting with the Swedish Transport Administration and the municipality of Linköping, one of the participants, a representative of the municipal immigration authorities, explained that he was in contact with many women with a migrant background who could not ride a bicycle. Since these women often lacked a driving licence, they were relatively limited to staying in and around the house and experienced isolation.

As a result of the meeting, the municipality of Linköping and the Swedish Transport Administration initiated ‘bicycle training‘ for migrant women. The course started with theoretical knowledge and continued with practical exercises. This measure enabled a better integration of the participants into Swedish society. In addition, the cycle track had a ‘wave effect‘, with the municipality starting several courses as part of the normal integration strategy.

An important finding was that the ability to cycle is often taken for granted, but without it life can be much more difficult. This is a concrete example of how cycling can contribute to a better environment, but also to a richer everyday life.


Cycling Friends

Source: eltis.org

Fietsvriendinnen or Cycling Friends is a training project (only available in Dutch language) of the integration department of the city of Leuven, in which Belgian women help migrant women to acquire bicycle skills and experience. The project matches each participating migrant with a non-migrant , so that they can go on bicycle tours together for a period of 5 months.

The aim was to improve the skills and self-confidence of migrant women in cycling, to make them aware of the positive effects of cycling on their personal lives and to help them to better integrate into Belgian society.

An essential success factor is the cooperation between the different organisations. The women's organisation KVLV and Mobiel 21 recruit non-migrant women and the integration department recruits migrant women. The teaching of ‘traffic skills‘ to the migrant was a very rewarding experience for the non-migrant women.


MobiCascais and ECOMM 2020


In an ambitious approach to climate protection MobiCascais has been implemented Mobility Packages (MaaS) and nudged behavioural changes locally and regionally by radically created a low cost passes (20€) and special prices for people over 65, and free for children under 14, possible to use in eleven bus lines, operated by the municipality. Locally Cascais had already integrated these passes with the passes from the metropolitan authority, including bicycles, electric car sharing and street parking.

This all through smart ticketing systems, apps and a back office platform. Step by step universal accessibility awareness and physical and digital implementation is developed.

This policy, adopted by the municipality has been developed based on a people centred approach: “for people with people”!

These efforts have been previously developed having in mind the Aalborg Commitments and the Agenda Cascais 21, and are lined up with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030. Join us at ECOMM 2020, taking place 3 – 4 June 2020 in Cascais and learn more about the ambitious approach in Portugal´s vibrant city by the sea.


Conclusion: Accessibility is the key

Source: freepik.com

The importance of transport for social inclusion needs to take into account the specific mobility needs of the most vulnerable user groups.

Mobility is also a social and economic need. The availability of transport options and the way they are offered can pose major challenges for the mobility of many urban residents today. Such barriers contribute to social and spatial inequalities in urban areas, including discrimination against vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. These barriers are not only fiscal or technical, but stem from political, social and institutional factors that prevent progress towards socially sustainable urban mobility systems.

Access is therefore the most important facet of mobility, as it creates the conditions for possible mobility. Improved transport links can contribute to combating social exclusion by removing barriers arising from the accessibility, availability, acceptance and affordability of the urban mobility system. And Mobility Management is an excellent tool to achieve these objectives.


Upcoming events

For more events, please visit the EPOMM calendar.

ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive