Urban Mobility Workshop: Public Policy, EUROREG, UW

On the morning of Friday April 14th, 2023, I did my 12th Urban Mobility Workshop with 6 students from the Urban Studies MA program at the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies at University of Warsaw, for the ‘Public Policy’ seminar at EUROREG.

I aim to make my presentation and workshops interactive as well as flexible to the context, in this case reflecting on policy issues here in Warsaw.

It was interesting to talk about SUMP’s with the students (none had heard of them before) and to talk about why issues of mobility and equity are important for policymakers to have diverse and sensitive knowledge about.

I also asked all students to share where they are from and their mobility routines relating to their current life as well as youth. Nearly all of them were from smaller towns and villages or suburbs and while most had experiences of good PT connectivity, there was the reflection that many smaller Polish cities lack good PT and car dependence is very high.

We spoke about how problematic this is, often creating even greater problems for people who are already marginalized, but also how efficient, affordable public transportation is a common good and affects society broadly.

I’ve recently been invited to speak on transport exclusion so am working on an entirely fresh new talk and engaging with these students on policy issues was a welcome opportunity to reflect on the power of policy to make a more inclusive transit system.

One of the participants also wanted to know the real root of my interest in walkability and I shared with them about my summer childhood visits to Malmö, taking a walk to the store on our very first evening after arriving from the long trip from the US and then on our first full day, taking the bus downtown. My earliest memories of walkability and public transit as simple, enjoyable and convenient.

There is always this psychological and reflective dimension to my urban mobility workshops and I valued giving time to the students as well to reflect on mobility in their hometowns as well as in Warsaw and analyze what policies they would like to see changed for a more accessible and connected city.

Thanks to Dr. Majewski for the invitation to host my workshop with this group!

Read more about my Warsaw-based urban mobility workshops here.