Smart mobility is the most recent buzz word in mobility planning, partly bumping sustainable mobility of the throne. However, with a more citizen-centric perspective on smart mobility, both concepts can be combined. This paper explores different approaches towards smart cities and explains how these approaches affect the extent to which smart mobility measures do or do not contribute to sustainability ambitions of local governments. Also, the role of these local governments is analysed. By means of two examples from the Dutch planning practice, a relatively new governance structure is described. In the end, this paper advocates a vision of smart mobility that not only is aimed at technological development and efficiency, but that understands the full potential of smart mobility in terms of environmental benefits and quality oflife.


Smart mobility, sustainable mobility, governance.


The concepts of smart mobility and sustainable mobility are two dominant paradigms in modern-day mobility planning. These two concepts appear in almost every local and regional policy document for mobility and/or accessibility in and around cities. The exact definition that local governments use, as well as the operationalisation of the concept and the realisation of measures, differs a lot. Many scholars have tried to establish a taken-for-granted definition of smart mobility, but it rather caused even more diffusion about the concept. This paper explores different approaches towards smart mobility and analyses how these different approaches affect the consequences of smart mobility measures in relation to sustainability. The focus is on smart mobility initiatives that reduce the environmental impact of mobility, by means of energy use and emissions.

The paper consists of a more theoretical part and a part that gives a number of illustrations from the Dutch mobility planning practice. The first part starts with a discussion of different approaches towards smart cities. This is followed by a description of possible relationships between the concept of smart and sustainable mobility. After this, the role of local governments will be discussed. The second part of the paper presents some examples from the Dutch cities Eindhoven and Utrecht.


Consultant Smart Mobility