Student Team SMiLES Presents Findings of Interfaculty Group Assignment to Province of Groningen

In the context of SMiLES, a diverse group of University of Groningen (RUG) students has delved into the question of how shared mobility can meet the transport needs of residents in the rural areas of the province of Groningen over the past few months. This project, which explores sustainable transport solutions in the region, successfully completed the interfaculty group assignment “Shared Mobility in Rural Groningen.” On April 11, this assignment concluded with presentations of the findings to representatives from the mobility department of the Province of Groningen.

Conclusion of SMiLES Interfaculty Group Assignment

SMiLES (Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability) is a five-year interfaculty living lab focused on researching sustainable transport and logistics in Groningen, Drenthe, and Friesland, using the Northern region as a testing ground for the opportunities of shared logistics systems. The project brings together a consortium of practical partners, faculties, and researchers with the goal of exploring innovative solutions and collaborations to promote a sustainable future for mobility and logistics in the region.

On April 11, the official conclusion of the SMiLES interfaculty group assignment “Shared Mobility in Rural Groningen” took place. Seven students from five different RUG faculties worked intensively for 2.5 months to investigate the role of shared mobility in the transport needs of residents in the rural areas of the province of Groningen.

The report produced by the students highlights the potential of shared mobility in rural Groningen. These findings were presented to Christian Nobel and Jan Batelaan from the mobility department of the Province of Groningen, who looked back with satisfaction on the collaboration with the students. Christian and Jan emphasized the value of the fresh ideas presented by the students. The Province of Groningen sees this project not only as an opportunity to gain innovative insights but also to strengthen ties with RUG and connect people to the region.

The students conducted thorough research, held discussions with stakeholders, and explored the legal frameworks to investigate the possibilities of shared mobility. They not only gained valuable knowledge by working on this assignment but also experienced what it is like to collaborate across faculties. Berfu Ünal, project coordinator of SMiLES and associate professor of social and environmental psychology at Campus Fryslân, played a crucial role in facilitating this interdisciplinary collaboration. Additionally, professors Kees Jan Roodbergen (Quantitative Logistics), Aline Klingenberg (IT Law), Taede Tillema (Transport Geography), and postdoctoral researcher Felix Pot (Transport Geography), were intensely involved in this project.

Read the full articles about the group assignment “Shared Mobility in Rural Groningen” on the SMiLES website and on the Environmental Psychology Groningen website.