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Transformative Mindset Course

Module 5.

Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility


Danuta Szpilko, Joanna Ejdys


Bialystok University of Technology, Poland


Substantive content:

  1. introduction to concept of sustainable and smart mobility;

  2. reasons to move towards sustainable and smart transport;

  3. sustainable and smart mobility  as one of the elements of the UE Green Deal strategy;

  4. vision of sustainable, smart and resilient mobility;

  5. example of individually contribute to sustainable mobility;

  6. the best practices of application sustainable and smart mobility at the city Bialystok;

  7. presentation of the 6 hats technique for creative problem solving.

Teaching methods:

lectures, case study, exercise, quiz, self-study of additional literature


2.5 hours

Objectives of the training module include:

  1. understanding the concept of sustainable and smart mobility;

  2. understanding why it is important to move towards sustainable and smart transport;

  3. showing sustainable and smart mobility  as one of the elements of the UE Green Deal strategy;

  4. familiarisation with the vision of sustainable, smart and resilient mobility;

  5. showing how individually contribute to sustainable mobility?;

  6. showing example of the best practices of application sustainable and smart mobility at the city level.

Training module will:

  • explain the fundamentals of sustainable and smart mobility;

  • provide a rationale for climate change mitigation and propose actions from the perspective of  sustainable and smart mobility initiatives;

  • access a wide range of resources to build on the skills and knowledge developed in the field of sustainable and smart mobility.


Sustainable mobility means achieving an overall volume of physical mobility, modal splits and transport technologies that efficiently meet basic mobility needs while supporting ecosystem integrity  and limiting GHG emissions to a level that is consistent with international efforts toward sustainable development.

S. Griffiths, D. Furszyfer Del Rio, B. Sovacool (2021), Policy mixes to achieve sustainable mobility after the COVID-19 crisis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 143, 110919. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2021.110919

Smart mobility can be defined as an infusion of information communication technology (ICT) to transportation.

R. Giffinger, C. Fertner, H. Kramar, E. Meijers (2007). City-ranking of European Medium-Sized Cities. Magazines Focus, Capital, Impulse and Bizz, Vienna.

Smart mobility has been defined as a system that provides customized mobility services based on an understanding of user preferences and a city’s vision by utilizing emerging ICT infrastructures.

J. So, T. Kim, M. Kim, J. Kang, H. Lee, J.M. Choi (2019). A Study on the Concept of Smart City and Smart City Transport. Journal of Korean Society of Transportation, vol. 37, 79-91. doi: 10.7470/jkst.2019.37.1.079

Holden et al. have proposed three sustainable mobility “grand narratives”: 

  1. Electro-mobility – replacement of fossil fuel based vehicles with electric vehicles fueled by clean energy;

  2. Collective transport 2.0 – increasing utilization of both public transport and cars, the latter being shared mobility;

  3. Low-mobility societies – reducing the number and length of trips by cars (and planes). 

E. Holden, D. Banister, S. Gossling, G.  Gilpin, K. Linnerud (2020). Grand Narratives for sustainable mobility: a conceptual review. Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 65, 101454.

Using Mesh Bag



Case Study 1:

Bialystok - Poland

  • Bialystok is the largest city in north-eastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. 

  • Bialystok has 296,000 inhabitants and covers an area of 102.13 km2.

  • The city is located in an ecologically clean and full of tourist attractions region with a rich infrastructure. This region is referred to as the Green Lungs of Poland. 

  • Bialystok is a good city to live in. The overall level of residents' satisfaction with life in Białystok reaches 95%. 


Source: European Commission Report - „Quality of life in European cities, 2020”,

Why did Bialystok need a changes in mobility?

The following reasons, influenced the decision in 2005 to start the improvement of the functioning quality of the city's public transport system:

  • intensification of automobile traffic in the city centre;

  • decreasing demand for the use of public transportation;

  • inadequate quality of public transportation services, caused, among others, by the use of worn-out rolling stock;

  • insufficient level of travel safety and comfort, caused by the poor quality of road surfaces, bus bays, and stops;

  • transport nuisance and negative impact on the environment.

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Integrated approach to sustainable and smart mobility in Bialystok

In order to alleviate the identified problems, the city of Bialystok has undertaken consistent multi-stage systemic actions encompassing the modernisation of the road system and the improvement of the city's transport system.

Activities started in 2005 and are still continuing thanks to the successive acquisition of EU funds for their implementation. Among a number of mobility-related projects, five main ones should be mentioned:

  • Project I: Improving the functioning quality of the public transport system of the city of Bialystok - Stage I (2005-2007);

  • Project II: Improving the quality of the public transport system in Bialystok
    - Stage II (2009-2011);

  • Project III: Improving the functioning quality of the public transport system of the city of Bialystok - Stage III (2011-2015);

  • Project IV: Development of urban transport infrastructure in Bialystok (2016-2022);

  • Project V: Intermodal transport interchange in Bialystok (interchange centre with
    public mass transport corridors) (2017-2021).

Main informations about sustainable and smart mobillity projects 

  • Main beneficiary: City of Bialystok

  • Start of implementation: 2005

  • Budget:  66 milion PLN (project I) + 157 milion PLN (project II) + 196 milion PLN (project III) + 172 milion (project IV) + 183 milion PLN (project V) = 774 milion PLN

  • Stakeholders involved: municipal companies providing public transport services: Komunalne Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne (KPK), Komunalne Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Miejskiej (KPKM) and Komunalny Zakład Komunikacyjny (KZK). Road reconstruction issues were handled by the Municipal Road Administration. These activities also required cooperation with the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, Bialystok Branch.

  • EU funded: Integrated Regional Development Operational Programme (project I), Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland 2007-2013 (projects II, III), Eastern Poland Operational Programme 2014-2020 (projects IV, V). 

  • Website: (in Polish)

Roads in Bialystok

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Thanks to the integrated approach to sustainable mobility development in Białystok, since 2005, as part of implemented projects, many roads have been successively modernized, reconstructed or built.

Public bus fleet in Bialystok

As part of the implemented projects, investments were made in the bus fleet: 

  • in 2006, 43 ecological buses adapted to the needs of the disabled were purchased. Bialystok was then the first city in Poland to purchase buses meeting the Euro IV emission standard;

  • in 2010, 56 new buses meeting Euro V standards were purchased; 

  • in 2011-2012, 70 new buses meeting the Euro V standard were purchased; 

  • in 2013 and 2015 low-emission, low-floor buses of the Mercedes and Solaris brands, meeting Euro VI standards, as well as 2 hybrid buses of the MAN brand and 2 minibuses of Kapena were purchased;

  • between 2018 and 2020, 66 low-emission and low-floor buses meeting Euro VI standards and 6 Volvo 7900 diesel-electric hybrid buses were purchased;

  • between 2021 and 2022, the purchase of 20 zero-emission buses is planned, which will contribute to reducing air pollution and noise. 

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Improving access to information about public transport in Bialystok

  • A dynamic passenger information system has been implemented in Białystok, providing information displayed on LED boards mounted at the 10 most frequently used bus stops. The boards display the nearest bus departure from a given bus stop correcting the departure time according to reality. 

  • All public transport buses are also equipped with internal top and side electronic signs providing text and voice information about the route.

  • Current information from the dynamic passenger information system is available to travellers on the BKM Virtual Monitor website: 

  • Travellers can also search for bus connections and timetables via:, rozkł, e-podróż, applications mMPK, DHKM, BUSstok, Transportoid. In addition, it is possible to pay for bus journeys using SkyCash and mPay mobile applications - 

  • A Bialystok Public Transport Customer Service Point has also been established in the city.

Traffic management system in Bialystok 

  • Implemented in 2015, the traffic management system consists of traffic signal control at 120 intersections, variable message signs providing information on obstructions and travel times, traffic volume and travel time measurement using induction loop sensors and automatic plate recognition cameras. 

  • The Intelligent Transport System (ITS) analyses traffic flows around the clock and optimises their operation. An important element of the telematics system is the prioritisation of buses when detected by transmitters that communicate with the system. 

  • Traffic situation monitoring cameras transmitting real-time data have also been installed at intersections. 

  • The aim of implementing ITS in the city was to speed up public transport routes and to improve passenger car traffic. 

  • Information from the system is publicly available on the website 

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Park and Ride

  • The car park will be built in 2022 near the public transport terminus so that drivers arriving in Bialystok can leave their cars there, change to public transport and continue their journey by bus to the city centre. 

  • The car park will be built at Filipowicza Street on a plot of approx.
    0.5 ha. There will be parking spaces for cars and cars for people with disabilities. Additionally, maneuvering roads, pavements and lighting will be created. 

  • It will be the first car park of this type in Białystok with about 100 parking spaces.

Intermodal transport interchange in Bialystok 

The aim of the project is to develop urban transport integrated with rail and regional bus transport and to improve the mobility of the inhabitants of Bialystok and its functional area.


The project includes:

  • construction of an interchange centre with public mass transport corridorsin Bialystok in the vicinity of the railway and bus stations;

  • construction/reconstruction of the road system around the interchange centre;

  • above-standard solutions for people with disabilities (purchase and installation of beacons).

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Zero-emission alternative forms of transport in Bialystok 

Bialystok Bicycle Transportation - the bicycle rental system of Nextbike Polska consists of 58 stations, 574 standard bicycles (including 50 equipped with child seats), 10 tandem bicycles and 20 children's bicycles. Thanks to the use of fourth-generation bicycles, they can also be handed in outside the bike stations, as well as in the neighbouring municipalities of Choroszcz and Juchnowiec Kościelny. 

Since 2014, almost 100,000 people have made over 3 million rentals. Map of bicycle stations available on the website: 

A rental service of 40 electric scooters has been operating in Bialystok since 2018, and from 2020 also 100 electric micro scooters. The system is operated by the company. In 2020, residents used electric devices almost 78,000 times. This reduced the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by 30.7 tonnes.


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Consistent systematic approach to modernising the road system and improving the city's transport system has led to:

  • an increase in traffic flow and reduction in travel time by 12%, and in congested areas of the city of Bialystok even by 20%;

  • an increase in the average speed of public transport buses (throughout the system) from 1.37 km/h in 2016 to 2.04 km/h in 2020; 

  • improved safety and comfort for those travelling by public transport in Bialystok;

  • reducing car traffic, thus improving the quality of life of residents and reducing air pollution;

  • protecting the environment through the use of low-emission buses in public transport;

  • improving not only traffic conditions and safety, but also reducing noise in the city centre.

Additional materials & sources of information

EU Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy – EU transport on track for the future:



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