E-gomotion: the ideas of young people in the race

A more sustainable city, especially the young people who live and will live it want it. With E-gomotion Challenge teams of high school students from all over Europe compete on the basis of a project of sustainable mobility for your city.

1) What does the initiative consist of?

E-gomotion Challenge is one of the initiatives organized as part of the research coordination and support project E-gomotion, funded by the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union. Until next November it will involve students from five European countries, and is promoted by five of the best European universities, coordinated by the Turin Polytechnic under the guidance of Prof. Ezio Spessa of the Energy Department.

2) How did the involvement of young people take place? With what answer?

In the autumn of 2012, theE-gomotion Road Show, an educational path designed to introduce children to the theme of mobility. In this phase, the students tried, for example, to calculate the ecological footprint of their daily journeys, trying to better understand their impact on the environment. The students also studied the topic of energy sources and the main technologies for sustainable mobility, also from an economic and social point of view. After participating in the Road Show, which involved over 200 students, about 90 boys from 4 high schools in Turin decided to take part in E-gomotion Challenge.

3) What issues were the most popular in the projects presented?

Air pollution and traffic congestion were among the problems that the children identified as the most urgent, both in the areas adjacent to their schools and in strategic and particularly difficult areas of the city. Great interest was also shown for the accessibility and quality of the mobility offer, as well as for the topical safety issue.

4) What struck you about the projects presented? Can they be viewed and where?

Surely the excellent analytical skills, both for data collection and for the development of a project proposal. The students were able to identify concrete and coherent problems and solutions, showing great enthusiasm and dedicating time, energy and creativity to the project. Some teams, for example, have created beautiful graphic animation works to accompany the presentation of their ideas. The projects are accessible on the initiative's website and short videos in which the students present their projects will soon be available on the E-gomotion Youtube channel.

5) What degree of awareness is there in young people of the real problems of sustainable city mobility?

The boys showed great sensitivity to the themes of mobilityand their willingness to work on these issues is evident. The feeling is that they have very clear the importance that mobility plays in determining the quality of life in urban spaces.

6) Is there enough space for these issues at school?

This project is a support to what is already done in school and aims to offer an approach that is as interdisciplinary as possible, trying to put children at the center of attention. The idea is to make them feel an active and responsible part of the problem and its possible solutions, leaving them great freedom of movement and aiming for a smart education system, which puts the student in front of the challenges of the development of our cities. The teachers involved in the initiative were absolutely up to expectations: capable and passionate, they were fundamental elements for the growth of the children. The results obtained were certainly encouraging, so much so that the project will be replicated again next year.

7) Italian students will confront Europe: how are we in terms of sustainability education compared to our "opponents"?

The boys from Turin responded in an exceptional way and participation in the project is far greater than what happened in other countries. We are particularly proud of the result and are preparing to leave for the final in Barcelona in November, convinced that we can bring home an excellent result.

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