Governments and corporations promote airports as a sign of progress and with promises of ‘development’. In reality, the construction of airports and associated infrastructure drives people off their land, destroys livelihoods, plunders water and fertile soil and...
In the last years, several bottom-up initiatives formed at Ghent University: e.g. D’URGENT, a student association focused on sustainability, promoting more sustainable mobility choices for students on an ERASMUS grant and De Groene Locomotief (formed in 2016), raising awareness around the climate impact of travelling by plane and further promoting and facilitating more sustainable choices for work-related travel (through debates, decision tree, a ‘pilot’ project, sticker campaign).
Developed in cooperation with bottom up initiatives, Ghent University (departments of political sciences, biology, literature, history, innovation and entrepreneurship, the sustainability office and the INTEC research group) created a climate-friendly mobility policy.
Photo Credit / Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Concrete measures to reduce air travel
- Mandatory train ride to ‘green cities’ that take less than 6 hours to reach by bus or train starting from Ghent, or if the travel time by train is no longer than the travel time by plane (duration of the flight + 2 hours, being the standard duration of travel time to the airport + duration of check-in + duration of transfer). When booking a trip to one of these ‘green cities’, the plane is no longer offered as a possible means of transportation. However, if circumstances prevent the use of bus or train, a flight can exceptionally be requested.
- Preferably by train to ‘orange cities’ that take less than 8 hours to reach by train. When booking a trip to one of these ‘orange cities’, Ghent University staff members will be presented with a train or bus ride as the preferred option. This allows the more sustainable means of transportation to be seen as the evident choice.
- Decision tree to support the choice of travel mode by De Groene Locomotief
Links and Resources