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VREF Workshop: Transforming Access, Mobility and Delivery in Cities – Turning Knowledge into Action

The workshop explores the rapidly evolving reality of urban transportation in the 21st century. The event will bring together key leaders, global experts and advocates in New York. Participants include the United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Over the next decades, the nature of urban transportation is likely to undergo significant changes. To ensure these changes adequately deal with the challenges of equity, public health, and climate change, we must galvanize networks and knowledge into tangible action.

Actionable knowledge
This Workshop intends to build on the substantial work of all involved partners with the overall goal of seeking ways in which research can be transformed into actionable knowledge for accessible cities. The conference will focus on the themes of how best to create access in cities, improving freight in cities and how to get better governance and leadership around transportation and land-use changes.

New York
The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) in conjunction with the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, TransitCenter, the American Assembly, the Regional Plan Association, the Institute for Transportation and Development and the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at Columbia University are convening the discussion at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York on “transforming access, mobility and delivery in cities.”

The workshop will bring together key local, national, and international leaders, advocates, policymakers, and researchers for two and a half days of workshops designed to improve urban transportation and make cities more accessible to all.

Secretary of Transportation
United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will open the workshop. Gabe Klein - former Chicago & DC DOT Commissioner, Zipcar VP, and current COO of Bridj, a new startup in Boston experimenting with big data and bus services – will also give a keynote.

A wide community
VREF supports research and educational activities that promote sustainable transport and fair access to urban areas.  Since 2001, VREF has funded ten Centers of Excellence worldwide with the aim of nurturing change processes in cities and businesses by disseminating and implementing research findings.

CSUD is one of the ten Centers of Excellence funded by VREF. CSUD is bringing together the VREF community, in addition to a wide community of urban transport specialists in the U.S. and internationally, including NYC-based organizations: The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, TransitCenter, The American Assembly at Columbia University, Regional Plan Association (RPA), and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

Tuesday, October 28th – Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017

Jacqueline Klopp, Center for Sustainable Urban Development
917-817-4688 or 212-851-2979.

October 2019
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The current Call is mainly directed to sub-Saharan university-based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable mobility and access in sub-Saharan African cities, and/or previously engaged in transport-related research, and strongly interested in carrying out interdisciplinary research on issues related to sustainable and equitable mobility and access,

Call open until 2019-10-15


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Invitation open until 2019-10-31

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

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