FUT emerged in a context of increasingly rapid urbanization and the motorization of major cities. The institutional and physical infrastructure change slowly. Institutions and decision-making processes are often bottlenecks that must be overcome in order for modern technology to be used in the best interest of the majority of the population. These developments and conditions have created an urgent need to address large and complex questions regarding how transportation systems should be organized, designed and integrated in a way that is environmentally sustainable, safe from a traffic perspective, and that meets the needs of the entire population of a city – including those with the least resources. It is against this complex background that FUT was established.
FUT rests on three cornerstones: a number of Centres of Excellence (CoE) that carry out interdisciplinary research – in close collaboration with targeted end users – with the aim of finding sustainable transportation solutions; Other Projects that complement the research of the CoEs, and; a number of different meeting opportunities such as CoE Workshops and regular FUT conferences. The purpose of FUT conferences is to bring together researchers in the programme with key stakeholders responsible for urban transportation systems, in settings where the participants can learn from each other and develop new ideas.
Future transportation systems
What sets FUT-financed research apart is the insight that interdisciplinary research approaches are required to address increasingly complex transportation needs. The centres all work in close collaboration with intended users of their research results, such as traffic and city planners, politicians, government agencies and interest groups. This is to ensure that the research results get used and contribute to future transportation systems.