Integrating top-down and bottom-up approaches in energy transition: Assessing the social acceptability and overall accessibility of e-mobility by commuters of a university campus.


  • Lucie Juncker L2EP
  • Pr. Elodie Castex TVES
  • Pr. Alain Bouscayrol L2EP


E-mobility, Eco-Campus, Social Acceptance, Survey, Accessibility




Addressing global warming, especially in the mobility sector, requires a comprehensive response due to its substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries. The University of Lille is committed to environmental stewardship, conducting regular five-year carbon assessments, revealing that over half of its greenhouse gas emissions originate from home-university mobility. [1,2]

To address transportation-related environmental challenges, the CUMIN research program (University Campus with Innovative and Carbon Neutral Mobility) transforms the Cité Scientifique into a living lab. The initiative aims to shift transportation methods towards sustainability, ultimately reducing the university's GHG emissions and promoting environmentally conscious mobility [3].

To better understand campus accessibility intricacies, the CUMIN program uses isochronous maps as analytical tools. These maps reveal the crucial role of convenience in transportation decisions. Through a GIS-based accessibility analysis, the study evaluates access to community facilities in medium-sized urban areas. Isochronous analyses outline time areas for each transportation mode, offering insights into challenges for some campus users. This mapping explains why some users, despite acknowledging sustainability goals, struggle to refrain from thermal car usage. These assessments drive innovative and sustainable solutions, contributing to a comprehensive understanding and enhancement of accessibility [4].

Within the CUMIN framework, the SARA (Social Acceptability of electric vehicles in Restricted Areas) project focuses on community involvement in sustainable mobility. SARA adopts participatory methodologies, engaging campus users through a survey and aligning interviewee data on commuting habits with aforesaid maps. It uses a blend of bottom-up and top-down strategies to effectively address environmental challenges. The research explores commuters' motivations, perceptions of electric vehicles, opinions on sustainable mobility solutions, and potential barriers. The goal is to formulate targeted strategies addressing diverse perspectives and challenges within the campus community for a sustainable energy transition.

This paper introduces an innovative method to assess the social acceptability of mobility transition before decision-making, ensuring sustainability. The SARA project involves volunteer students and staff in interviews, allowing them to experience Lille University's electric vehicle and provide insights into technical aspects such as brakes or comfort. This participatory approach gathers immediate feedback to understand how firsthand experiences may catalyze shifts in opinions, encouraging a transition from thermal to electric vehicles. This also contributes to experiential learning in sustainability [5].

In summary, the University of Lille's research aims for carbon-neutral campus mobility, innovatively collecting data later useful to design comprehensive and sustainable incentive measures for sustainable commuting. Beyond understanding challenges, the focus is on assessing social acceptability in mobility transitions, with insights from the SARA project extending beyond the university, influencing broader transportation practices. The goal is to transform perceptions and practices, emphasizing the critical role of social acceptability in ensuring the success of sustainable mobility initiatives.

Author Biographies

  • Pr. Elodie Castex , TVES

    Professeure des Universités
    Directrice de l’Institut d’Aménagement, d’Urbanisme et de Géographie de Lille (IAUGL)
    Co-responsable du Graduate Programme Cultures, Sociétés, Pratiques en Mutation (CSPM)
    Laboratoire Territoires, Villes, Environnement & Société (ULR 4477)
    Faculté des Sciences Economiques, Sociales et des Territoires (FaSEST) 

  • Pr. Alain Bouscayrol, L2EP
    Professor at University of Lille / L2EP Coordinator of CUMIN interdsiciplinary project Chair of the IEEE VPPC steering committee L2EP, University of Lille, 59 000, Lille, France e-mail: Phone: 33-3-62-26-82-13


Direction Développement Durable et Responsabilité Sociale, Université de Lille, 2023 : « Enquête Mobilité sur les déplacements des é et personnels » :

A. Bouscayrol et al."Electro-Mobility for CAMPus of Universities Based on Sustainability," 2019 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC), Hanoi, Vietnam, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/VPPC46532.2019.8952215.

E. Masclef et al. "The electro-mobility Living Lab developed by eCAMPUS," 2020 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC), Gijon, Spain, 2020, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/VPPC49601.2020.9330968.

Tome et al. “GIS-Based Transport Accessibility Analysis to Community Facilities in Mid-Sized Cities”, 2019, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 471.6, DOI 10.1088/1757-899X/471/6/062034

Favaloro et al. " Mind the Gap! Developing the Campus as a Living Lab for Student Experiential Learning in Sustainability", 2019. In: Leal Filho, W., Bardi, U. "Sustainability on University Campuses: Learning, Skills Building and Best Practices". World Sustainability Series. Springer: