Smart Sustainable Cities: Focus on Urban Mobility

New date and place! Online event from October 5 – 16, 2020

How can the mobility of people and goods in urban agglomerations be organized in more sustainable ways, promoting a decarbonized economy and society?


Urban areas stand out as places where high population densities and agglomerating economic activities cause various environmental problems. This holds for larger cities in highly developed countries, such as Germany, but even more for megacities in less developed countries like India. Especially the transport and mobility sector counts for large shares of urban air pollution and particulate matter (PM) emissions, due to job commuting from suburban areas, the inflow of goods for urban consumers, and the material logistics associated with manufacturing.

To tackle the environmental issues triggered by these activities, actors of urban development and planning eagerly search for ways to systematically use novel information technologies (IT) and digital innovations for urban sustainability transition. Visions of the smart, intelligent, IT controlled, and knowledge-driven city have recently started guiding various public initiatives towards achieving more sustainability, flanked also by private agency and social innovations. Against this backdrop, a growing range of ‘smart mobility’ options come up that use novel IT solutions for reducing the CO2 footprint of urban traffic.

This Summer School attempts at elucidating crucial urban sustainability problems and solutions relating to mobility and transport. It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills with respect, for instance, to the following themes:

  1. Recognizing sustainability issues associated with urban transport
  2. Understanding the systemic nature of urban transport activities
  3. Developing ideas on ‘smart mobility’ solutions


This Summer School will run for thirteen days from 5th until 16th of October 2020 and will have two major work streams. The mornings and afternoons will be reserved for lectures and talks given by German and Indian academics and practitioners. The second work stream is dedicated to project work (see below).


The resource persons for the Sumemr School includes faculty from German universities and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Chennai) as well as other scholars and practitioners with deep understanding of different aspects of the themes mentioned above.

Work Groups

The participants will work in small groups of 4-5 members on dedicated projects to gain intensified learnings on the topics and practical approaches of R&D project work. The project work will be based on the “Action Learning”-Methodology and agile project execution concepts. The work groups will pitch for their topic out of given proposals.

The following preliminary topics are proposed:

  • Spatial analysis of mobility patterns in the Aachen region
  • Actor and stakeholder analysis relating to urban transport
  • Academic and corporate R&D activities towards ‘smart mobility’ solutions
  • Acceptance of ‘smart mobility’ solutions in different parts of the urban population


The school will consists of lectures, group workshops, panel discussions and individual field trips


The course is open to German* and Indian Master and Ph.D. Students. Knowledge in the urbanisation and sustainability is of advantage. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 30 (15 German /15 Indian).

*Non-German students and university graduates can apply if they are enrolled in a course of study at a German university with the aim of obtaining a degree at a German university. For more information check DAAD-Website: Bewerbungen um ein Stipendium (German only).


Interested students may apply through the 2020 IGCS Summer School Application Form. The application deadline is 15 June, 2020, 07:30 am CET. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

The link is open from March 2nd, 2020, 07.30 a.m. CET – June 15, 2020, 07:30 am CET. You will need to register first before you enter the actual form. You can switch between German and English. Please read the instructions carefully, including the help-notes that are attached to many entry boxes.

Please prepare the following documents to be uploaded through the form:

  1. CV
  2. Transcript of records of last completed semester / graduation certificate
  3. Letter of recommendation from an academic supervisor. It should state your academic and personal qualification for the participation of the school.
  4. Passport copy (for Indian students only, German students prepare an empty page)
  5. Enrolment certificate

Positive results will be announced by the end of June 2020. We kindly ask to refrain from inquiries about the application status in the meantime. Your data will be deleted if you were not accepted.


IGCS, including the schools, is part of the “A New Passage to India” initiative funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Indian participants of the School receive a travel grant (EUR 1075) and a lump sum (EUR 240). The selected German students will receive a lump sum (EUR 240) and will be reimbursed a maximum of EUR 50 for travels to Aachen. Accommodation (2 – 3 people per room), local hospitality, and local travel will also be taken care by RWTH Aachen University.

All participants are expected to hand in an experience report; instructions will be provided later.


Please contact project coordinator Malin Praktiknjo or Dr. Anna Uffmann if you have any questions.


IGCS Area Coordinators for land use, rural and urban development Prof. Dr. Martina Fromhold-Eisebith and in collaboration with IGCS-Postdoc Dr. Christoph Woiwode.