NWO funding for research on just sustainability transition

Through the 'Mobility for a sustainable future' programme, NWO has committed funding for a four-year project exploring how challenges in mobility, energy and housing can be tackled together. Within the JUSTNEXUS consortium, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht will focus on developing new technologies that support coherent, just development of mobility, energy and housing.

JUSTNEXUS will explore new overarching visions of what such a cohesive approach might look like using a "Museum of the Future" — a platform for exchange and inspiration. At the same time, experiments, for example where housing associations offer shared mobility, electric vehicles feed power back into the grid and citizens organize sustainable transport in cooperatives, will allow concrete exploration of solutions.

The future of mobility, energy and housing

JUSTNEXUS has several lines of research, which are connected throughout the project. One line focuses on methods for developing future visions for mobility, energy and housing. Another group of researchers looks at how different ownership structures, namely public, private and communal, can contribute to an equitable energy transition. Researchers are also paying attention to business models at the intersection of mobility, energy and housing. Finally, the consortium is working on the development of more transparent algorithms that can, for example, regulate the availability of electric shared cars. Within the latter line, the HU will have a leading role.

"The developments in AI enable us to make smart decisions about, for example, using share cars as energy storage or implementing flexible tariffs to influence sustainable behaviour," says Karla Münzel, working as a researcher at the Centre of Expertise Smart Sustainable Cities at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. "Within this project, we develop algorithms that help integrate new technologies."

Broad consortium

The research is led by Utrecht University. In addition to researchers from Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and HAN University of Applied Sciences are also involved. International research partners are the University of Oxford and the University in Milan.

Share this article