On Dec 10, nearly forty experts and researchers from SJTU, Tsinghua University, University of Michigan’s Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART), and other diverse range of domestic and international institutions attended a special two-day research forum titled “Advancing Sustainable Transportation Systems: Multimodal Solutions for Mega Cities in China” at SJTU. Professor Xinwan Li, Associate Dean for Research, and Professor Olivier Bauchau, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, UM-SJTU Joint Institute, participated in the opening sessions.  “This forum has brought together experts to SJTU to focus on the sustainable mobility research.  It is also the first time that the JI has organized such a research forum.  This joint partnership with the University of Michigan’s SMART demonstrates the importance of sustainable collaboration on this important research topic,” said Professor Bauchau.

The main objective of this forum was to provide direct channels for researchers, practitioners, government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of non-profit organizations to discuss research and implementation of sustainable and multimodal mobility solutions for mega cities in China.
“Traffic congestion and environmental pollution related to transportation have become a major issue across large cities in China,” said Professor David Hung, associate professor of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute and co-chair of the research forum.  “The way people currently meet their travel needs impacts energy consumption, energy security and material resources as well as CO2 emissions, climate change, and air quality,” said Professor Hung.
Ms. Sue Zielinski, the managing director of UM’s SMART initiative and co-chair of the research forum, concurred. “Advancing mobility by integrating innovative research models, business models, policy models, and decision models into transportation models are beginning to enable seamless, sustainable, and multi-modal transportation systems for people and businesses.  At this forum, we aim to advance not only the understanding but implementation of sustainable, multi-modal systems solutions, and how various related social and economic opportunities would benefit Chinese mega cities,” said Ms. Zielinski.
Day two of the research forum was dedicated to the working sessions in which participants collectively developed specific research ideas and proposals on improving the quality of urban life and economies through multi-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships with different organizations.  For example, Professor Jun Ni, Dean of UM-SJTU Joint Institute, explained to the participants how SJTU and UM could further partner on sustainable transportation research through the establishment of collaborative research laboratory.
This two-day research forum was hosted and organized by the UM-SJTU Joint Institute in partnership with the University of Michigan’s SMART.  It was funded by the International Exchange & Collaboration Program of “985 Project”, Phase III, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the Alcoa Foundation (for SMART’s initiative in China).