Accessibility to Economic Activity Areas for Students in North of France

Accessibility to Economic Activity Areas for Students in North of France


Sylvie Mathon, Cerema Nord-Picardie, Elodie Bergna, Sciences Politiques Lille (student)


Community of Universities North of France has decided to develop an inter-campus mobility plan on region wide. Social equity issues faced by students and employees have been identified as strategic in a particular regional context


Cerema is a public body of French Ministry of Energy and Sustainable Development with a staff of over 3,000 civil servants. The territorial division for the Northern and Picardie Regions is located in Lille. One of its current mission is to provide methodological assistance to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais universities and major schools in their mobility plan (MP). The Nord-Pas-de-Calais region has 4 millions inhabitants and is highly urbanized. In this region, the Community of Universities (COMUE Lille/North of France) is grouping major educational institutions implemented in 12 different cities. It represents 150,000 students and 20,000 staff members (teachers and non-teaching staff). Nord-Pas-de-Calais indeed is the third region affected by the “economic poverty” according to the population living below the poverty line. In this region, especially, the access to education and employment is a major issue of social equity. At the time of MP assessment about students and staff mobility, more than 10,000 people responded to a survey which was carried out in 2014 (up to 7,200 students and 2,700 staff).
Analysis of the survey data should allow to identify social equity problems about accessibility questions to go studying or working. Mobility profiles will be particularly determined to compare travel times and costs depending on social characteristics such as disabled people, low earner/scholarship holder, people living in a single-parent home with children...
In addition to this first analysis, interviews will be conducted in 2015 to specify another issue: “has a student without car the same opportunities to find a job to finance his studies or to get an internship as a student with car ?”. The problem of fair or unfair access to the activity parks for students, to find a part-time job, an internship or an apprenticeship training is analysed, on one hand, with regard to transport supply and on the other hand, from the point of view of urban planning. Most of firms are located in peri-urban areas under-served except by car. The hypothesis to explore is that the spatial organisation of activity areas creates a break and an inequity between students (and thus, for any other people who are looking for a job without getting a driving license or a car).

Both of these results (survey and interviews) will be explained during ETC 2015. We will present key facts and figures and analysis of the interviews. Then, a few courses of action and suggestions for COMUE, local authorities and technical executives in charge of transportation policies, economic development and higher education sector too.


Association for European Transport