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Chair of the Americas: Interview with Guest Professor Carlos Moreno (Universidad Piloto de Colombia)


Carlos Moreno is a specialist of urban policy and professor of transport economics and daily mobility at the Pilot University of Colombia (Bogota, Colombia). He is currently at Rennes 2 University for a one-month stay through the Chair of the Americas program and is being hosted by the ESO research center where he is working on the ANR-funded project MODURAL. 

C. Moreno
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Please tell us a little about the work you will be doing during your stay at Rennes 2 ?

As a visiting professor of ESO-Rennes, one of the main projects that I’m working on while here is the presentation on the progress of the MODURAL project. Funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR),  it is carried out jointly by Rennes 2 University, the Universidad Piloto de Colombia and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú, among others. 

The project examines the sustainability of commuting to work and to places of study in two Latin American metropolises (Bogotá and Lima). Mobility conditions in these cities, where commuting takes place over long distances and often involves strenuous effort, are a major stress and source of dissatisfaction for the local populations. Our study therefore examines how to promote more sustainable forms of mobility and improve the quality of life for those who live there. What are the levers that can encourage people to move towards more sustainable ways or practices, and what are the impediments that can deter them from doing so? How can the inhabitants of the popular peripheries, who are experiencing the worst travel conditions, access more sustainable forms of mobility?

During this visit, our project team will also be holding a research seminar entitled "Studying mobility practices and questioning their sustainability in the working-class outskirts of Latin American metropolises: the contribution of Modural surveys"

Who do you specifically work with at ESO and how did this collaboration begin?

I work directly with Professor Florent Demoraes as well as with Professor Pascal Sebille, whom I have known them since the beginning of the MODURAL project in 2020. We worked together with another group of teachers and surveyors in the development and implementation of the project’s data collection tool when they spent some time in Bogota. So these were the main reasons that I was particularly interested in coming to Rennes, to be able to work more closely with Professor Demoraes and the other members of the MODURAL team. 

Will you be holding any courses for Rennes 2 students during your stay? And if so, what subjects will you be speaking about?

As a guest professor, I’ll be holding some classes for Licence 3 students of Geography and first year students of the Master of the Americas program. Overall, I’ll be giving 8 hours of classes on urban issues, in particular on topics related to urban sprawl, socio-economic segregation and the issue of daily mobility, focusing on the Latin American region. 

What other research and teaching projects will you be working on in the near future?

Those of us working on the MODURAL project would like to close the project by developing a research book comparing the cities of Bogota and Lima in terms of mobility practices of the poorest populations. We will also be able to continue working together on the possible development of scientific articles and other types of academic documents. It would be nice to consider the possibility of planning another joint research project.

I’ll also be looking to help strengthen the international partnership, particularly in regards to research, between our two universities. Right now, we don't have any other type of cooperation agreements, but we hope to examine mobility opportunities for Rennes 2 master students to come to Colombia, and Colombia students to come to Rennes 2. The opportunity to get to know Rennes university life was very enriching for me so I hope that one day our students could also benefit from a similar experience.