In conversation with our young researchers: Aldo Arranz-Lopez

10 June 2022

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ICT for fair transport systems.

ICT can modify mobility behaviours and cause adverse effects on the most vulnerable population groups. It can also provide valuable information for making transport systems more inclusive.

How vulnerable population groups use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for their mobility habits? And how does it affect their transport behaviours?

Aldo Arranz-Lopez is a postdoctoral researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), in the Urban Development and Mobility Department. He is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow in charge of the iCHRONOS project, aiming to understand the effects of ICT on mobility and more especially, the potential adverse effects on the most vulnerable population groups.

Making transport systems more equitable

Considering himself as a transport geographer, Aldo Arranz-Lopez is conducting research on the social effects of the interlinkages between transport accessibility and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at the city level.

He studied a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Zaragoza, where he also obtained a Master’s degree in GIS & Remote Sensing for spatial planning and his PhD in human geography in 2019.

His current research project’s outcomes (iCHRONOS) can support the objectives included in the research program Horizon Europe (2021-2027). In particular, how ICT can modify mobility behaviours, and the potential adverse effects on the most vulnerable population groups (e.g., elderly, single mothers). iCHRONOS may provide valuable information for making transport systems more inclusive, equitable, and fair.

Aldo’s research results can also be relevant for the public administration which is in charge to implement transport policies.

A paradise for social scientists

As a postdoc researcher, Aldo moved to Madrid to work at the Transport Research Centre -TRANSyT- at the Technical University of Madrid. Afterwards, he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Goethe University (Frankfurt am Main, Germany). Finally, he was granted a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action at LISER (Luxembourg) he joined in January 2022, after doing a short research stay during his PhD.

At LISER there is a mix of backgrounds (e.g., geographers, economists, architects) who make easy to create interdisciplinary research teams. In my view, this is a very important point to apply to national and international calls.

Aldo Arranz-Lopez

From that moment, Aldo knew that Luxembourg is a very attractive destination to do research. A country that homes around 620,000 inhabitants with more than 170 nationalities is “the paradise” for social scientists. Moreover, the choice to come to Luxembourg was also determined by working with Prof. Martin Dijst, a world-leading scientist in my research field.

The different backgrounds, cultural norms, and habits provide a very interesting setting to do research.

Aldo Arranz-Lopez

Top-tier research infrastructure

According to Aldo, Luxembourg has invested a considerable number of resources into research infrastructure during the last years.

For example, it is very impressive for him to have a Data Centre (hosted by LISER) helping with data collection process, providing advice on writing questioners or the way to organize the questions in a survey. “This definitely helps you to succeed with your fieldwork campaigns”, states Aldo.

Luxembourg a very attractive place for researchers compared to other countries. Good salaries and very good research environments with multidisciplinary research centres are two aspects in which Luxembourg leads the scientific scene.

Aldo Arranz-Lopez

Being a concerts’ addict, Aldo Arranz-Lopez values to have places dedicated to live music in Luxembourg like the RockHal in Belval.

It is crazy how one can daily go to music concerts by artists of such stature as Sting, Dream Theatre or Megadeath.

Aldo Arranz-Lopez

More generally, what Aldo likes about living in Luxembourg is that the country offers many cultural and sports activities. He likes doing sports and it is very nice to have bicycle and hiking routes. Moreover, the country’s size allows reaching every place in a short time.

I have met a lot of people playing padel, an emerging sport in Luxembourg.

Aldo Arranz-Lopez

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